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Climate Study Working Group 2014-2015

In order to better understand the campus climate, the senior administration at Swarthmore College recognized the need for a comprehensive tool that would provide campus climate data for students, faculty, and staff across Swarthmore. To that end, Swarthmore’s Climate Study Working Group (CSWG) formed in 2014.

Working Group Membership

The CSWG was comprised of faculty, staff, students, and administrators. Ultimately, Swarthmore College contracted with Rankin & Associates Consulting (R&A) to conduct a campus-wide study entitled, “Learning, Working, and Living: A Self-Study of Swarthmore College.” Swarthmore staff members participating in this working group included:

  • Lili Rodriguez, (chair), Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Development
  • Alejandra Barajas, ‘15
  • Betsy Durning, Administrative Assistant, Dean's Office
  • Zenobia Hargust, Director, Equal Opportunity and Engagement
  • Meghan Kelly '18
  • Stacey Kutish, Communications
  • Louis Lane, ‘16
  • Mohammed Lotif, Assistant Director, Intercultural Center
  • Sheila Magee '81, Gardener
  • Bakirathi Mani, Associate Professor, English Literature
  • Lynne Molter, Professor, Engineering Department
  • Jen Moore, Administrative Assistant, History Department
  • Elliot Nguyen, ‘16
  • Christi Pappert, Facilities & Capital Projects
  • Aixa Pomales, Information Technology
  • Robin Huntington Shores, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • William Turpin, Professor, Classics Department
  • Ailya Vajid, Muslim Student Advisor
  • Robert Weinberg, Professor, History Department
  • Kaaren Williamsen, Title IX Coordinator

Survey Instrument

The CSWG collaborated with R&A to develop the survey instrument. In the first phase, R&A conducted 18 focus groups comprised of 161 participants (73 students, 88 faculty or staff). Data from the focus groups informed the CSWG and R&A in constructing questions for the campus-wide survey.

Swarthmore College’s survey contained 100 items (18 qualitative and 82 quantitative) and was available via a secure online portal from March 11 through April 15, 2015. Confidential paper surveys were distributed to those individuals who did not have access to an Internet-connected computer or who preferred a paper survey.

Swarthmore College community members completed 980 surveys for an overall response rate of 38%. Only surveys that were at least 50% completed were included in the final data set for analyses.  Response rates by constituent group varied: 34% (n = 510) for Students, 47% (n = 108) for Faculty, and 43% (n = 362) for Staff.

Final Report

The Campus Climate Project Final Report was released to the community in November 2015. You can read an executive summary or the full report at: