Almost one-quarter of University of California system students, staff and faculty members say they have personally encountered some exclusionary, intimidating, offensive or hostile conduct while on campus, and 9 percent indicated that such negative experiences had interfered with their abilities to study or work, a new university system survey says.
Last week’s release of the highly-anticipated Campus Climate Study has provided important data on what officials describe as the UC system’s most comprehensive effort ever to measure the social climate at its 10 campuses and major off-campus facilities, such as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The study was based on roughly 104,000 responses from a survey pool of more than 386,000 UC students and employees asked between 2012 and 2013 to complete a 93-item questionnaire.
UC officials commissioned the study, which includes individual UC campus reports, as part of a campaign to promote tolerance and respect in the wake of a series of racially and ethnically charged incidents that include a KKK hood and noose being found at UC San Diego in 2010, complaints about bias from UCLA faculty and staff in 2012, and ongoing tensions between Palestinian supporters and Jewish students at a number of schools.
“We seek to create and nurture in every corner of the University … an ethos of respect for others and inclusion of all. Such an ethos need not undermine the spirit of free speech and acceptance of differing ideas and attitudes that have long been the University’s hallmark,” wrote UC President Janet Napolitano and other UC leaders in a letter introducing the survey results. <Read more.>