College Designing Community Study for Fall Term


Dartmouth is conducting a comprehensive study of faculty, staff, and student views about the living, learning, and working environment of the College through a study that will include a specially tailored survey to be launched in fall 2015.

The campus survey portion of the Dartmouth community study is the second of two surveys announced by President Hanlon when he launched his Moving Dartmouth Forward initiative in January. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

The campus survey portion of the Dartmouth community study is the second of two surveys announced by President Hanlon when he launched his Moving Dartmouth Forward initiative in January. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Denise Anthony, vice provost for academic initiatives and professor of sociology, chairs the working group that will guide the study, which includes student, staff, administration, and faculty representatives.

“The aim is to help Dartmouth better understand our community: to examine the ways we both do and don’t foster an inclusive environment encouraging excellence and engagement from all, and to identify the barriers that can prevent all from feeling welcome, valued, and heard,” says Anthony.

“This is an opportunity for each member of our community to share their insights and concerns about important aspects of the life of the College with the shared goal of becoming the best that we can be in scholarship, in teaching and learning, and in our collective life at Dartmouth,” President Phil Hanlon ’77 says.

The College has hired Rankin & Associates, a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm that has worked with hundreds of colleges, universities, and organizations to assess the broad range of factors that influence community climate. The firm will design a Dartmouth-specific survey in consultation with the Dartmouth Community Study Working Group. Starting in May, Rankin will be on campus to conduct focus groups that will offer insights to the working group and will help inform the survey development.

Susan Rankin, principal at Rankin & Associates, specializes in assessing the components that make up the living, learning, and working climate on college campuses. She has published widely on the topic, defining campus climate as “the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators, and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential.”

While the College has undertaken many separate surveys of faculty, students, and staff over the years, this is the first to reach out to all groups in one effort.

“This is the most comprehensive effort to assess the campus climate the College has ever undertaken,” says Anthony.

The working group will meet through the summer, and the survey will be administered after the start of the fall 2015 term, Anthony says. The results will be delivered to the working group the following spring, which will issue a report to the president and provost and to the Dartmouth community, she says.

The working group members are:

  • Denise Anthony, chair, vice provost for academic initiatives and a professor of sociology
  • Alicia Betsinger, associate provost for institutional research
  • Oscar Cornejo Jr. ’17
  • Evelynn M. Ellis, vice president for institutional diversity and equity
  • Spencer Hatch, PhD student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Leslie P. Henderson, senior associate dean for faculty affairs, associate dean for diversity and inclusion, and a professor of physiology and neurobiology at the Geisel School of Medicine
  • Punam Keller, the Charles Henry Jones Third Century Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business
  • Reese C. Kelly, interim director of the Office of Pluralism and Leadership; director of the Center for Gender and Student Engagement and a lecturer in women’s and gender studies
  • Heather Lindkvist, Title IX coordinator and Clery Act compliance officer
  • Lorin Parker, human resources director for training and development, and the interim director for employee relations
  • Israel Reyes, an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese

Nariah Broadus, director of strategic initiatives in the provost’s office, is assisting the committee as project manager.

Bill Platt