IDEAL Climate Survey 2022: FAQ

Jump to: The Basics: Why, What, When and How (initial FAQ's) 

1. What questions were asked in the UO IDEAL Climate Survey?

     You can find a copy of the questions here (downloadable as pdf or word file).

2. Why is the UO focused on employee engagement? What difference does engagement make?

      An  engaged employee  is more likely to like their job, and to stay in the institution. Gallup engagement questions show the extent to which the conditions, which lead to engagement for employees, are being met. Survey findings will help to identify barriers to engagement.

3. What is the typical response rates for climate surveys?

     According to Gallup, their response rates for first-time survey administration ranges between16% and 100%, with the median for first time administration around 73%. Typical employee surveys, however, range from 25% to 60%. The response rate for the UO IDEAL Campus Climate survey is 55%.

4. How representative is our sample of respondents?

     Overall, the sample of our respondents is representative of our campus.  If you compare the current demographics of our campus with the self-described demographics of the people who took the survey, they are very similar. See the UO Institutional Research data page here for information on demographic make-up of the UO.

5. Why is it important to have a representative sample?

     Our campus is made up of different types of people, with different attitudes, perceptions and identities. A representative sample ensures that survey results are applicable to the general campus population.

6. What about statistical significance?

Statistical significance testing is a tool that statisticians and scientists use to answer certain specific kinds of questions. The standard way of calculating significance assumes that the data come from an infinitely large, hypothetical population. That is because scientists use significance testing to make generalizations. For example, when medical researchers test a new drug, they want to know whether the drug will be generally helpful to anyone who needs it.

One of the main goals of this survey is to provide a description of the climate on campus right now. The 3,645 UO employees who responded to the survey are 3,645 real people who told us about their experiences. Significance testing is not necessary to validate that. Moreover, those respondents were a majority of the overall workforce at UO, and for some employee subgroups (such as OAs, tenure-track faculty, and classified staff), the respondents were quite a large majority.

It is possible that as the analysis committee moves forward, questions may come up where significance testing or other statistical tools would be appropriate. When that happens, the committee will use them in ways that help advance understanding.

7. What happens if our campus or my unit scored poorly on certain items?

     The survey is not punitive. The purpose is to understand our departmental and campus climate and to make it better. All departments will have an opportunity to review their data and share action plans about how to enhance what is working well and change what is not.  

8. What does the UO plan to do with results to the IDEAL Campus Climate Survey?

     The results of the IDEAL Campus Climate Survey belong to everyone. They will be used by campus leaders to understand what we need to do more of and/or differently to live up to our values of inclusion and equity. With support from Gallup, we will:

  • Determine what the results mean and identify priorities and timelines for addressing them;
  • Identify campus-level systems, policies and structures, through which interventions will lead to meaningful change,
  • Put plans to enhance engagement into action.

We will provide results for individual units and also engage a similar process of priority setting that aligns with campus goals, actions and assessments. All results will be shared in a way that maintain and protect confidentiality.

9. If the data are truly confidential, why is there a UO Analysis Team? Won’t they see the data that are supposed to be private?

     Gallup retains access to and control over all data. Gallup completes all of the analysis for the project. However, since each campus has its own context and issues, our Analysis Team will help Gallup to understand the contexts of our campus so as to design and implement analysis strategies, which allow us to assess issues that matter to the UO. Membership for the Analysis Team is available here.

10. What is the Action Committee? What will the members do?

The committee members:

  • Translate survey results into actionable change by identifying the most pressing opportunities to enhance what works well
  •  Dismantle barriers and redress challenges
  •  Facilitate collaborative investment in results and change
  •  Ensure ongoing communication as well as assessment and management of survey results
  •  Bring about the incorporation of the results into ongoing campus systems and processes.

Membership for the Action Team is available here.

11. Who can be involved in Action Committee Work?

     Since everyone is responsible for creating climate, there are opportunities for everyone to be involved in the actions regarding enhancement, change, transformation and sustainability.

12. Will employees have a chance to add additional insights as the analysis team does its work?

Employee responses will be centered in all analyses, prioritizing discussions around meaningful applications and exploring practical significance (e.g., effect sizes) in addition to statistical significance. We will be working with campus stakeholders to provide feedback on analytic methods and consider the inclusion of other relevant quantitative and qualitative research on employee engagement and experiences

13. Did Gallup notice a decrease in engagement in higher education institutions as a result of COVID19?

     According to Gallup data analyst Zach Hrynowski: “Engagement is one of our most stable metrics, and actually did not decline noticeably during the pandemic until late 2021 (coinciding with the waning of the pandemic, and presumably, with the period when many folks were asked to return to work in person). Here is a recent article about that trend.

