Results of 2016 Employee Climate Survey

Historic Oval in summer

Nearly 70 percent of CSU employees feel that the University provides a positive work experience, according to the results of the latest Employee Climate Survey. But the same survey revealed that fewer employees think CSU provides a supportive environment for employees from diverse backgrounds – only 64 percent of the 2,191 respondents agreed with that statement.

These are just two of the findings from the survey, administered by the Assessment Group for Diversity Issues, during Fall 2016. The biennial survey asked employees a series of questions about workload, work respect, leadership, search committees, physical campus environment, diversity in the work environment, campus trainings, and campus and department perceptions.

“This is the third survey we have taken since 2012, and the highest overall response rate yet – more than 30 percent,” said Jennifer Schneider, research analyst with Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness, who compiled the results. “We were especially pleased to see the nearly 40 percent response rate from State Classified employees.”

Schneider added that with three surveys completed, trends over time are beginning to emerge. For example, the percentage of employees who think CSU is supportive of those from diverse backgrounds dropped from 67 percent in the 2014 survey.

Survey result presentations

Learn much more about the findings of this year’s Campus Climate Survey at presentations on Wednesday, April 26, in Lory Student Center Room 386, and Thursday, May 4, in LSC 376-378. Both sessions take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will cover the same information, so you need to attend only one. You can also view the results on the Office of the Vice President for Diversity website.  Results from 2012 and 2014 surveys are posted on the same page.

Responses to this year’s survey came from a roughly even distribution of employees in different age ranges and number of years of service with the University, although respondents who identified as female significantly outnumbered male and non-binary respondents. Just over 38 percent were the primary caregiver for a minor or adult, and 40 percent were CSU alumni as well as employees.

Overall, 77 percent of respondents would recommend CSU as a place of employment and 56 percent would recommend their department as a place of employment. Administrative Professional employees have significantly more favorable responses on average than faculty, and female employees have less favorable perceptions of CSU’s accountability standards than males.

Helps inform policy

The results are intended to provide an overall picture of CSU’s employment experiences and perceptions, further the University’s commitment to institutional accountability, and inform policies, initiatives, and opportunities that will provide an exceptional and equitable work environment. They have been presented to groups from the President’s Cabinet to shared governance councils and others across campus.

“What we found in previous surveys helped us develop new policies and procedures to improve conditions for employees in all areas of CSU,” explained Mary Ontiveros, vice president for diversity. “The latest examples are supervisory training and diversity training, both of which were informed by what employees shared with us anonymously and confidentially.”

Responses were collected both online and through hard-copy questionnaires – available in both English and Spanish — submitted anonymously. Results are reported in the aggregate only; no personally identifiable data is included.

“We want people to feel confident that they can tell us exactly what they feel about working at CSU without fear of repercussions from supervisors or managers,” Ontiveros added. “I think their experience with the previous surveys, and that they see that their input can result in real changes in policy, helps explain the high response rate this time.”

The entire campus community will have two opportunities to learn more about the results of this year’s Employee Climate Survey when Schneider presents at the Lory Student Center on April 26 and May 4.


The 15-minute Employee Climate Survey was administered on a standard scale of 1-5 to indicate agreement or disagreement with various statements.

The majority of respondents agree that CSU’s (64%) and their department’s (68%) employment climate has become consistently more inclusive of all employees. In addition, 63% of respondents agree that CSU encourages discussions related to diversity and half of respondents agree that their department encourages these discussions.

On other topics:


The amount of work I have to do interferes with the quality I want to maintain: 45% agree

I am expected to put my job ahead of my family or personal life: 60% disagree

Work Respect

I am treated with respect at work: 75% agree

My job type is not treated with the same respect as other jobs at CSU: 49% of State Classified employees agree

An individual or group of individuals paid little attention to a statement you or others made or dismissed an opinion: 46% experienced this (50% underrepresented groups; 63% non-binary/transgender/self-identified)


CSU leadership addresses issues of inequities: 43% agree

CSU leadership is transparent in decision-making: 49% disagree

Physical environment

My physical environment supports my successful completion of tasks: 18% disagree

My physical environment supports my sense of safety: 13% disagree

My physical environment is welcoming of employees from different backgrounds: 10% disagree

Campus Trainings

Diversity training should be required of all supervisors: 78% agree

Supervisory training should be required of all supervisors: 91% agree