Purdue Veterinary Medicine Shares Insights from College Climate Survey at Town Hall
As part of its Diversity Strategic Plan, the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a survey last spring to gauge the college’s institutional climate of inclusiveness, and recently shared the results at a virtual town hall open to all members of the PVM family. Dr. Latonia Craig, PVM assistant dean for inclusive excellence, and Dr. Loran Carleton Parker, associate director of Purdue’s Evaluation and Learning Research Center (ELRC) presented highlights from the survey report. The ELRC helped develop the survey and analyzed the results as part of an evaluation program for the current Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan.
The town hall presentation focused on the differing experiences between PVM family members of different identities and how the information gathered from the survey will guide the college’s actions in the future. As the presentation began, Dr. Parker described the purpose of the survey, explaining that, “It is designed to be… a ruler that we can utilize to understand the psychological and organizational climate.” Dr. Craig pointed out that people experience the climate within the college in a variety of ways across all identities, groups, and roles.
Dr. Parker then reviewed the data from the survey. First, she went over the response rates and demographic information. Dr. Parker said that the survey response sample was representative of the college, with no groups significantly overestimated or underestimated. The results were analyzed using a model of organizational climate for diversity, equity, and inclusion comprised of three primary levels:
- Policy – Commitment and action by leaders in PVM
- Practice – Implementation of policies in day-to-day operations
- Experience – Individual perceptions of interactions with others in PVM
Dr. Parker said that overall, in the areas of policy and practice, the survey showed positive perceptions of the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts and access to opportunities. These sentiments were comparable across all groups. Some variance in survey responses started to appear when participants were asked about how equitably resources are distributed in the college.
Dr. Parker went on to explain that the most varied responses appeared in survey items related to individual experiences. The number of people who indicated they feel respected in the PVM community differs by role within the college and identity. In total, 44% reported experiencing or observing bias, and this rate was higher for certain subgroups. Aspects of bias that emerged in the results included factors affecting women and minority identities. There also was concern regarding respect from those with more power or status. Additionally, it appeared to participants that there is a lack of care for and inclusion of PVM members with disabilities, learning differences, or health challenges.
Dr. Parker said the survey results indicated that individual interactions drive the climate of DEI in PVM. Dr. Craig then shared that the college will be using this information to develop programs and policies aimed at improving the state of these individual interactions. She stressed the importance of personal responsibility in being respectful and inclusive in all interactions. “The PVM community will only grow stronger with this information now available,” Dr. Craig emphasized.
Writer(s): Hailee Rolofson, PVM Communications Intern | firstname.lastname@example.org