Youngstown State Faculty, Staff Weigh In on Campus Diversity Efforts
YOUNGSTOWN, OhioAlmost half of Youngstown State University faculty and staff, (46 percent), responding to an in-house survey on issues of diversity, say the university is placing too much emphasis on diversity. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents say that one of the problems with pursuing the goal of diversity is the admission of too many underprepared students.The survey, titled Youngstown State University Faculty and Staff Assessment of Campus Climate for Diversity, was sent to 1,465 full and part-time workers last September. Some 638, or 44 percent of the faculty, staff and administrators responded.Clarice Perry, coordinator of diversity programs, says the survey was taken in an effort to “foster university-wide discussions concerning the campus climate and to serve as a vehicle to continue forward with the YSU diversity plan.”The most positive result of the survey is the fact that 94.6 percent of the respondents agreed that diversity is good for the university, and it should be promoted by students, staff, faculty and administrators.Highlights of the study include:n More than 70 percent of the faculty and staff have positive interactions with minority groups, White people, women, non-heterosexuals, people with disabilities and people from other countries who come to YSU.n The department climate for various groups and the professional treatment experienced by faculty members and staff within their department was judged more positively than the university climate as a whole.With regard to department climate for various groups and the professional treatment experienced by faculty members and staff within their department, women respondents assessed every aspect of the climate less positively than their male colleagues.“It’s important to note that more than 50 percent of the women experienced discrimination or harassment more frequently than men,” says Perry. “They were also more critical of the university’s efforts and commitment related to diversity and more knowledgeable about and willing to participate in diversity-related programming than their male colleagues.”According to the survey, the majority of African American, Hispanic and Asian faculty and staff were skeptical about the university’s commitment to diversity in general and about the success of faculty/staff members and students who are not White. “They also perceived the climate of diversity to be unwelcoming,” Perry says.
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