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In order to assist you with the Campus Climate Survey process, here’s a list of questions and answers we thought would be helpful to you.?


Why is Metropolitan State College of Denver conducting a climate survey of its faculty and staff?

With a long-term goal of becoming the preeminent public urban baccalaureate college in the nation, Metropolitan State College of Denver is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that attracts and retains world-class faculty and staff. Gathering faculty and staff perspectives on their work experiences and the College’s functioning helps administration understand what currently works and what needs to be improved. Improvement occurs when we openly solicit candid and confidential feedback from all critical stakeholders and act upon this feedback. Disciplined follow-up on the survey findings will help us continue to drive Metro State to future success.


Why is now the right time for this survey?

Now more than ever, we need to understand what factors are important to our faculty and staff. Metro State is committed to our people and our community and needs to hear from our staff and faculty on our direction and our work environment. The survey will also provide a starting point (or baseline) for future input from staff and faculty on College priorities and needs.


Why did Metro State select ModernThink to administer the survey?

ModernThink LLC is a nationally recognized organization specializing in surveys of this kind for higher education. The higher education benchmark data results from ModernThink will provide Metro State valuable insight into how we compare to other schools across the nation.


What is the Chronicle Great Colleges Program and how is it related to Metro State’s Campus Climate Survey?

ModernThink LLC is the research partner for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges Program. Now in its third year, the program is designed to recognize institutions that are great places to work and to compile detailed benchmarking data about industry trends. Recognized institutions benefit from positive publicity, which can aid recruitment and retention efforts. The assessment for the Chronicle's Great Colleges Program consists of two parts: The ModernThink Institution Questionnaire© and the ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey©. All institutions must complete both parts of the assessment to be considered for recognition in the program.

A random sample of Metro State’s faculty and staff survey results will be used for consideration in the 2010 Great Colleges Program. To learn more, visit where you can find more information on the methodology and recognition categories.


How will students at Metro State be engaged in this assessment process?

At the same time Metro State is administering the Campus Climate Survey to faculty and staff, we will also be participating in a pilot student experience survey along with several other colleges. The Student Experience Survey will help Metro State leaders take the pulse of the student population, highlight programs that are working well and identify barriers that are detracting from students’ day-to-day experience and potentially impeding academic and/or social development.


How was the survey process designed?

The Campus Climate Survey Committee, established in November 2009, was tasked with designating relevant benchmarks for the College, developing survey questions unique to Metro State and communicating about the survey to faculty and staff. Chaired by Interim Associate to the President for Diversity Myron Anderson, the committee includes representatives from the Faculty Senate, President's Cabinet, Human Resources, Council of Administrators, Classified Staff Council and students. The committee worked with ModernThink to customize the 2010 survey. In the coming weeks and months, ModernThink will work with the committee to administer the survey, ensure confidentiality and aid in the dissemination of the results.


What areas will the survey focus on?

The survey solicits feedback on a broad range of topics, focused around the following themes:
  • Job Satisfaction/Support
  • Teaching Environment
  • Career Development, Research and Scholarship
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Facilities and Security
  • Policies, Resources and Efficiency
  • Collaboration
  • Respect and Appreciation
  • Participation in College Governance
  • Connection to Institution and Pride
  • Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship
  • Confidence in Senior Leadership
  • Faculty, Administration and Staff Relations
  • Internal Communication
  • Fairness

In addition to the 60 core survey statements, the survey committee chose 20 additional statements and 2 open-ended questions that address areas of interest to the College, including one related to Metro State’s major initiatives.


How much time will it take to complete the survey?

The online survey should take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete. If you are unable to complete the survey after you begin, you will have the option to save your responses and access them later.


How long is the survey and what is the format?

The 2010 Metro State Campus Climate Survey consists of 80 statements that employees will respond to using a five-point agreement scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, Sometimes Agree/Sometimes Disagree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree). Additionally, there is a Not Applicable response option. The survey instrument also includes a 16-item benefits satisfaction component and four open-ended questions.

There are several demographic questions at the end of the survey (Gender, Age, Job Category, etc). Respondents are encouraged to provide responses to these but also have the option of skipping them. (See also “Are my survey responses confidential?” below.)


