To the Students, Faculty and Staff of the University of Nebraska System:
Today we are sharing with you the results of a system-wide climate survey that we initiated last fall in partnership with Gallup. This is the first in what will become a regular climate assessment so that over time we gain a meaningful understanding of our strengths, challenges, areas of progress and opportunities to do more to become a better place for all members of the University of Nebraska community to learn and work.
Complete results, broken down by campus, are available here. We thank the many of you who took time to complete the survey. With your input, we now have a valuable baseline on which we can – and will – build. Each of us, together with our leadership teams, is actively reviewing the data to inform our ongoing planning with regard to climate, the student experience, and our goal of becoming an employer of choice for all.
Gallup research reminds us that it’s important to identify and celebrate what we do well. In that vein, we’re pleased to see that strong majorities of our students, faculty and staff say they are treated with respect, well above national averages – suggesting that we have the right foundation in place for ensuring inclusive, welcoming, trustworthy campus communities.
We are also pleased that high shares of students say their instructors get them excited about learning, and that students say their University of Nebraska education is preparing them well for life after college. To us, this is evidence of the high quality of our faculty and staff and their commitment to our fundamental mission to educate Nebraska’s future leaders. Students also reported regular exposure to diverse people and ideas, and agreed they have opportunities to share their opinions in meaningful ways – both vital to our role as a forum for the robust and free exchange of ideas.
Survey results also point to opportunities for action. In particular:
- While faculty and staff report high levels of collaboration with their colleagues, they also indicate a desire for more advancement opportunities, particularly among our staff members; greater clarity around the vision for the future of the university and their role in achieving it; and more direct communication, including at the leadership levels.
- As is the case nationally during this period of unprecedented challenge, many of our colleagues report battling burnout, including higher shares of women..
- People of color, and our Black students and colleagues in particular, responded less favorably on some measures of inclusiveness and engagement. We are not an outlier nationally in this regard. Yet these results tell us that while we can be proud of our strong foundation, we must make certain that our work to make the University of Nebraska a destination of choice is inclusive of people of all backgrounds..
Strengthening our campus climate will always be a work in progress. It is vital that we turn our intent into action, and that our strategies are informed by thoughtful input from our students, faculty and staff. That’s one reason we are pleased to have this initial set of data in hand and available for all members of the university community to review. While this is only one survey, it will serve as another tool as we consider opportunities to refine our existing plans and focus new energy and efforts. And it gives us a baseline for future years so that we can assess our progress in a holistic way.
Each of us will be closely engaged with our campus communities as we move forward. Thank you again for helping us become a better university. Your input makes a real difference for our faculty, staff and 51,000 students.
President, University of Nebraska System
Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Douglas A. Kristensen, J.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA
Chancellor, University of Nebraska at Omaha
President and CEO, University of Nebraska Foundation