The University of California, Davis, scored high marks in a recent systemwide survey meant to gauge campus climate across the UC system.
Believed to be the largest survey of its kind ever conducted in American higher education, the ultimate goal is for all UC campuses to be better equipped in ongoing efforts to promote an environment where all are treated fairly and with dignity.
UC Davis by far had the largest number of participants in the survey with 18,466 completed. In addition, the majority of respondents reported positively about the overall campus climate as well as in their academic and work-life experiences.
- 80 percent of respondents said they were “comfortable” or “very comfortable” with the campus climate at UC Davis (13 percent responded “neither comfortable nor uncomfortable,” and 7 percent responded “uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable”).
- 76 percent of undergraduate students, 82 percent of graduate/professional students and 89 percent of faculty and postdoctoral students were “comfortable” or “very comfortable” with the climate in their classes.
- 80 percent of respondents thought UC Davis values a diverse faculty and 82 percent a diverse staff.
“The findings from the survey make it clear that UC Davis is an institution that values and promotes civility and mutual respect,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “But the reality is that even one incident of bias or discrimination, or one member of our community feeling unwelcomed is too many.”
Chancellor Katehi said she is committed to using the information for positive change. As an initial step, the Local Campus Climate Working Group (LCCWG) will be assembled and lead the various committees across the university focused on campus climate and diversity issues to set priorities and create action plans. The LCCWG will be led by Rahim Reed, associate executive vice chancellor for campus community relations, and David Acosta, associate vice chancellor of diversity and inclusion at the UC Davis Health System. Forums will also be held to engage the campus community in responding to the survey results.
The campus has already instituted important programs aimed at creating a supportive and affirming campus environment. Launched in fall 2010, the Hate-Free Campus Initiative (HFCI) works to proactively engage the entire campus community in educational programs, training and activities designed to confront and stop acts of hate, foster a greater awareness and appreciation for diversity, promote civility and respect in our interactions, and support our campus Principles of Community. Likewise, this year Chancellor Katehi began the Human Equity Initiative, which will help to guide and inform all of the university’s diversity and inclusion efforts by emphasizing the unique experiences and talents of each member of the campus community with the goal of creating an environment that allows all to be creative, productive and excel.
UC Davis Chief Compliance Officer Wendi Delmendo has also assumed the role of lead discrimination officer for the campus. Delmendo will ensure an appropriate response is made to all reports of perceived acts of illegal discrimination, bias and harassment involving faculty, students and staff. She will work with staff from the Harassment and Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program as well as administrators in Academic Affairs, Student Judicial Affairs and Human Resources to develop a comprehensive program that will include advising complainants about complaint processes, accepting complaints, carrying out investigations, recommending informal resolutions, and, when necessary, referring cases to the relevant departments for discipline. Working with the Office of Campus Community Relations, Delmendo has also created a one-stop website regarding policies and processes covering discrimination, bias, harassment and other diversity issues.
About UC Davis
For more than 100 years, UC Davis has been one place where people are bettering humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, over 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.