CALS employees and students chosen to participate in UW System campus climate study

In February, CALS faculty, staff, and students will have the opportunity to participate in a survey about campus climate — the extent to which individual feel personally safe, listened to, valued, and treated fairly and with respect. This is the result of an on-going UW System climate initiative. Fielding this survey in an organization the size of UW‐Madison would be a daunting task, so the project’s organizers decided to identify two sub-units — one academic, one administrative—that represent this campus. CALS accepted the Provost’s invitation to be the academic unit. The Division of Student Life—formerly known as the Office of the Dean of Students—will be the participating administrative unit.

Why CALS was invited to participate

  • CALS is viewed as a microcosm of UW‐Madison
  • It has vibrant academic programs and scholarly activity in all four disciplinary divisions
  • It has a full range of students—undergrads (including freshmen), grad students and post‐docs
  • CALS has strong engagement with communities beyond the campus
  • Data from this survey will provide some follow-up information to the 2008‐09 CALS Climate Survey

Why is CALS doing this?

Since CALS has undertaken climate surveys before, we understand their value. The study will provide important information about the campus climate and expand our understanding of ways members of community experience the campus climate. The results may help us both identify areas for improvement and identify features that should be maintained because they contribute to a positive campus climate.

Project management

  • Climate Study Working Group (CSWG), a core UW-Madison group that meets periodically via teleconference with UW System administration, the project consultant, and other participating UW campuses.
  • Diversity Leadership Group (DLG), comprised of the CSWG and additional members of the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee to provide project leadership and oversight.


  • December 2010 & January 2011 – Inform participants
  • February 2011 — Survey will be in the field.
  • Summer 2011 ‐ Review of findings and develop reports for CALS and Student Life

About the survey

All members of CALS and of Student Life will receive the survey. The survey will confidential. Access to data will be limited to a very small research team. Data will be reported in an aggregated form. All members of CALS and of Student Life will receive the survey via email on February 1.

What the survey will address:

  • Overall impression of campus climate: How satisfied are you at UW‐Madison? How does the climate differ for people in different categories: gender, age, country of origin, disability status, race, socioeconomic status, etc. Have you observed offensive, hostile exclusionary or unfair conduct?
  • Impacts on you: Have you experienced conduct that negatively affected your ability to work or study. Do you feel you have to work harder than your colleagues, or that you have less access to the resources you require? How well are you able to balance professional and personal life?
  • Recommendations to improve climate

If you have questions, please contact Interim Associate Dean Dan Schaefer at or (608)262-3003.

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