Campus Climate Assessment
As outlined in SFC Forward, the College's strategic plan for 2023 and beyond, St. Francis College is conducting a survey assessment to inform future planning and improve the campus climate, which is shaped through personal experiences, perceptions and institutional efforts.
Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz
Message from the President
Dear St. Francis College Community Member,
At St. Francis College, we seek to create an environment characterized by openness, fairness and equal access for all students, staff and faculty. A welcoming and inclusive campus climate is grounded in mutual respect, nurtured by dialogue, evidenced by a pattern of civil interaction and is one of the foundations of our educational model. Creating and maintaining a community environment that respects individual needs, abilities and potential is critically important.
During the 2022-2023 academic year, St. Francis College will undertake a vital and relevant climate assessment. This is our chance to make a difference in St. Francis College’s future, our opportunity to make positive, lasting changes and help create a more inclusive campus. To ensure full transparency and provide a more complete perspective, we have contracted with Rankin Climate to help lead this effort. Rankin Climate has conducted more than 250 campus climate assessment projects over the last 22 years.
A team from Rankin Climate will be working with a committee of students, staff and faculty from St. Francis College to develop and implement the assessment. The results will better enable us to develop programs and policies that will increase inclusivity in areas that are shown to be problematic and enhance and replicate programs and policies in areas that are shown to be successfully meeting the needs of the community.
This climate project website has been developed to provide communication on the project process and results.
I hope that you will join me in supporting this important project.
In peace and friendship,
Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz, SFC President
- Joseph Acciarito, Director of Alumni Engagement & Annual Giving
- Jeanne Arnold (Co-Chair), Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer & Chief of Staff
- Maria Asteinza, Director of Integrated Communications
- Tolulope Atolagbe, Student
- Jessie Austin, Executive Assistant, President’s Office
- Anne D'Antuono, Assistant Professor, Nursing
- Gerard Davidson (Co-Chair), Department Chairperson / Associate Professor, Chemistry & Physics
- Meaghan Davis, Director, First-Year Experience
- Dionne Dodson, Associate Director of Athletics for Business, Game Management, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Reza Fakhari, Vice President for Internationalization and Strategic Initiatives
- Rachel Falkenstern, Director, Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies
- Jim Freeman, Lecturer, Philosophy and Religious Studies
- Ruben Gonzalez, Associate Dean of Student Affairs
- Jennifer Graham, Institutional Research & Accreditation
- Van Havercome, Writing Coach for the Center for Learning & Leadership
- Michele Hirsch, Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness & Accreditation / ALO / Professor of Psychology
- Timothy Houlihan, Director of International Study, History Professor
- Patricia Hughes, Associate Director of Admissions
- Courtney Inniss, Director, Program Launch, Military & Veteran Initiatives
- Marlon Joseph, Assistant Professor, Healthcare and Leadership
- David Loutfi, Director of Event Management, Facility Rentals and Campus Security
- Molly Mann, Director, Center for Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)
- Maggie Martini-Minieri, Associate Athletic Director / SWA
- Monica Michalski, AVP of Student Support & Academic Operations
- Anilsa Nunez, Assistant Dean for Residence Life & Student Conduct
- Karime Rincon, STEM Coach for the Center for Learning & Leadership
- Maliek Sterrett, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs
- Jeanette Toledo, Student
- Denise Vieni, Director of Operations, Facilities Management
- Jason Whittaker, Associate Director of Support Services
- Meetings with the CSWG
- Develop Initial Communication & Marketing Plan
- Begin Survey Development
- Continue Survey Development
- Complete Survey
- IRB Proposal
- Final Communication & Marketing Plan
- Survey Administration
- Data Coding / Management
- Data Analysis
- Develop Report
September or October 2023
- Present Results
- Develop Actions
FAQ about St. Francis College Climate Project
Rankin Climate, LLC, which is serving as the outside consultant for the St. Francis College climate survey, defines campus climate as “the current attitudes and behaviors of faculty, staff, administrators and students, as well as institutional policies and procedures, which influence the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.” The climate is often shaped through personal experiences, perceptions and institutional efforts. The mission of St. Francis College is to create a campus climate that encompasses an inclusive and diverse community, compassionate hospitality and ethical leadership. The Campus Climate Survey is a tool to assess the climate at St. Francis. Findings from the survey will enable College leaders to take actions that improve the experiences of community members and to chart a path to achieving the College mission.
The idea to conduct a campus climate survey originated from interested students, faculty and staff who believed data from such a survey might be useful in planning for the future and improving the climate at St. Francis College. It is an effort to generate data-driven insights that the College can use to become more equitable and effective. Examples of successful outcomes include positive educational experiences and healthy identity development for students, productivity and a sense of value for faculty and staff, and overall well-being for all.