If there were any declines in engagement in higher education, it would likely be heavily influenced by the following two takeaways from the article:

Remote jobs: Employees who work exclusively remote or hybrid tend to have higher levels of engagement (37% engagedIn both groups) than those who work exclusively on-site (29% engaged). This difference is approximately the same for those in remote capable jobs and all jobs, including those that are not remote capable. Since before the COVID-19 pandemic the decline in the percentage of engaged employees was evident across all three groups - exclusively remote, hybrid, and exclusively on-site - but highest for employees who are exclusively remote. The decline was especially evident on engagement elements relating to clarity of expectations.materials and equipment. recognition. development. and connection to the organization's mission or purpose.

Wellbeing: Gallup recently reported a sharp drop in the percentage of employees who strongly agree that their employer cares about their overall wellbeing. Employee engagement Is foundational to improving the well being and resilience of a workforce because it contains elements of communication, caring, development, involvement and collaboration.These elements set the stage for developing trust which opens the door tor addressing overall wellbeing.

The Basics: Why, What, When and How

What is an employee climate survey?

A climate survey is intended to examine the full range of Instructional and Research faculty, Officers of Administration, Classified staff, and Graduate Employees experiences related to working at the UO. These experiences are central to whether members of our community feel engaged, included, and respected, which are important foundations for thriving and for professional success.

Why is a positive climate important?

Creating a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment is central to our mission as a public institution and a research university dedicated to the free and open exchange of ideas. A positive, inclusive climate is essential to achieving our individual and institutional goals of creating outstanding educational experiences for students, a working environment where Instructional and Research faculty, Officers of Administration, Classified staff, and Graduate Employees can thrive and achieve, and a university community that fosters research excellence, inclusive teaching, well-being, and a sense of belonging for all. This work can be coupled with other institutional initiatives in support of creating an inclusive, equitable environment.

Why is the University of Oregon conducting a climate survey?

In support of the UO’s commitment to fostering equity, inclusion, and a respectful workplace environment for all, the university is conducting a workplace climate survey. The idea to conduct a climate survey originated from faculty and staff during a diversity planning process (see history FAQ below for more information). The survey will help the university to identify individual, unit-based, structural, cultural, and institutional factors that foster an inclusive campus climate. These factors will be analyzed so that they can be addressed through targeted interventions.

Who is conducting the actual survey?

The university has partnered with Gallup, a trusted, independent analytics consultant firm with decades of polling experience, to conduct the survey. Gallup will collect all data via Gallup Access—a dynamic survey design, data collection, and reporting platform. Gallup was selected as part of a competitive selection process, based on recommendations of the Climate Survey Vendor Selection Group.

What is the timeline?

This project includes six primary phases. The first involved investigating the need for a survey (winter/spring 2018), the survey development (summer/fall 2021/winter 2022), survey implementation that will seek input from all faculty, staff, and graduate employees (spring 2022), reporting of results (spring/summer/fall 2022), and action planning/implementation (summer/fall 2022/winter 2023).

Why are you conducting a survey now?

The university originally planned to conduct the climate survey in 2020 but the survey was paused due to the operational impacts during the onset of the pandemic. Coronavirus is likely to be with us for some time and the work of the university to foster inclusion and equity must continue. In addition, the pandemic is having differential impacts on members of our community, rendering the need to understand the workplace climate much more necessary and urgent. We appreciate the sacrifices that have been made by so many of our colleagues to help UO achieve its mission. We see the survey as an act of information gathering and caretaking for our community. We are looking forward to using the information that we gather from this survey as an opportunity to learn more about our community and to take actions in ways that improve it. 

The Survey and You

Who can take the survey?

The survey is for all instructional and research faculty, officers of administration, classified employees, and graduate employees.

Why should I complete the survey?

Your voice and perspective matter. Completing the survey provides important and valuable information. While we often hear from individuals or groups in discrete ways, the survey will provide a broad and diverse sense of our entire community and will better inform us of what needs to be improved, changed, or created from a systematic framework. Each individual response is critical in helping us to understand our entire community and amplifies the collective voice of your respective employee group. Responses will help to provide us with accurate information and diverse voices to support change on an institutional, individual, interpersonal, and societal level. 

How will I receive and take the survey?

You will be sent an email from Gallup with a link to the survey. You will be able to take the survey on any desktop or any mobile device or tablet during worktime. You can take the survey in English or Spanish. 

QR code for Climate Survey access

What should I do if I didn't receive an email invitation to take the survey? 

First check your Junk Email folder. Look the following subject line: “Invitation to Gallup’s 2022 IDEAL Climate Survey of University of Oregon Employees– RESPONSE REQUESTED”.

If you are still unable to locate it, scan this QR code using a cell phone camera, which will take you to the survey online. When it asks for your survey code, enter your UO #95 number.

How will my information be kept confidential?