Why is my participation important?

First, as a faculty or staff member of Metro State, your opinion matters. We need to hear from you in order to address your concerns and reinforce our successes. Second, higher response rates give a more accurate picture of the College and its individual departments. This is a significant opportunity for you to share your ideas, opinions, and solutions by participating in both the survey and the action planning that will follow.


Is my participation in this survey optional?

Yes, participation is completely voluntary.


Who is eligible to participate in the survey?

All faculty (full-time and affiliate) and staff members (full-time and part-time, both exempt and classified) of Metropolitan State College of Denver are invited and encouraged to participate in the survey.


How and when do I take the survey?

The survey will be available Monday, February 1 through Monday, February 15, 2010 (two weeks) on ModernThink’s secure website.

On February 1, each Metro State employee will receive an e-mail invitation from ModernThink to participate in the survey. Once you click on the survey link, you will go directly to ModernThink’s website. You will be asked to enter a username and password, which will be provided in the e-mail invitation sent to you directly by ModernThink.

You may take the survey at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from work or from home, on any computer. Internet access is required. Employees taking the survey can use the same workstation, as long as each person properly logs on and off the computer.


Are my survey responses confidential?

Yes. The purpose of the survey is to get honest feedback and to do that, Metro State guarantees that all responses will be completely confidential.

To ensure confidentiality, Metro State is using an external partner (ModernThink) to administer the Web-based survey, which is automated with a secure Internet connection.

Your survey responses will be completed directly on ModernThink’s website. Metro State has no access to this website, and all processing will be done by ModernThink.

You will not be asked your name on the survey. The e-mail inviting you to take the survey will include unique password information for each user. This information is stored on the ModernThink server for their access only and will not be linked to your individual survey responses.

At no point will your manager or any other Metro State employee see your individual survey results; they are combined and reported back to Metro State in an aggregated format. No one in the College will know how you personally responded.


Can’t my e-mail address be used to track my responses?

No. The survey will be completed on ModernThink’s secure website. The e-mail address is only used to access the survey and to ensure that only one survey is completed per employee.


Why are demographics asked about on the survey?

The demographic information (e.g., gender, age, job role, etc.) will help ModernThink better understand the patterns and themes in the survey data. As the confidentiality of your responses is critical, ModernThink will not report your individual demographic data.  Group demographic data will only be reported when there are five or more respondents in a particular group. Although the demographics are an optional piece of the survey, you are strongly encouraged to complete this information.


If I start the survey but am interrupted before I finish, can I access it again?

Yes. Your answers will be stored each time you select the NEXT button at the bottom of a survey page. If you get interrupted, you can come back to the survey. You will need to log on again to the ModernThink survey site to re-access the survey. To protect your confidentiality, you will not be able to access the survey after you click the SUBMIT button on the last page of the survey.


What if I have problems accessing the survey site?

For technical questions or problems with the survey site, please contact ModernThink at (888) 684-4658 or, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. EST. After hours, leave a message for Suzi Schmittlein at ModernThink and she will respond to you as promptly as possible.


How many employees does Metro State need to respond to the survey to get the data we need?

While a 100 percent response rate would be ideal, it is not necessary. We would, however, like to see as high a response rate as possible. Average response rates for college climate surveys typically range between 40 percent and 65 percent. During the two weeks the survey is available, we will be sharing our response rate with the community at large. We hope that each of you will use this information and opportunity to encourage your colleagues to participate.


Once all the results are received, what's next?

The president, cabinet and survey committee will gather feedback, identify priority areas of action, share the findings with you and develop follow-up plans to address identified action items. Results of the survey are expected in April.


How often will this type of survey occur?

While the formal timeline for the next survey is not yet established, Metro State plans to repeat the Campus Climate Survey process every two to three years. This year’s results will provide us with important baseline data so that we can chart our progress moving forward.


Whom can I contact with additional questions about the Campus Climate survey?

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding the survey and/or the survey process, please do not hesitate to contact Interim Associate to the President for Diversity, Myron Anderson, at 303-556-3022 or or Suzi Schmittlein, ModernThink’s project manager for the Metro State Campus Climate Survey, at 888-684-4658 or

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