Chief Diversity Officer urges climate survey responses

Mercedes Ohlen, Staff Writer

Chief Diversity Officer Anneliese Singh is urging students, faculty and staff to complete the EDI Survey in an effort to understand discrimination and harassment on campus. (Rahima Olatinwo)

Tulane University’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is urging students to take a climate survey to help the administration gauge student experience on campus. The survey is also intended to provide data that explains the EDI climate for students, faculty and staff and aims to understand why and how discrimination and harassment happen at Tulane. 

Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development and Chief Diversity Officer Anneliese Singh said the survey is an important way to understand issues that affect campus. 

“Our student body is highly engaged, obviously very intelligent and very passionate and committed to EDI issues. So we want to hear their voice,” Singh said.

The last climate survey was in 2001, but Singh said laying out a five year plan is necessary for this type of data analysis.

“Getting on a regular, robust climate survey practice is really important for EDI and racial equity work,” she said. “So what we’d like to do is rerun this big survey every five years.”

The school will not share results and subsequent action plans of the survey until Fall of 2023. It will survey students, faculty and staff. Because of the large number of answers anticipated, Tulane is utilizing a third party consulting vendor, The Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium, to analyze data.

After analyzing the data, the Office of EDI will compare results to other universities and establish focus groups with those who are under-represented.

“So much of EDI work and racial equity work is to build trust in our community,” Singh said. “The main reason we are a university is to serve students. And so when we have higher numbers of students participating in the EDI climate survey, we’re gonna get a stronger sense of what people’s everyday lived experiences are on our campus.” 

Singh feels that this is an important and necessary opportunity for the Tulane community to voice their opinions.

“I’m an alum. I came to Tulane as an undergrad transfer student. I wish there was a survey like this when I was a student,” Singh said.

The survey is available from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17. All students, faculty and staff have received a link to the survey via their Tulane email. Paper versions of the survey in English and Spanish are also available upon request and to staff who do not have access to computers during their workday.

Participants can enter a raffle to win prizes like Saints or Pelicans tickets, a free parking pass or an iPad, among other items, upon completion of the survey. 

The EDI department will also host tabling events in the next week, including the upcoming football game against the University of Central Florida Knights. 

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