2020 Equity and Inclusion Survey Results Offer Valuable Insights Into Campus Climate

As part of the university’s ongoing work to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus community, Lehigh participated in the HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey 2019-2020. The university started the survey in April 2020 and received its results in the fall.

The survey was administered by the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) and provided a four-fold assessment of the Lehigh climate. It assessed the perception of students, faculties, staff and administrators regarding our climate. how Lehigh supports diversity and justice; and the community’s experience of insensitive or derogatory language, as well as discrimination and harassment.

Results comparable to similar universities

One benefit of managing the HEDS survey is the ability to view Lehigh’s results in the context of similar universities. When benchmarking provided by HEDS, Lehigh’s results from the responses to the four general indicators of the survey (campus climate for diversity and justice, institutional support for diversity and justice, insensitive or derogatory remarks, and experiences of discrimination or harassment) were consistent with those of others Institutions.

When asked about Lehigh’s general campus climate for diversity and equity, 76% of students, 78% of students, 66% of faculties and 78% of staff / administrators said they were “general” to “very satisfied”. Students, faculties, and staff reported lower levels of satisfaction with the campus experience / environment in terms of diversity (51-71%), sense of community (63-72%), and the feeling of all community members (40-60%).

Differences below the surface

A closer look at the data shows that some members of the Lehigh community experience the university’s campus climate differently depending on their individual identity. For example, men see more institutional support for diversity and justice than women and non-binary individuals. In addition, US citizens of color hear more insensitive / derogatory remarks than international people, non-binary people hear more insensitive or derogatory remarks than men and women LGBTQIA + Individuals hear less sensitive / derogatory remarks than heterosexual people.

“Although the data suggest general satisfaction with the campus climate, we recognize that there are differences when you break them down by factors such as gender, race, sexual orientation and other identities,” said Donald Outing, vice president of justice and community. These differences identify the work that remains to be done, and we remain committed to that work. “

“The results of the HEDS 2020 survey provide a basis for us to measure our progress,” added Outing. “We plan to give it every other spring so we can see changes over time.”

The survey for 2020 was originally supposed to start in March but has been delayed by the pandemic. The response rates varied greatly depending on the category: 11% for undergraduate students, 15% for undergraduate students, 36% for the faculty and 49% for staff / administrators.

More detailed results of the survey are available with this link.

Hillary Kwiatek’s story

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