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University-wide climate survey needs your voice

Your Voice, Your UW - University Climate Survey LogoAs I shared in April, next week we will launch a university-wide climate survey to examine the experiences of students, faculty and staff across the UW. This survey will be a powerful tool in our collective work to make our University a more equitable working and learning environment that allows everyone to reach their full potential. But this tool will only be as powerful as you make it through your participation.

This is your university and your voice matters. Your candid, thoughtful answers to the survey questions will inform how the UW moves forward in making positive, lasting changes. The survey will cover a broad range of experiences, from questions about your sense of inclusion and belonging on campus, to questions on sexual harassment and sexual assault. The greater the response, the more we can understand how to improve the climate on our campuses, however the survey is completely voluntary and your decision to participate or decline is yours alone — opting out will not affect employment or academic records.

The confidential survey will launch on Tuesday, October 8, when you will receive an email with a link to the live survey on The survey will remain open until Friday, November 8, at 11:59 p.m. PST. The survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete and is compatible with common desktop and mobile browsers, as long as you have JavaScript updated and enabled.

Because we want to encourage every UW employee to participate, taking the survey will be considered release time and employees do not need to use accrued or unpaid time off in order to take the survey during their work day. And because of the sensitive and personal topics discussed, confidentiality is assured. You will not be asked to provide identifying data like your EID/Student ID number or your NetID. The survey is hosted on a non-UW server and your IP address will be stripped from the survey when you submit it. The survey is also available in paper format on request.

We will not be able to track whether you have started the survey. This means that you must finish and submit it without closing the browser window. We recommend budgeting time to complete the entire survey at once, but if you do need to step away, be sure to keep the browser window open and connected to the web until you complete the full survey. You can skip any questions that make you uncomfortable and still submit the survey, and there will be a content alert at the section that asks people about experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

After completing the survey, you will be taken to a page where you may choose to participate in a prize drawing. You will need to provide your UW email address to opt-in, but this information will not be linked to your survey responses. You can find detailed information about confidentiality and data security in the privacy and data security section of our climate survey FAQ.

The survey development was led by a working group of 29 UW students, faculty, and staff representing Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma, and is being facilitated by Rankin & Associates Consulting, which has conducted climate studies at over 190 institutions nationwide. We look forward to sharing initial results in spring 2020, with action plans to follow later in 2020.

I am excited to take this next step in our ongoing work to ensure that the UW is a place where everyone can thrive, and I thank you in advance for your contribution to this critical effort.