Transforming Campus Culture

This past year, Marist has sought many physical improvements to its campus, but now, administrators are after atmosphere of the college.

Ranklin & Associates Consulting, a consulting group specializing in college settings, has been contracted to conduct this survey. Ranklin & Associates has previously conducted similar climate surveys for schools like Syracuse University and Ithaca College. They are responsible for working with Marists’ faculty, staff, and students in order to thoroughly complete this survey.

David Yellen, Marist President, addressed the Climate Survey in a letter to the campus. He said, “I consider this climate survey to be an investment in the College’s future, an opportunity to have a positive impact and help create a more inclusive campus.” He also believes that Ranklin & Associates will “ensure full transparency and to provide a more complete perspective.”

But what is a campus’ climate? When many hear the word climate they think of our

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A slide from the Marist presentation on Campus Climate

earth’s climate, instead of on a smaller scale by considering the climate of our community. Campus Climate is defined by Marist faculty as “the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential.”

The climate of a campus is measured by “personal experiences, perceptions, and institutional efforts,” as defined by Ranklin & Associates. Thus, this is the perfect opportunity for students to voice their true, anonymous opinion of Marist College. However, although many students have been unwilling to fill out the survey. The reason seems not be because they don’t care, but that they don’t want to find the time to take the actual 10 minute survey.

In a last minute effort, faculty and staff have pushed for students to complete the survey, in order to get a full and accurate reading of Marist. Weather it be handing out candy to survey-completers on election day, or sharing the survey in class Facebook groups, there has been a huge push for survey completion.

Assistant Dean and Lecturer, Professor Molly Reddish, gave students class time to complete the survey, if they wished. Although they were not forced to take the survey, giving busy students a chance to contribute their opinion on their own institution is beneficial for not only themselves but also the college as a whole.

In order to gain a complete understanding of the campus’ climate, staff and faculty at Marist were also given a separate survey.

The climate survey is now closed, but upon assessment of the survey, Ranklin & Associates  will provide “ a report narrative of the findings based on cross tabulations selected by the consultant; frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations of quantitative data; and content analysis of the textual data.”

This survey is a step in the right direction for Marist, and will better the campus for future classes to come.

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