Monday, January, 23rd, 2023 From Provost General Announcements News and Events
Dear Tufts community members,
As we begin this new semester, reconnect, and move forward from the unnerving threats we have recently experienced, our commitment to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) and anti-racism goals at Tufts stands firm.
Today we are sharing initial findings from our first university-wide DEI Campus Climate survey, which was conducted this past spring. Nearly 5,200 students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty (including adjunct faculty), and staff participated in the anonymous survey, making the response rate just over 29%.
Survey goals: Tufts community members created this survey collaboratively as a tool that would inform and further our anti-racism commitment to Acknowledge, Commit, and Transform (ACT).
Initial findings: In many cases, survey respondents from historically excluded and underrepresented groups reported less positive experiences than their peers. While most respondents reported satisfaction with the campus climate, capturing the differences helps us quantify and clarify what many of us experience or hear anecdotally: at Tufts, identity, role, income, and ability all impact experience.
Our own experiences and backgrounds may shape our reactions to these findings. For many of us, the data is consistent with lived or observed experience, while for others, the findings may be surprising or enlightening.
At Tufts, we aim to create an environment that welcomes and supports community members of all backgrounds, identities, abilities, beliefs, and perspectives. Based on what we already know from the initial survey findings, however, we need to acknowledge that we fall short of our expectations in some key areas. We must work together, with support and sponsorship from leaders across the university, to achieve the kind of equitable, inclusive experience every Tufts community member deserves.
More analysis needed: The Office of the Vice Provost for DEIJ will partner with an external data research and assessment firm, OIR, and Tufts faculty experts to do further analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data collection and to draft a full report by fall semester.
What’s next: The Provost’s Office has shared the survey data and OIR’s initial analysis with the schools’ deans and will continue to work closely with them, their assistant and associate deans of diversity and inclusion (ADDIs), and with other school and unit leaders to develop next steps.
In the meantime, this message is the beginning of more ongoing, consistent communication to come about the survey data and the university’s ongoing DEIJ work.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the DEI Campus Climate survey, and to those who helped shape and shepherd the survey instrument and data analysis. We are especially grateful for the continued patience of our entire community as we finish our analysis and prepare a more comprehensive report of findings. This is the first time Tufts has conducted a university-wide climate survey like this and our goal is to ensure that every aspect is done thoughtfully and done right.
This is just one step we are taking on our journey to address institutional inequities and to develop a more inclusive campus community. We look forward to the work ahead of us.
Caroline Attardo Genco
Provost and Senior Vice President ad interim