FAQ: 2021 Campus Survey

What is this survey?

The Duke Campus Culture Survey (formerly Campus Climate Survey) is the most inclusive and comprehensive survey that Duke has ever executed on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is part of our broader university efforts on anti-racism and racial equity and will inform our work moving forward.

Who received the survey?

This survey was sent to all faculty, staff and enrolled students. This included faculty, staff, and students in the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine, but not the Duke University Health System, which has its own community survey. We anticipate merging these efforts with the Health System at some point in the future in order to assess the climate of the entire Duke enterprise.

How many people received it?

The survey was sent to 34,366 university faculty members, staff and students.

How many people responded?

12,751 students, faculty and staff responded. The response rate was 24 percent for students, 53 percent for staff, and 41 percent for faculty.

How were the questions developed?

The questions were developed by a working group comprised of faculty and staff with specific expertise. Adapted from an instrument used by Duke Population Health, the survey was designed to reflect higher education and industry best practices and issues unique to the Duke community. The Offices of Institutional Equity, Faculty Advancement, Human Resources, and Institutional Research provided support for the working group.

The survey focused on five core areas: perceptions of the overall institution; perceptions of respondents’ own department, program, or unit; individual/interpersonal experiences; available resources and what is needed; and free text responses for additional feedback.

Was this my only opportunity to participate?

No. The survey was the first of its kind at Duke, but it will not be the last. We expect to repeat this survey over time and use the data to develop plans for educational opportunities, examinations of policies, implementation of interventions, tracking outcomes, and accountability for action.

I responded to the survey. Are my answers confidential?

The information you provide in the survey will remain fully confidential. Neither your name nor any other identifying information will be released, and the data obtained will not be linked with any external data sources.

What will be done with the data?

Management of the data is being coordinated by Institutional Research, the Office for Institutional Equity, and the Office for Faculty Advancement in partnership with the Racial Equity Advisory Council (REAC). The data is being used to create educational opportunities, resources, and strategic plans to make Duke a more equitable community. At the institutional and local unit level, the data will also inform local policies and actions. Anonymity of survey participants has been protected throughout collection and sharing of the data.

What is the overall picture of equity at Duke?

The results reflect areas where we are making progress and opportunities for improvement. We are committed to doing the hard work to make the necessary changes that will help us fulfill our promise of inclusive excellence as an institution.

Why are the survey results limited to information based upon only four racial categories and two genders?

The racial categories we used are based upon federal definitions. In future climate surveys we hope to be able to show racial data disaggregated within racial communities so that we understand the diversity within the Black, Hispanic and Asian communities and reflect information on Indigenous communities. (A good example is a breakdown from the University of California, Berkeley.) Likewise, we want to understand the experiences of respondents across the gender spectrum and not just based upon a binary notion of gender in future surveys.

Are there other similar surveys about the Duke community?

The Duke University Health System has deployed a comprehensive Pulse Survey to all of its employees since 2000 in order to evaluate the work culture.  Every five years since 2005 the Provost’s Office has issued a culture survey to all of the faculty at the University.

Why is the data presented in a website rather than as part of a traditional academic white paper?

The accessibility and transparency of the survey data was a priority because it was the first time that all members of the University, including staff, had the opportunity to respond to questions about their experiences as members of the Duke community.