To ensure the survey results are accurate and meaningful, the Gallup Organization conducts the employee engagement survey according to strict confidentiality policies. Here is how the process works: the UO provided Gallup with a list of its employees. Links are sent directly from Gallup to faculty, staff, and graduate employees. Gallup tracks individual information so that it can group results by unit or department area and demographic factors. But each individual’s responses are confidential. Only Gallup will know who participated and who did not participate. Gallup never shares respondent-level data back with the hiring organization. The responses of employees are anonymized prior to be being shared or reported to the university. At no point will anyone at the University of Oregon or an affiliate, including senior leaders, managers or supervisors, be privy to the origins of specific feedback. This confidentially will allow employees to provide honest feedback.

Will my supervisor or division leader see any of my comments?

No. Only Gallup will see the raw data and open-ended comments. All identifying information and individual names will be removed before open-ended comments are coded into broad themes that represent individual comments. The themes, rather than specific individual responses, will be presented in the survey results.

Do I have to share information about my race, nationality, sex, or other demographic information?

In order to track the effectiveness of efforts and ensure the needs of all our employees are considered, the survey will collect demographic data. Providing this information is voluntary. Individuals may select an option or self-describe. There is a ‘Decline to Answer’ option for all demographic questions.  

Where can I go for more information or if I am having problems accessing the survey?

If you need assistance completing the survey, please contact Gallup:

Where can I go if I have a non-technical question or concern about the survey?


I think it’s important to have as many people as possible fill out this survey. How can I help encourage others to participate?

Talk with your colleagues and encourage them to fill out the survey and let them know why you have done so. Show them the website and information, including this FAQ, if they want to know more. Contact your department or division’s diversity committee and ask how you can be of assistance. You can also find resources n the HR website here.

Results and survey outcomes

How will the data be shared or reported?

A report on the findings will be published to this website. The results will also be shared in aggregate. When shared at the school, college, and divisions results will be shared in ways that ensure data confidentiality and anonymity.

For example, reports will not contain any group data that is so small that it could inadvertently identify one or more individuals and compromise confidentiality. Instead, the report would combine groups with very small numbers or take other measures to eliminate any potential for demographic information to be identifiable. Recognizing that combining groups would limit the way in which quantitative data about specific groups can be used, strategic efforts will be made to incorporate qualitative data to gain an accurate and nuanced understanding of experiences.

Is this a one-time climate survey? 

The university will conduct another survey in approximately three to five years to assess our progress.

How will the results be used to improve the workplace climate?

President Michael H. Schill and university leaders have committed to using the results of the climate survey to plan and take action to address the issues the survey process identifies. The data collected in this study will be used in multiple ways including:

  • A committee comprised of faculty, staff, and graduate employees will be appointed to help identify and recommend post-survey actions, timelines, and resources.
  • Resources will be dedicated to fund campus-wide grants aimed at facilitating change, based on survey results.
  • Survey results will be analyzed and used to create resources to support underrepresented communities and identify interventions focused on success and achievement.
  • Survey results will be analyzed and used to update departmental and campus-wide policies.
  • Resources will be devoted to supporting leaders and teams as they use the climate results to make necessary changes

History of the survey

What is the history of the climate survey?

In 2017, as part of the university’s Inclusion, Diversity, Evaluation, Achievement, and Leadership (IDEAL) Framework and Diversity Action Planning, schools, colleges, and units identified the need to learn more about the campus climate. A Climate Survey Working Group was charged with assessing the feasibility of a campus-wide climate survey and identifying next steps toward implementation. After careful research and examination, they created a report and set of recommendations to conduct an employee campus survey. In fall 2019, President Michael H. Schill accepted the recommendations and launched the climate survey project, led by Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Yvette Alex-Assensoh. Following a competitive RFP process, Gallup was selected to conduct the survey due to their experience, successful track record, and ability to help the campus conduct a confidential survey where individual results are anonymized before they are shared with the university.. Work paused on the survey planning during 2020 due to the operational disruptions from moving to remote instruction during the pandemic. As campus re-opened in fall 2021, the Campus Climate Survey and Implementation Team resumed its planning and implementation work. The climate survey name includes the word “IDEAL” to acknowledge its origin in campus diversity action planning. 

How were the questions developed?

Gallup has administered climate assessments to hundreds of higher education, nonprofit, and for-profit institutions across the nation and developed a repository of tested questions. To assist in contextualizing the survey for the University of Oregon, Gallup and the Division of Equity and Inclusion invited stakeholders from diverse identity, employee classification, and academic disciplinary groups on campus to meet with Gallup and provide a sense of the broad themes that needed to be included in the survey.

In addition, Gallup also reviewed focus group data from 2017 interviews with women faculty of color and women in science and data from focus group sessions that Provost Patrick Phillips and VP Alex-Assensoh conducted with staff, faculty, and graduate students in 2019, 2020, and 2021 across campus to better understand how they were being impacted by racial uprising and COVID-19. Data from the focus groups was shared with Gallup to help shape the Gallup survey. The Climate Survey Steering Committee was also charged with providing input and guiding the survey development and implementation.

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