HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey

All members of East Carolina University are invited to participate in the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey. Sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and the Office for Equity and Diversity, the survey will be administered through HEDS, an outside vendor and consortium of colleges and universities committed to sharing data, knowledge, and expertise to advance undergraduate education, inclusive excellence and student success.

The survey will be administered from February 8-March 12, 2021.



What is this survey?

The HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey will create a comprehensive view of ECU’s campus climate regarding diversity and equity.  It will measure perceptions of ECU’s climate, perceptions of how ECU supports diversity and equity, and experiences with discrimination and harassment.

Why are we doing this survey?

In line with ECU’s mission to becoming “a national model for student success, public service, and regional transformation,” this requires an intentional commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Studies have shown that routinely assessing campus climate is an integral component of building toward diversity and equity, allowing institutions to effectively identify areas of strength and improvement over time.

The findings of this survey and other diversity data efforts on campus allow us to create and enact evidence-driven actionable steps towards building a more inclusive and equitable ECU. This survey, in particular, is the largest climate assessment at ECU for all students, staff, administrators, and faculty since 2015.

Who is participating in this? Do I have to participate?

All students, staff, faculty, and administrators of ECU will have an opportunity to participate in the HEDS survey.

Participation is voluntary. You should not feel pressured to participate but, since this is a great chance for you to be heard, we encourage your participation.

You may skip any questions and/or stop taking the survey at any time. If you wish to stop taking the survey, simply leave the survey without hitting the “submit” button at the end. Qualtrics will not record your responses until you hit the “Submit” button.

When is this happening and how long will it take?

The survey will launch on February 8 and run five weeks through March 12, 2021.

The survey takes, on average, about 15 minutes to complete.

Employees: You can take the survey either on work time or off work time using a laptop or mobile device. (Note: If you decide to complete the survey outside your regular work schedule, then you will not be paid for that time.)

How will I receive the survey?

You will receive an email invitation from ECU that has a link to the survey on Qualtrics, where you will input your ECU email address to access the survey. You do not need to be on campus or connected to the ECU VPN to take the survey.

What is on the survey?

Close-Ended Questions:There are 21-37 (depending on how you answer) close-ended questions with answers such as Strongly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree nor Disagree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree.

Open-Ended Questions:There are 4-7 (depending on how you answer) open-ended questions for write-in responses.

Demographics Questions: These are for reporting purposes, such as race, gender, years of service, etc.

Questions will ask about perceptions of and satisfaction with campus climate, experiences with discrimination and harassment, and satisfaction with diversity and equity activities and resources on campus.

What about confidentiality and the safety of my responses?

The survey is being administered through HEDS, an outside third-party vendor.  HEDS is the only entity that can access or view raw survey data and individual responses.

The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Data Analyst in the Office for Equity and Diversity will supply certain initial information to HEDS for survey distribution and reporting purposes, including each person’s name, email address, affiliation, race and sex as reported to IPEDS, and class year or job category. All materials with participants’ personal information are deleted by HEDS sixty days after all final reports and data files have been delivered to ECU.

HEDS secures your survey data and participant information using Qualtrics, a survey engine, and end-to-end encryption via SendSafely. Qualtrics’ security statement is available at.

More information about SendSafely

HEDS takes multiple precautions to ensure confidentiality of respondents in administering the survey and delivering the survey results to ECU. The data given to ECU will not include personal information of name, email address, institution-provided race/ethnicity and gender, employee type, or campus ID number. Any identifiable information is removed and/or response options are combined into broader categories in order to maintain the confidentiality of respondents.

Details on how HEDS ensures confidentiality (PDF)

Questions about HEDS survey confidentiality may be addressed to: Megan Nanney, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Data Analyst (nanneym20@ecu.edu).

Is there Institutional Review Board approval for this survey?

HEDS Consortium has received exempt status approval for this survey from Wabash College IRB.

Heds Consortium approval letter (PDF)

ECU has also received approval from the ECU UMCIRB (# 21-000081). Should there be any questions or concerns regarding research ethics or your rights as a participant, please contact the UMCIRB director at 252-744-2914.

What will ECU do with this survey?

The results from the study will be presented to various stakeholders across campus regarding areas of strength and areas that need targeted improvement.

The results from the survey will also be used in combination with other institutional surveys to inform data-driven diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic action planning. Other surveys that will be used in this effort may include the Project EC(you) Campus Climate Survey, UNC System Racial Equity Task Force Survey, Employee Engagement Survey, and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

These data will also serve as a benchmark for longitudinal research so we are able to observe change on campus over time.

I’ve already taken a survey similar to this one. Why should I participate again?

While we have administered other surveys asking questions about campus climate, diversity and equity, each survey asks different questions, thus providing different viewpoints to the larger puzzle that is diversity and equity work.

We are aiming for at least 50% participation but would like to see the number much higher than that. It is important that the University hears from as many people as we can in order to get the most complete feedback. With more responses, we will be able to conduct deeper analyses across groups.

Where can I get more information?

If you have questions about the survey, you may contact Nicole Seidler, Research Analyst and Data Manager at the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium, at seidler@hedsconsortium.org.

Any other questions can be directed to Megan Nanney, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Data Analyst (nanneym20@ecu.edu).