Friday 3rd December 2021
As part of its strategic diversity plan, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a survey last spring to assess the college’s institutional climate of inclusion and recently shared the results in 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, Assistant 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 Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.
The presentation at City Hall focused on the different experiences among PVM family members of different identities and how the information gathered from the survey will guide college activities going forward. At the beginning of the presentation, Dr. Parker explained the purpose of the survey, stating, “It is intended to be … a ruler by which we can understand the psychological and organizational climate.” Craig pointed out that people experience the college climate in different ways across all identities, groups, and roles.
Dr. Parker then checked the data from the survey. First, she went through response rates and demographic information. Dr. Parker said the sample of survey responses were representative of the college with no groups being significantly overestimated or underestimated. The results were analyzed using a model of the organizational climate for diversity, equality and inclusion, which exists on three primary levels:
- politics – Leadership engagement and actions in PVM
- Practice – Implementation of guidelines in day-to-day business
- experience – Individual perception of interactions with others in PVM
Dr. Parker said the overall policy and practice survey showed positive perceptions of the College’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) efforts and access to opportunity. These moods were comparable across all groups. Some differences in survey responses emerged when respondents were asked how quorum resources were fairly distributed.
Dr. Parker went on to say that responses were varied across the individual experience survey items. The number of people who said they felt respected in the PVM community differs depending on their role within the university and their identity. Overall, 44% said they experienced or observed bias, and this rate was higher for certain subgroups. Aspects of bias that emerged in the results included factors influencing women and minority identity. There were also concerns about the respect of those with more power or status. In addition, it seemed to the participants that there was a lack of care and inclusion of PVM members with disabilities, learning differences or health challenges.
Dr. Parker said the survey results showed that individual interactions determine the climate of DEI in PVM. Dr. Craig then announced that the college will use this information to develop programs and guidelines aimed at improving the state of these individual interactions. She emphasized the importance of personal responsibility to be respectful and inclusive in all interactions. “With this information now available, the PVM community will only get stronger,” emphasized Dr. Craig.
Hailee Rolofson, PVM Communications Intern | firstname.lastname@example.org