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Viewfinder, Campus Climate Survey FAQs

Please note that this is a living document that will expand as new questions are received. Please look for a survey webpage.

Last updated Feb 26, 2021


Climate is a measure of the real or perceived quality of interpersonal, academic, and professional interactions on a campus and consists of “the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential” (Hurtado, 1992; Rankin, 2001). Campus climate includes the experience of individuals and groups on a college/university campus—and the quality and extent of the interaction between those various groups and individuals. Diversity is one aspect of campus climate. 

Understanding your campus’s climate is an important step toward ensuring your institution’s future success — and that of your students and employees A campus Climate Survey is a tool that offers as an opportunity for all faculty, staff and students to share their feedback about their work experience and about what matters most to them. MSU Denver has partnered with Viewfinder® Campus Climate Surveys, LLC to administer the surveys to assure confidentiality.

The survey will be open from March 1, 12 00 p.m. MT – March 19 at 11: 59 p.m. MT

On March 1, 2021 you will receive an email from Vice President Michael Benitez, Ph.D., inviting you to take the confidential Diversity Campus Climate Survey. You will be receiving an email directly from Campus Climate Surveys, LCC inviting you to participate in the survey that includes a secure link to the survey.

  • Click on the link to begin your confidential survey on a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
  • Your survey link is unique, so do not forward the survey email to others. In addition, once you complete the survey it will be closed.
  • The survey will take up to 20 minutes to complete.
  • If you have issues, please contact Manuel Del Real, Ph.D., executive director of HSI Initiatives and Inclusion, at

This brief survey is a platform for all faculty, staff, administrators and students to offer insight into campus members’ experiences with diversity and inclusion at MSU Denver.  The survey will help us to examine the level of belonging, respect, dialogue, and trust present across campus so we can identify strengths and opportunities related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and shape programs and policies at MSU Denver. Your input is not only valuable, but essential to MSU Denver’s efforts in fostering, cultivating, and sustaining a welcoming, respectful and inclusive campus community that values each and everyone’s identities, abilities and potential. The information gathered will help University leaders build a more inclusive and equitable campus community and organizational culture.

In the past, MSU Denver used climate survey that did not adequately capture experiences of employees and students from a diversity, equity and inclusion perspective. After conducting some research around effective surveys that give way for flexibility and input in order to ask questions contextualized to address MSU Denver’s campus culture, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion partnered with Viewfinder® Campus Climate Surveys, specifically designed to help colleges and universities measure and assess both their strengths and weaknesses around diversity and inclusion efforts for students, faculty, staff, and administrators. They provide insight into what shapes the experiences and perceptions of diverse individuals on campus to help institutions create an environment where everyone feels safe, welcome, valued, and respected.

Campus Climate Surveys, LLC is committed to ensuring that all students and employees on college campuses have the opportunity to live, learn, and work in a supportive, respectful, safe, and welcoming environment. Our Viewfinder® surveys are the most comprehensive and affordable survey instruments available today. They give every institution the opportunity to completely customize their surveys for your campus at no additional cost. Potomac Publishing, Inc., publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, is a related company of Campus Climate Surveys, LLC. INSIGHT is the most well-respected diversity and inclusion publication and website in higher education. Creators of the prestigious INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this is the only recognition for U.S. institutions of higher education that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses.

Yes. This is a confidential survey only accessible via secure link. In order to better understand campus members experience with diversity, equity and inclusion at MSU Denver, Viewfinder® analysts will access and analyze the data and provide a report to MSU Denver. These analysts will treat the data with absolute confidentiality. No one beyond the third-party analysts will have access to individual-level data. Participation reports will be provided while the survey is still open to encourage all to respond but will not identify who has or has not taken the survey. All information you provide is confidential. Supervisors will not receive individual employee responses. No one will be able to identify how you personally responded to any question.

Most colleges and universities have research departments to extrapolate survey data and produce reports. While we have the Office of Business Intelligence who often implements these research surveys, at MSU Denver, the data report will be provided to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, who will then announce Campus Climate Survey results and share and make results available for campus members on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion website.

All employees (faculty, staff and administrators) and students who receive an emailed link to the survey are strongly encouraged to participate, as the University is aiming for a 100% completion rate.

Results will be made available in mid to late April. Leaders/supervisors will receive a guide that helps them review and share results with their teams. Please stay tuned to the Early Bird for future updates.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC) will examine data provided in the report to (1) engage further critical analysis, and identify patterns and equity gaps in policy, practice and accountability; (2) engage campus wide conversations on emerging themes of significance; (3) collaborate with administrative and academic units to ensure, diversity, equity, and inclusion are integrated in the unit’s goals and larger campus priorities; (4) offer data-driven recommendations for institutional action.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC) is a group consisting of faculty, staff, students, community members and alumni, charged by the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion with examining diversity, inclusion, and equity issues at MSU Denver with respect to policy and practice from multiple perspectives and across different functionalities. The DEIC works collaboratively with MSU Denver campus constituents, broader community members and additional stakeholders, as appropriate, to engage strategic conversations about advancing diversity, equity and inclusion on our campus. Part of DEIC’s role is to help develop and implement the institution’s Diversity Strategic Plan, which will serve as a vehicle to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at MSU Denver. DEIC reviews current efforts aimed at enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion in representation and practice.

As MSU Denver continues to engage in DEI and anti-racist work, it is important that the institution reflects our diverse student body and prepares all students to be engaged citizens. Understanding how we serve and support our workforce and the students we serve is key to supporting this work. Gathering accurate demographic information about our campus community will help the University to set better and more tailored goals around the needs of all employees and students, especially regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. Please note that self-identification is optional and will remain confidential.

To be respectful of employees and to avoid spamming, once you complete the survey you will no longer receive completion reminders, but you will still receive general communications about the survey, results, and invitations to participate in focus groups during the fall semester for those interested in engaging these conversations further.

To be respectful and inclusive of all our students, the student survey will be available in Spanish and English. There will be a language option at the top-right hand corner of the survey.

All surveys were reviewed by the Access Center, to ensure everyone has equal access to the survey content.

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