What is it?
Current attitudes, behaviors, and standards held by faculty, staff, and students concerning the access for, inclusion of, and level of respect for individual and group needs, abilities, and potential.
Why does it matter?
Creating a healthy climate benefits all campus community members, not just historically under-represented students, faculty, and staff.
- Campus climate is experienced by faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
- A hostile campus climate directly impacts a student’s adjustment to college1. In an unhealthy climate, students are less likely to adjust academically and are less likely to develop a sense of belonging on campus.
- Furthermore, research demonstrates the link between healthy climate and positive educational outcomes both for minority and for majority students2.
- Finally, campus climate impacts the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff, as well as the productivity and success of all members of the academic community.
- Staff tends to be the group most often excluded from inquiry. However, given the large number of staff who play a critical role in the functioning of the university, their inclusion is warranted.
- Hurtado, S., Milem, J. F., Cltyon-Pederson, A., & Allen, W. A. (1999). Enacting diverse learning environments: Improving the campus climate for racial/ethnic diversity in higher education. ASHE-ERIC Series. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Milem, J. F., Chang, M. J., & Antonio, A. L. (2005). Making diversity work on campus: A research-based perspective. Washington D. C.: American Association of Colleges and Universities.