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Survey reveals employees' thoughts on diversity

The Chancellor’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council has revealed its findings from a diversity climate survey distributed last fall. In an effort to be as inclusive as possible, the survey was available in English and Spanish and in multiple formats including hard copies and online versions.

Those efforts seemingly paid off, as the survey recorded a response rate of nearly 48%. The survey, which is included in the Annual Report on the DEI Council website, asked faculty and staff for their opinions on a variety of issues including whether they felt free to express their identity at TWU, their sense of inclusion, their perception of DEI practices at the university, and more.

Some results were surprising, according to Jason Lambert (College of Business, Denton), chair of the DEI Council.

“I would say what surprised me came from the open-ended comments where employees expressed concern about their supervisors discouraging them from attending affinity group meetings,” he said. “This was very surprising given that (Chancellor Carine Feyten) demonstrated her strong support for them when she formally recognized them under her leadership a few years ago.

“I believe the chancellor’s commitment to offer required DEI training for leadership across the TWU System will mitigate these incidents and have a positive impact on our organizational culture.”

The report includes four recommendations:

  • Make diversity training mandatory for serving on faculty hiring committees
  • Make diversity training available for all employees but required for leadership
  • Post dashboards about DEI for improved communication about what is happening
  • Hire a chief people and culture officer as the leader for Human Resources

“From this we hopefully will see an improvement in how TWU employees view the climate of diversity at TWU over time,” Lambert said. “This should translate into less turnover and improved outcomes for not only staff and faculty, but also students.”

The council plans to conduct another diversity climate survey in fall 2023 to measure improvement in the areas surveyed.

“I am glad we have a chancellor who is not afraid to look inside our black box to see how we can always be better,” Lambert said.