Faculty and Staff/AAP Cultural Climate Surveys Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did Georgetown administer a survey on cultural climate?

In 2020, the University conducted its first-ever cultural climate surveys of undergraduate and graduate and professional students on our Main Campus (including Georgetown University in Qatar), Medical Center and Law Center. The survey data have helped the University to identify areas of strength and areas of concern for student inclusion and belonging in our community. 

For example, survey findings helped inspire and inform the creation of the Learning, Equity and Pedagogy (LEAP) program in the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) to provide faculty with pedagogical skills to enhance their approaches to teaching and learning in their classrooms. Faculty across the Main Campus have also revised their respective syllabi to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion principles into their classroom discussions, their course materials, and their selection of guest speakers.

The Faculty and Staff/AAP Cultural Climate Surveys similarly seek to assess the experiences of our faculty and staff/AAPs to help inform how we can enhance and build meaningful programs and support systems to ensure an inclusive environment for all members of our community. Data collected from the surveys will be used as a baseline to gauge where Georgetown currently stands on our mission of fostering a diverse and inclusive campus environment, against which we will measure our related efforts over the coming years. Appropriate steps will be taken to address employment practices and workplace modes of behavior to ensure consistency with our Jesuit values. Future climate surveys will help us understand the impact of those efforts.

How was the survey administered?

The survey was administered electronically by Georgetown’s Office of Assessment and Decision Support (OADS) in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. The survey was open from October 12 to November 9, 2022.

Who was invited to complete the survey?

All full-time and part-time faculty and staff/AAPs were invited to participate in the survey. Student workers, sponsored university associates (SUAs), clinical workers not employed by Georgetown University, visiting faculty/researchers not employed by Georgetown University, and contingent workers employed through nextSource or another non-Georgetown employer were not included in the survey population even if they had an individual record in GMS.

Reports and summary presentations include details about both faculty and staff/AAP response rates.

How were the survey instruments developed?

The survey instruments were originally developed by the National Institute for Transformation & Equity (NITE) for higher education institutions. The instruments were customized for Georgetown University in partnership with the Cultural Climate Survey Advisory Committee that was well represented with faculty and staff/AAPs from Main Campus, Medical Center, and Law Center, led by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer. Georgetown-specific questions were added to address issues not covered in the original questionnaire, in consultation with the Office of Assessment and Decision Support (OADS) and the Cultural Climate Survey Advisory Committee.

How were the demographic categories and other terms selected in the survey?

We received helpful feedback from many constituents on campus about the wording of the survey, including categories for demographic information such as sexual orientation, gender identity, race and ethnicity, as well as disability status among others. We appreciate that there is a wide range of terminology in these areas, and that preferences can differ. The use or omission of certain terminology does not indicate an endorsement of any particular term over another.

What topics were explored in the survey?

The survey covered a variety of topics, including:

  • Sense of Belonging and Overall Satisfaction
  • General Cultural Community Experiences and Perceptions – Faculty and staff/AAPs’ perceptions and experiences regarding collaborative culture, connection with people with similar cultural backgrounds, cultural community engagement, cultural validation, and supportive cultural environment.
  • Institutional Diversity – Faculty and staff/AAPs’ on-campus experiences with safety, prejudice, and discrimination, as well as perceptions on Georgetown University’s commitment to diversity and responsiveness to campus climate problems were assessed.
  • Growth of Knowledge and Skills – Faculty and staff/AAPs’ perceived growth in professional skills, leadership and advocacy, cultural competence, and student support since joining Georgetown were measured.
  • Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (for faculty only) – Experiences of using culturally relevant teaching strategies and culturally relevant capacity building or training within the past year at Georgetown were examined. 
  • Mentoring (for faculty only) – Mentoring experiences were assessed.
  • Georgetown-Specific Questions – Faculty and staff/AAPs’ experiences related to workplace culture, interaction with others, current needs, and awareness of Georgetown resources were identified.

Was the survey confidential? Who has the data? Could my data be identified?

Yes, the survey was confidential. Your responses will be kept confidential, and all personal information such as your name, ID, email, and IP address were permanently removed from the data file before any data analysis began. Your data will never be used in a way that could identify you. The de-identified data are securely stored in the Georgetown University Box system with complete data encryption, with access restricted to authorized personnel, including the Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-PIs, solely for the purpose of data analysis. 

Is this survey approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Georgetown’s IRB committee reviewed the study protocols (ID: STUDY00001625) and assigned a determination of Not Human Research. Therefore IRB approval is not required for this study.

How does Georgetown engage on issues of diversity and inclusion?

The Georgetown community thrives by sharing our extraordinary range of life experiences and learning across differences. We recognize that race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability status and other identities uniquely impact the experience of each employee.

The mission of IDEAA is to promote a deep understanding and appreciation among the diverse members of the University community to result in justice and equality, as well as to lead efforts to create an inclusive academic and work environment. President DeGioia has designated the Vice President, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer to not only lead and promote institutional diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, foster a climate of inclusion in the community, and take proactive measures to ensure that members of our community feel a sense of belonging, but also to collaborate with key stakeholders including members of our University community so that everyone can thrive.