Workplace Climate Survey

Download: Workplace Climate Survey Report (967K PDF)

The College of Science conducted a Workplace Climate Survey in the first part of the 2016 fall semester. This important activity was designed to gather information that can help us to identify existing strengths and to make the workplace fairer, more equitable and more inclusive.

Confidential, online questionnaires were sent to all College of Science faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students by the University of Michigan ADVANCE program, a National Science Foundation-funded program to promote diversity in institutional workplaces.

We elected to ask the University of Michigan ADVANCE program to administer the survey and to collect and analyze the data, given the program’s extensive experience and the benefit of confidentiality gained by partnering with an organization outside of the College of Science and the University of Arizona. These questionnaires have been in use for 10 years and have been administered to almost 90 units at the University of Michigan and elsewhere. 

1. If the University of Arizona sent the emails with the private urls, can't the UA reverse engineer my identity? Also, how is my identity protected by the University of Michigan?

Although the email link was sent from a University of Arizona email account, the survey and associated data are stored on a server at the University of Michigan. No one at the University of Arizona has access to the data. Once a survey was submitted the unique link was inactivated and will not link to the survey responses.

2. What happened after the survey ended?

It took several months for the University of Michigan ADVANCE researchers to aggregate the data and write a detailed narrative summary. To help preserve anonymity, the survey responses were not broken down by department or unit and were only grouped by the four broad employment categories (faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students). In January 2017, Dean Ruiz formed a Workplace Climate Committee. Members were selected based on recommendations of department heads and other groups in the college, including the College of Science Staff Advisory Council (COSSAC) and the Associate Graduate Council for the College of Science (AGCCS). The 21 members of the committee are drawn from all departments and from all four employee groups. The committee is chaired by Tricia Serio, Molecular and Cellular Biology Head, and Chris Impey, College of Science Associate Dean.

3. What is the College of Science doing now?

The college received the report on the survey from the University of Michigan the first week in February, and the Workplace Climate Committee had its first meeting two days later. Committee members and department heads received copies of the report, but it has not yet been distributed beyond these groups. The Workplace Climate Committee met again the first week of March to brainstorm on how to set priorities from the voluminous material in the report and to develop a plan of action moving forward.

4. When will the results be shared?

We want this process to be open, transparent and inclusive. Dean Ruiz and the committee co-chairs will hold a Town Hall for all employees in the College of Science on Wednesday, April 19 at 4 p.m. in Room 204 of the Henry Koffler Building. This will be a forum to share initial reactions from the committee and to hear from you. The report will be made public around this time. We are developing a means for you to give comments and feedback to the committee, but you can also contact members directly: their names, job titles, email addresses and departments are at the bottom of this page. You are also welcome to contact Dean Ruiz directly at with any questions or concerns.

5. Why aren't the results being collated at the departmental level?

To ensure confidentiality and to avoid small sample sizes for individual groups, the survey results will be analyzed at the level of the college only.

6. Why now? Is this in response to a specific incident?

The decision to assess the workplace climate is not a response to a specific incident, but developed from our interest in and dedication to maintaining and advancing an inclusive and supportive environment for faculty, staff and students within the College of Science.

7. Why aren't undergraduate students being surveyed?

Undergraduate students are an important group in our community, but their experiences extend beyond the College on this campus to a far greater extent than the groups we intend to survey within the College. We will defer to university-level initiatives to assess the climate for undergraduate students campus-wide.

If you have more questions or concerns about the survey and the Workplace Climate Committee, please contact:

Lee Ryan
Co-chair, Workplace Climate Committe 
Department Head, Psychology

Brad Story
Co-chair, Workplace Climate Committee
Associate Head, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences



Associate Graduate Council for the College of Science
Nicolette Brown (also listed below for Molecular and Cellular Biology)
Doctoral Student   

Astronomy/ Steward Observatory
Don McCarthy          
Astronomer, Steward Observatory
Lecturer, Astronomy

Kelly Merrill                
Project Coordinator, Steward Observatory

Chemistry and Biochemistry
John Pollard  
Associate Professor of Practice

College of Science
Mari Jensen
Senior Science Writer/ Public Information Officer

College of Science Staff Advisory Council
Malik Hawkins (also Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Systems Administrator

Computer Science
Michelle Strout
Professor, Computer Science

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Anna Dornhaus
Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cristian Palacios
Doctoral Student

Flandrau Science Center
Noël Hensley
Program Coordinator

Alicia Saposnik
Program Coordinator, Senior

Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
Erma Santander                    
Administrative Associate

Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
Soumaya Belmecheri
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
Tom Zega
Associate Professor

Gijs Mulders  
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Angie Gonzalez
Doctoral Student

Molecular and Cellular Biology
Nicolette Brown (also listed above for Associate Graduate Council for the College of Science)
Doctoral Student 

Jennifer Lawrence    
Manager, Business-Finance

Gardie Lueders
Graduate Program Coordinator

Matthias Mehl

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Cass Faux    
Clinical Associate Professor          

Outside member – Office of Academic Affairs
Laura Hunter  
Associate Diversity Officer/ Coordinator, Faculty Development  

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