Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 28.04
Liaison Jodi Kennedy
Submission Date July 5, 2022

STARS v2.2

Georgia Southern University
PA-6: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.88 / 1.00 Patrice Jackson
Chief Diversity Officer
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

In November 2020, Georgia Southern University completed a Campus Climate Survey facilitated by the Office of Inclusive Excellence receiving feedback from students, faculty, and staff. The Campus Climate Survey was designed to better understand the community’s perception of diversity, equity, and inclusion specifically related to the following topics:
General climate
Commitment to Inclusive Excellence
Mental Health
Programming and Resources
Discriminatory Instances
Value and Voice, and
Recent Consolidation.
Survey Instrument. The Climate Study Committee was led by Dr. TaJuan Wilson and consisted of faculty, staff and graduate students who reviewed several drafts of the initial survey questions to ensure contextual appropriateness for Georgia Southern needs. The survey was broken down into three constituencies - faculty, staff, and students - to provide a clear picture of unique campus experiences. The faculty survey contained a total of 45 questions, including 13 demographic questions, 4 conditional response questions, 25 quantitative questions, and 3 free response questions. The staff survey contained a total of 39 questions, including 12 demographic questions, 3 conditional response questions, 21 quantitative questions, and 3 free response questions. Lastly, the student survey contained a total of 53 questions, including 14 demographic questions, 3 conditional questions, 29 quantitative questions, and 7 free response questions.
Incentives. As an incentive for completing the assessment, eligible student participants were offered an opportunity to be automatically entered into a random drawing for one of five year-long parking permits or one of two iPads. The winners have been selected and announced.
Distribution and Marketing. The survey was initially emailed to all campus constituents on November 3, 2020, followed by multiple reminders to non-responders. Aside from direct communication, the survey was advertised via lawn signage, digital signage, MyGeorgiaSouthern injection pages, and through collaboration on promotional efforts with various departments and within the University. The survey completion deadline was extended for students to January 15th. The method of distribution was converted from individual links, to one general link that was more accessible. This resulted in an uptick of 9% in responses.
Limitations. The climate surveys were administered as three separate surveys 1) Student Survey, 2) Staff Survey 3) Faculty Survey. Each version was developed in order to accommodate the vastly different perspectives needed from these populations. Because the surveys were developed and conducted separately, while comparisons are possible, exact one-to-one comparisons of questions and responses are not available across the board. An additional limitation is in the response rates for faculty and staff. Both were in excess of the 20% target preferred in order to extrapolate in terms of statistical significance. The student response rate fell below the target. Given the size of this population (over 26,000 students) this is not as problematic as it otherwise may be. Enough students responded to provide a representative sample of the overall student population. Though several communications strategies were developed and proposed, limits on availability of resources (screen takeovers, text messaging campaigns), likely hampered efforts to reach students.

Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of employees and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs, and initiatives:

Georgia Southern University had a total participation of 5,219 for an overall response rate of 25%. Only surveys that were at least 60% complete were included in the final dataset for analysis. Respondent rates by constituency vary: 40% (n=521) for Faculty and Administrators, 21% (n=872) for Staff (31% when isolated only for full-time Staff), 14% (n=3,727) for Students. These numbers reflect an increase in participation from the 2018 Pulse Study for faculty and staff where participation came to 32% (n=445) of Faculty and 28% (n=634) of Staff. Student participation remained fairly consistent as 15% (n=3,429) originally participated.

As the surveys were specific to each population, we will share results in the same way.

Students shared the following as strengths of Georgia Southern University:
General campus climate
Classroom environment, and
Strong awareness of mental health resources
Students shared the following as opportunities for growth:
Perceived discriminatory instances and hostile environments
Poor perceptions around racism and voice
Availability and awareness of resources
Mental Health, and
Lack of intentional exposure to different backgrounds.

Faculty members shared the following as strengths:
Community interaction
Classroom environment
Support from supervisors, and
Strong awareness of resources.
Faculty members shared the following as opportunities:
Dissatisfaction with overall campus environment
Perceived sense of value and voice
Professional growth
Perceived discriminatory instances and hostile environments, and
Stress factors among faculty.

Staff members shared the following strengths of Georgia Southern University:
Community interaction
Strong awareness of resources
Discriminatory instances and mental health
Growing interest in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Staff members shared the following opportunities:
Dissatisfaction of overall campus environment
Perceived sense of value and voice
Job satisfaction, and
Perceived discriminatory instances.

The results were used to create the 2020-2024 Inclusive Excellence Action Plan where each Division is engaged in quarterly updates (https://president.georgiasouthern.edu/inclusive-excellence/2020-2024-action-plan/).

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

The Chief Diversity Officer held virtual meetings where the results were shared with students, faculty, and staff. A recording of one of these presentations lives on the University intranet so any student, faculty, or staff member may review at any time.
The results are linked to the University Intranet where all students, faculty, and staff have access at all times.

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary (upload):

Website URL where the diversity and equity assessment report or summary is publicly posted:

Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity assessment efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.