Faculty, Students, Staff Urged to Join in Community Study

9/23/2015
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Provost Carolyn Dever is urging all Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff to take part in a community survey that is set to go live next month.

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All survey responses are anonymous, says Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives Denise Anthony, who chairs the Dartmouth Community Study working group. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

“The view of every single member of our community about the learning, working, and living climate at Dartmouth is vital to our effort to ensure this is a place where all can thrive,” Dever says.

The online survey will go live Oct. 6. Participants must fill out survey in one session, as the system does not allow people to pause and then complete the survey at a later date. It should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete the survey.

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All responses are anonymous, says Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives Denise Anthony, who chairs the Dartmouth Community Study working group.

“The administration is prepared to really listen to all the voices that make up our community,” says Anthony, a professor of sociology. “We want to hear people’s thoughts on what is working and what isn’t. This is an important moment in the work of making Dartmouth more inclusive so that we can better accomplish our educational mission.”

The survey is part of the Moving Dartmouth Forward initiative, announced in January by President Phil Hanlon ’77 to address high-risk behavior on campus and transform the student experience.

The working group, made up of faculty, staff, and students, collaborated with Rankin & Associates to design the Dartmouth-specific questions after Rankin consulted with a number of focus groups on campus.

Rankin, which specializes in institutional climate assessments, will receive and compile all the Dartmouth data. The information is delivered to the firm without names or other identifying information. In spring 2016, the College will share Rankin’s final report—and a series of recommendations from the working group—as the Dartmouth Community Study. It will include a list of actions the administration could implement right away.

“This report is intended to help guide actions and decision-making going forward,” says Anthony. “Both President Hanlon and Provost Dever are committed to using the results to inform policy.”

The community study is not connected to the Association of American Universities (AAU) survey on sexual assault and sexual misconduct, the results of which, for Dartmouth and 26 other institutions, were released earlier this week. Hanlon and Dever have appointed Professor of Economics Bruce Sacerdote to chair a data-analysis committee to examine the AAU survey results and compare them with the results of other surveys on this topic—including the College’s community survey.

The community survey will be available online from Oct. 6 through Nov. 3. Early next month, faculty, students, and staff will receive an email message urging them to participate and inviting them to follow a link to the online survey.

Participants must identify themselves as a student, faculty member or  staff member, but can decline to answer other questions. To protect confidentiality, all responses must be submitted in a single session and a minimum number of questions must be answered. All responses will be confidential, and no preparation is needed in order to take part.

Visit the community study webpage for more information.