On March 15, President Elizabeth Davis announced that the results of the Campus Climate Assessment will become available to the Furman Community next month. According to President Davis, this initiative aims to "measure our progress towards diversity, equity, and inclusion at Furman."
Last semester, following Dr. Michael Jennings' transition away from Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), President Davis shared the importance of this Campus Climate Assessment with The Paladin. Before filling the newly vacated CDO position, President Davis explained that we need to evaluate our institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies by bringing in an outside consultant. Plans to conduct this project began in the Spring of 2021 and officially commenced in October 2021.
On Oct. 14, 2021, President Davis announced plans to launch a comprehensive "DEI Campus Climate Assessment" later in the month. Dr. Anita Davis, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Trinity College, was announced as the consultant to lead this two-part assessment.
For this Campus Climate Assessment, Anita Davis led several student, faculty and staff focus groups over late October and early November. Simultaneously, Furman partnered with the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) to conduct an anonymous Diversity and Equity Climate Survey. The goal of this initiative was to get input from Furman students, faculty and staff on perceptions of "Furman's climate and level of support for diversity, equity, and inclusion" and instances in which "campus members have experienced discrimination or harassment." Anita Davis and her team analyzed the focus group feedback and survey results and developed a set of recommendations for the Furman community.
President Davis further emphasized the importance of this Campus Climate Assessment on record with The Paladin:
"We need to make sure that the kindness and respect Furman is known for extends to everyone. The results of this survey will help us have courageous conversations about the experiences of our community members and about the work we need to do to make our campus more welcoming, inclusive, and supportive."
These recommendations will be shared in a "series of meetings April 20-21," according to President Davis' March 15 email. Further information and registration details on these meetings will be shared with the Furman community in a later email.