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Culture
Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

MSU Gathering Data to Assess Diversity, Climate

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Missouri State University

With a climate survey at Missouri State University complete, consultants are now working to gauge the feelings of people in the community and on campus as part of a three-tiered study, according to President Clif Smart. 

The underlying piece, says Smart, is to learn what the school’s strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

“From disabled employees and how they interact within the university to African American students and their success or lack of success on campus, and a whole host of other kinds of issues as well,” Smart said.

DiversityWorks, Inc. consultants are sifting through the data from the survey, distributed earlier this year to faculty, staff and students. Smart says about 50 percent of employees took the anonymous survey, while 10 percent of students responded.

Participants were asked to rate from strongly agree to strong disagree questions like “Professors should be required to demonstrate and/or increase their competencies to effectively address issues of diversity in the classroom” and “students should be required to demonstrate and/or increase their competencies to effectively respond to issues of diversity on campus/in the world.”

Smart says community members and university officials worked with consultants on the survey.

“Essentially functioned as an advisory committee to brainstorm and workshop the specific questions that ultimately were asked. I would guess probably 50 plus people had input into the final version.”

The survey results will be a piece of what comes out of the final report, which is expected sometime next spring.

Smart says based on those results, officials will evaluate what changes, if any, are needed in regards to resources for student programs, recruitment strategies, and human resource and disciplinary policies.

Hear the entire conversation with President Clif Smart, as part of our monthly program Engaging the Community, by clicking play above.