Columbia, MO (KTRS) The learning and working environment at the University of Missouri appears to parallel conditions at universities throughout the nation.
That’s according to a study by Rankin & Associates Consulting, which reported that the “findings were consistent with those found in higher education institutions across the country.” In 2016, the University of Missouri System contracted with the firm to conduct a climate study in an effort to identify the strengths and challenges facing students and employees at all four campuses of the University of Missouri.
“While some of the findings are very positive and encouraging, some of them will guide us in what we can do as a community to improve our environment,” UM System President Mun Choi said.
“This assessment provides us an opportunity to be forthcoming and transparent; build upon our strengths; develop a deeper awareness of those challenges; and inform our institutional policies and practices to ensure each member of our community is respected, valued, safe and a vital part of a positive culture.” Choi added.
Key findings in the areas of strength include:
80% of the respondents “were very comfortable” or “comfortable” with the climate in their primary work area.
94% of the respondents believed their supervisors provided adequate support for them to manage their work-life balance.
Key findings in the areas of improvement include:
19% of the respondents indicated that they personally experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct.
22% of the respondents each indicated that the conduct was based on their gender/gender identity, or position status, while 19% of respondents noted that the conduct was based on their age.
Information from the report will be turned over to university leaders in an effort to help address future goals.
“While our results are very similar to what has been found at other institutions, we are not happy with some of the findings and it helps us identify areas that we should address in the future,” MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said.
“Honest, open and direct feedback is the only way we can work together to build a better Mizzou. We want to be a place where everyone who is here—faculty, staff, students, guests—feel safe and experience a welcoming environment to work, live and learn. We have work to do in many areas, and we’re not afraid of the hard work that awaits us. The campus has been through some difficult times in the recent past, but we are moving in the right direction.” Cartwright added.
The Columbia campus came under scrutiny and was thrown into the national spotlight in the fall of 2015 amid campus protests over alleged racism.
The report will be presented during a series of town hall meetings at all four campuses.
The executive summary of the UM System Climate Assessment is available online: http://umurl.us/dIwd