Methodology

This study was designed to gather data and to stimulate thought on these issues among members of the campus community. Thus we decided to distribute it fairly widely, giving all employees and a large percentage of students the opportunity to express their views.

The survey instrument was prepared and revised by Professors Kathryn Ervin and Ellen Gruenbaum with comments from the Diversity Committee and others. It was designed to be short and usable by all categories to be surveyed--undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, faculty, and administrators--with all coded, quantifiable responses on one side and space for written comments on the other (see Appendix 1). Responses were anonymous.

We pursued a low-cost method of distribution of the questionnaires to students by requesting that the forms be filled out in classes. In order to ensure inclusion of students who are graduate and undergraduate, and who attend daytime and evening on both MWF and TTh, we prepared packets for every scheduled class in selected time slots on Tuesday and Wednesday of the survey week during Spring Quarter 1994. The instructors were requested to provide 5-10 minutes of class time for the survey, and President Evans supplied a cover letter to be read by the instructor requesting cooperation with the project (see Appendix 2). Instructors were to collect the responses, seal them in an envelope, and deliver them to drop boxes in the library.

Staff, faculty, and administrators were surveyed through their departments, but we seem to have missed many or most of the part-time faculty. These respondents were provided with envelopes for confidential replies.

Student coders were trained for inputting the quantitative responses. That data was processed by the Office of Institutional Research, and Dr. Ross Moran produced the tables used as the basis of the discussion of quantitative results in this report. The tables are reproduced in the Results section.

Once the coded responses were entered, the forms were sorted into packets for the written comments on questions 19-22 to be read by members of the Diversity Committee, both to educate ourselves about campus concerns and to begin to identify the major issues. Each reader was to tally the comments according to a loose outline of categories on a coding sheet prepared by Kathy Ervin and Ellen Gruenbaum, grouping the tallies by campus status (i.e. staff, faculty, etc.). The intention was that the coding would give us a rough idea of which were the most important issues people wanted to bring to our attention, but because there was no attempt to train coders or standardize responses, absolute numbers of responses could not be given. Instead, in this report we simply identified the types of comments according to their relative frequency.

Once the tallies were concatenated, Kathy Ervin, Ellen Gruenbaum, and Marjorie Akin prepared this report from the quantitative data and written comments. Qualitative statements were transcribed as initially written by students. In a few instances, minor modifications were made in order to facilitate reading.

A note on ethnic identification. In order to avoid the limitation of asking respondents to choose only one ethnic identification, since many of us have more than one or do not accept a particular designation, we allowed people to choose more than one ethnic identification if they wished. We knew that would mean that their responses would be included in two different categories, but the numbers were not so large as to distort the findings, particularly since this study did not attempt to meet strict scientific standards of sample selection. Table 1 shows the numbers of individuals who chose each of the major ethnic categories as well as the number who declined to choose the major categories and opted for a more specific (write-in) identification or none at all.

By comparing the numbers with those of other data sources on student demographics for the same quarter, we discovered that our category "Native American, American Indian" was apparently misunderstood. Although the designation "Native American, American Indian" was used by some Native American Indians, but also by a great many more people of various ethnic groups who wished to identify themselves by their place of birth ("native" Americans as differentiated from immigrants) rather than by their ethnic group. Most of these people would be classified by demographers as Euro-American, but some, and the number is not easy to determine, are African-American, Latino, and of other backgrounds. For these reasons, no summary is given of the Native American group's answers, as actual Native American Indians in this classification were outnumbered at least 2-to-1 by people with no such ethnic identification. In each of the tables summarizing responses to questions, we consider the category "Native American".

Of some 4,320 survey respondents, some 60 omitted any answer on the ethnicity question, 307 prefer no ethnic identification, and 172 chose a "more specific" identification, often along with one or more of the standard ethnic identifications listed on the form. No attempt is made to summarize their answers as groups. Since people were allowed to choose more than one ethnic identification, some responses are included in the tables under two different ethnic groups.

The summaries of the survey results are presented in two forms--quantitative and qualitative--corresponding to the two types of questions asked. The survey form provided information that allowed the surveys to be sorted by campus status (i.e. faculty, graduate or undergraduate student, administrator, or staff) and self-described ethnicity. Tables were prepared which summarize the responses, by ethnic group and by campus status, to each of the questions on the first page of the questionnaire. These tables are grouped at the end of this document.

We noted some striking differences among the various ethnic groups in answers to these questions, so we have summarized these quantitative questions by ethnicity first, including members of all campus statuses that identified themselves with that group. Following that we present the results by campus status. Moving on to the comments which people wrote, we present a summary of the pattern of responses to each of the open-ended questions (19-22) and selections from the comments of each status group.

The comments for each question were organized by ordering the various response categories by relative frequency (derived from the coding summaries.) Once the major concerns were identified, comments that articulated each concern were selected with a special effort to incorporate comments from the various ethnic groups. Recommendations are to be found at the conclusion of the report as a whole.

In general, there were numerous differences in responses between the different ethnic group categories and between the different campus status groups. In particular, the African-American group reported more problems and greater dissatisfaction than any other ethnic group on most questions. In comparing campus status groups, it was university personnel, especially staff, who reported the most problems. Not surprisingly, European-Americans reported the fewest problems.