The Climate Survey Working Group (CSWG) is charged with conducting St. Francis College’s climate survey. After a review of potential vendors, committee leadership selected Rankin Climate to conduct the survey. Rankin Climate reports directly to the committee. Although the CSWG will regularly update St. Francis College about its progress, the committee — in consultation with Rankin Climate — is solely responsible for the development, implementation and interpretation of the survey and its results. Drs. Genevieve Weber and Gabriel Reif will be the Rankin Climate associates working directly with us on this project. Rankin Climate has conducted multi-location institutional climate studies at more than 250 institutions across the country. Rankin Climate developed and utilizes the Transformational Tapestry model as a research design for campus climate studies. The model is a “comprehensive, five-phase strategic model of assessment, planning and intervention. The model is designed to assist campus communities in conducting inclusive assessments of their institutional climate to better understand the challenges facing their respective communities” (Rankin & Reason, 2008).
The survey measures campus climate by collecting information about individuals’ sense of belonging at St. Francis, their perceptions of the workplace and/or academic climate, and relevant experiences. Additionally, the survey collects robust demographic information. Data analysis and reporting focus on identifying disparities in outcomes, perceptions and experiences across demographic groups.
The consultant has administered climate assessments to more than 250 institutions across the nation and developed a repository of tested questions. To assist in contextualizing the survey for St. Francis College, and to capitalize on the many assessment efforts already undertaken, the CSWG was formed. The committee is responsible for developing the survey questions. The team will review selected survey questions from the consultant’s tested collection and will also include St. Francis College-specific questions.
We anticipate that the survey will take individuals approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.
The survey is optional for all faculty, students and staff at St. Francis College, although the College recognizes that the findings from the survey will be more valuable if more individuals complete the survey. For those individuals who choose to take the survey, every question on the survey is optional, except for one question, which asks respondents to identify their position on campus (e.g., faculty, student, staff).
Be assured: All of your answers will remain confidential, and the results will be reported in group-form only. You will not be identifiable as an individual.
Confidentiality is vital to the success of campus climate research; particularly as sensitive and personal topics are discussed. While the survey cannot guarantee complete confidentiality because of the nature of multiple demographic questions, the consultant will take multiple precautionary measures to enhance individual confidentiality and the de-identification of data. No data already protected through regulation or policy (e.g., Social Security number, campus identification number, medical information) is obtained through the survey. In the event of any publication or presentation resulting from the assessment, no personally identifiable information will be shared.
Confidentiality in participating will be maintained to the highest degree permitted by the technology used (e.g., IP addresses will be stripped when the survey is submitted). No guarantees can be made regarding the interception of data sent via the Internet by any third parties; however, to avoid interception of data, the survey is run on a firewalled web server with forced 256-bit SSL security. In addition, the consultant and college will not report any group data for groups of fewer than five individuals, because those “small cell sizes” may be small enough to compromise confidentiality. Instead, the consultant and the college will combine the groups or take other measures to eliminate any potential for demographic information to be identifiable. Additionally, any comments submitted in response to the survey will be separated at the time of submission to the consultant so they are not attributed to any individual demographic characteristics. Identifiable information submitted in qualitative comments will be redacted, and the college will only receive these redacted comments.
Participation in the survey is completely voluntary, and participants do not have to answer any question and can skip any other questions they consider to be uncomfortable. Paper and pencil surveys are also available and will be sent directly to the consultant.
Information in the introductory section of the survey will describe the manner in which confidentiality will be guaranteed, and additional communication to participants will provide expanded information on the nature of confidentiality, possible threats to confidentiality and procedures developed to ensure de-identification of data.
After the survey closes, the consultant will clean and analyze the data. Subsequently, the consultant will provide a final report that will include: an executive summary; a report narrative of the findings based on cross tabulations selected by the consultant; frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations of quantitative data; and content analysis of the textual data. The reports provide high-level summaries of the findings and will identify themes found in the data. Generalizations for populations are limited to those groups or subgroups with response rates of at least 30%. The committee will review draft reports and provide feedback to the consultant prior to public release.
Rankin Climate uses a research data security description and protocol, which includes specific information on data encryption, the handling of personally identifiable information, physical security and a protocol for handling unlikely breaches of data security. The data from online participants will be submitted to a secure server hosted by the consultant. The SaaS hosting platforms are SOC2. The firewall is via Next-Gen Fortigate Firewall. Data is stored in a SQL database, which can only be accessed by VPN via authorized personnel only. Our encryption for communication is via HTTPS TLS 1.2. Rankin Climate associates working on the St. Francis College project will have access to the raw data. All Rankin Climate analysts have CITI (Human Subjects) training and approval and have worked on similar projects for other institutions. The server performs an hourly and daily back-up and stores the back-up on a separate context offsite for safety.
The consultant has conducted more than 250 institutional surveys and maintains an aggregate merged database. The data from the St. Francis College project will be merged with all other existing climate data stored indefinitely on the consultant’s secure server. No institutional identifiers are included in the fully merged data set held by the consultant. The raw unit-level data with institutional identifiers is kept on the server for six months and then destroyed. The paper and pencil surveys are returned to the consultant directly and kept in a locked file drawer in a locked office. The consultant destroys the paper and pencil responses after they are merged with the online data. The consultant will notify the committee chairs of any breach or suspected breach of data security of the consultant’s server.
The consultant will provide the primary investigator with a data file at the completion of the project.
Thank You for Your Input