March 12, 2021
I would like to give you an update on our comprehensive campus climate survey. Since I initially announced last September that we would partner with Rankin & Associates Consulting, a nationally renowned university climate study firm, we have made steady and significant progress in laying the groundwork for this important, in-depth, and inclusive assessment.
As was shared in Monday’s Creighton Today, we have added several new members to the Climate Survey Committee to increase representation, and with the imminent departure of Christopher M. Whitt, PhD, vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Joshua Fershée, professor and dean of the School of Law, has accepted my invitation to join committee co-chairs Eileen Burke-Sullivan, STD, Erika Kirby, PhD, and Sarah Walker, PhD.
I am grateful for the leadership of our co-chairs, and the commitment and diligence of all members of the committee, in helping to shape this assessment, as we seek to celebrate and further an environment characterized by openness, fairness, and equal access for all students, faculty, and staff.
In this, we are guided and aligned by our Jesuit, Catholic tradition and our University mission statement, which emphasizes that the inalienable worth of each individual and the appreciation of ethnic and cultural diversity are core values of Creighton.
A welcome and inclusive campus climate – grounded in the Jesuit charism of cura personalis, based on mutual respect, and nurtured by dialogue – is foundational to our educational mission. Creating and maintaining a community environment that respects individual needs, abilities, and potential is critically important.
To ensure full transparency and to provide a more complete perspective, Rankin & Associates, which has conducted more than 230 campus climate assessment projects over the last 20 years, will help lead this effort, in collaboration with our Climate Survey Committee. Working with students, faculty, and staff on the committee, Rankin & Associates will continue to develop the assessment over this semester for implementation in the fall.
The results will better enable us to both develop programs and policies that will increase inclusivity in areas which are shown to be problematic and enhance and replicate programs and policies in areas which are shown to be successfully meeting the needs of the community.
A climate project website is being developed to provide communication on the project process and results. We will share a link to this site and additional information about the project as it is available.
I hope that you will join me in supporting this important project, which will involve our entire campus community. Your participation is vitally important, and I look forward to not only learning the results but continuing to build a path forward.
Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD