UCSF to Survey All About Campus Culture of Inclusion

Online Survey Deadline Extended Beyond Nov. 19 to Get More Responses


UCSF is asking all campus and medical center faculty, staff, students, postdocs and trainees to respond to a survey about their experiences with the working and learning environment. The online, confidential survey runs from November 5 through November 19.
By Lisa Cisneros on November 05, 2012

UCSF faculty, medical center and campus staff, postdocs, students and trainees will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the learning and working environment at UCSF in a survey beginning Monday, Nov. 5.

UCSF has extended the deadline to fill out the survey, which is part of the first-ever University of California systemwide initiative. It is believed to be the largest institutional climate survey of its kind to measure how people perceive the working and learning environment.

The goal is to gather a wide variety of data related to campus climate, inclusion, and work-life so that the University can better assess the environments for everyone at the 10 UC campuses, as well as the Office of the President, medical centers, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more information about the UC-wide survey, go to campusclimate.ucop.edu.

As incentives to those who complete the survey, two graduate academic or professional students/postdocs/trainees will receive $5,000 stipends, two faculty members will receive $5,000 research grants and five staff members will receive $2,000 professional development grants. Each location also will give away iPads to two survey participants, and UCSF will add $50 Bear Hugs (50) and lunch with Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Outreach, Renee Navarro, PharmD, MD, and other campus leadership.

Survey results will help inform campuses on what is going well and where improvement initiatives are necessary. All survey responses are strictly confidential.

UC strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. The University is committed to achieving excellence through diversity in the classroom, research lab and the workplace.

When concerns about campus climate surfaced a couple of years ago, UC President Mark Yudof established an Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion to foster a culture of inclusiveness for an enriched educational and work environment, which recommended that a UC systemwide survey be conducted.

In addition to a UC system-wide work group, each UC campus had their own taskforce that provided input into survey development as well as campus specific questions and tailoring the survey to each campus. The UCSF committee was comprised of members representing a cross-section of faculty, staff, students, post-docs and trainees.

"This systemwide initiative is important for our campus," Navarro said. "It will provide us with valuable data that we can use to enhance the climate for all groups at UCSF. I look forward to working with our campus partners on an action plan that will strengthen the UCSF community."

Some staff may wonder how the climate survey differs from the Gallup survey conducted in 2011. "The latest survey aims to measure the environment in which we work, learn and live,” explained Don Diettinger, Human Resources Business Partner.  “The Gallup survey measured the level of engagement or the extent to which staff employees actively support the UCSF mission. Fostering a supportive, welcoming and inclusive environment is an important component of engagement.”

UCSF’s History of Fostering a Supportive Environment

UCSF has long valued diversity and respect, as outlined in its Principles of Community, which are posted online on the new diversity website as well as various central locations.

UCSF’s ongoing efforts have been guided for years by various chancellor’s advisory committees focusing on the advancement of women, disability rights, GLBT issues and diversity. In 2007, the University outlined its specific goals to create a supportive work environment and nurture diversity in its first-ever campuswide strategic plan.

Today, one of the five goals in the University’s updated strategic plan calls on UCSF to “be the workplace of choice for diverse, top-tier talent.” And to create an environment in which everyone can thrive.

In recognition of the importance of diversity as a business imperative, the chancellor named Navarro as UCSF’s first vice chancellor for diversity and outreach in December 2010.

The mission of the Office of Diversity and Outreach is to build a broadly diverse faculty, student and staff community, to nurture a culture that is welcoming and supportive, and to engage diverse ideas for the provision of culturally competent education, discovery, patient care and community engagement.