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Dismal UO Climate Survey results “not to be copied, quoted, published or divulged to others”

I’m sure this purposefully brain-damaged “IDEAL” climate survey will provide endless busy work for DEI VP Alex-Assensoh and her staff. Might even have to hire some more. UO could have used Harvard’s COACHE survey for about $200K less than Gallup charged, but that would have meant having results that could be tracked over time and compared to other universities – a non-starter to Johnson Hall administrators, who believe that performance metrics are just for the little people.

Rumor has it that department heads were emailing their faculty trying to get the response rates up – you sure wouldn’t want to be the department to attract DEI’s attention!

Full dump:


  1. cdsinclair 06/14/2022

    The math head emailed us this “I don’t love the survey itself, but I do recognize the value of having a broad base of responses rather than a strong bias toward the slice of the workforce that is more likely to fill it out.” Fight bias with another different kind of bias!

    • uomatters Post author | 06/14/2022

      Hilarious. I wonder if Gallup and DEI suggested that. Junk numbers but look, lots of them!

    • justme 06/14/2022

      The fact that a department head can write this message and not face any consequences by itself is a huge climate issue.

      • cdsinclair 06/14/2022

        Seriously. He should have just said “let’s goose this survey so we can go on pretending we have no climate problems in our department.” Very ethical.

      • Huh 06/14/2022

        Why do you think there should be consequences?

        • uomatters Post author | 06/15/2022

          Purposefully interfering with an expensive university project that is (ostensibly) aimed at addressing real problems of race and gender discrimination, in order to make your department look good. Seems a bit problematic.

          On the other hand, presumably DEI told him the Math response rate was low, and to do what it takes to boost it – wink wink – to make them look like they weren’t wasting UO money. And of course DEI could only have learned this from Gallup, whose incentives are even more obvious. Much more problematic.

          • Huh 06/15/2022

            The math head is saying a bigger sample would increase how representative the survey is. This is stats 101, not something nefarious.

            • cdsinclair 06/15/2022

              That’s part of what he said. If he had said only that, it would have been just fine. I would want a large representative sample. But in stats 101 (actually math 243, 343) we also talk a little bit about experiment design and kinds of bias that may arise, and he definitely failed that part of the class. (To be fair, most mathematicians, including myself, aren’t the greatest stats teachers because it is a completely different field).

            • just different 06/15/2022

              The non-response rate is data too. As cdsinclair said, this just replaces bias towards people who take the initiative to respond with bias towards people who do what the department head tells them to. Which do you think would be more favorable to the department?

              • ODA 06/16/2022

                As a person who knows a lot of statisticians and psychometricians (types) the first thing they do when they get a survey is pick it apart for a few hours and then decide if it is worth the fifteen minutes to fill it out, so I am not surprised there was low turnout by department. You see a good survey would take that into account :)

  2. thedude 06/14/2022

    What do you wanna bet the results of the survey will be used to make us do more training and watch more videos rather than anything substantive that affects our well being (salaries, course releases, support staff, travel support, or some real time off instead of extra service assignments every summer).

  3. Dog 06/14/2022

    these survey results seem to be what would be expected in any institution with a strongly hierarchical structure like the UO. This situation usually results in significant levels of alienation and a strong feeling of never being a valued employee.

    But yeah, that can be fixed with some simple video training ….

  4. Slowly Boiled IT Duck 06/14/2022

    There is nothing here that’s even mildly surprising or useful. UO could have spent this money on a few scholarships for promising inner-city youths and done a hell of a lot more good for the world.

    • uomatters Post author | 06/14/2022

      Careful friend, I may have to report you to our General Counsel for divulging the uselessness of this survey.

    • ODA 06/16/2022

      SBITD. With half of students coming from out of state anyway (mostly California), one might think our recruiting ground border those areas; however, with Oregon so white, perhaps there is a reason our recruiting stays on a specific side of the red line.

  5. outahere 06/15/2022

    The most telling answers for me were the ones about the expectations that the university will act upon the issues raised from the survey. My guess is that this is why response rates were so low–few think the University will do anything about these issues. In my unit, a climate survey led to a (very delayed) strategic plan that has basically sat in a drawer for a year. Why expect anything different at the University level?

  6. Stop hiring useless DEI bureaucrats 06/15/2022

    Meanwhile, the provost announces the hiring of yet another diversity bureaucrat in his email today. That money could be used for scholarships or raising pay. That would make the world much better than the addition of more useless administrators.

    Give us pay raises, create even more racially based scholarships while it’s still legal. (Fingers crossed that SCOTUS will strike down the profoundly bigoted system which is affirmative action and race-based scholarships.) But please don’t hire even more devoutly religious wokescolds.

    I’m sick of the diversity, equity, and inclusion dystopia. Long live merit, fairness, and equality.

  7. just different 06/15/2022

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: DEI bureaucrats are a lousy and expensive substitute for hiring faculty that prioritize DEI. When we don’t, we end up with people like a math dept head who feels comfortable saying the quiet part loud.

    • uomatters Post author | 06/15/2022

      I wonder if anyone still believes universities hire Diversity bureaucrats with the intent of increasing diversity. UO’s first one was hired by Dave Frohnmayer because it was required by a discrimination lawsuit settlement. Frohnmayer hid this from Vincent, who quit when he discovered it (I think in an email from me, but maybe from Joe Wade who brought the lawsuit). He’s now President of an HBCU in Alabama, which seems like a good way to make a difference:

      • just different 06/15/2022

        Yup. It’s clearly become a mechanism for outsourcing responsibility for giving a shit (and liability for failing to) so that departments are free to go on doing what they’ve always done. Imagine what a better world we would be living in if we cared less about protecting “ideologically diverse” faculty and more about creating a level playing field for the people who get shafted time and again.

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