Climate Study

In 2016, the University of Kansas Lawrence, Edwards, and Medical Center campuses underwent a series of surveys, focus groups, and interviews to better understand the atmosphere at KU. The goals were to identify what was already working to foster a positive environment at KU; uncover any challenges facing the community; and develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges.


A KU working group first identified a need to conduct a climate survey in 2014. After that, KU brought together a broad cross section of students, staff and faculty who represented of all of the university's campuses. The steering committee identified and hired Rankin and Associates Consulting to lead the campus climate survey. Rankin and Associates met with the steering committee and returned several times in spring 2016. They conducted small group conversations with KU staff, students and faculty. In summer 2016, they worked with the steering committee to finish the survey and submit it for review through the Institutional Review Board, a standard process in research projects to ensure ethical considerations are met. The survey opened on September 13, 2016 and ran until October 14, 2016. Data were analyzed and reports were shared in Spring of 2017. 


  • Fall 2015 - Preparing the campus – education, marketing, reviewing relevant data 
  • Spring 2016 - Focus groups and begin survey development 
  • Summer 2016 - Complete Survey, Institutional Review Board Process, and Communication Plan 
  • Fall 2016 - Survey Administration and Data Analysis 
  • Spring 2017 - Report Results to the campus community 
  • Summer 2017 - Develop strategic action steps with the campus community 

Report & Study Findings

After data were collected, Rankin and Associated analyzed the findings then shared their report with the KU community.

The Provost then convened an Advisory Group to help interpret the results and make recommendations on how KU could tangible improve. They identified 38 goals focused on students, staff, faculty, and the university broadly. One year later, the group reviewed the goals and updated the document with progress and additional requests.

The following print resources are available by request. Please send requests to our office at

  • DEI Advisory Group Report - 2016 (pdf)
  • DEI Advisory Group Report - 2017 (pdf)
  • Executive Summary - Lawrence and Edward Campuses (pdf)
  • Executive Summary - Medical Center, Wichita, and Salina Campuses (pdf)
  • Full Climate Report - Lawrence and Edwards Campuses (pdf)
  • Full Climate Report - Medical Center, Wichita, and Salina Campuses (pdf)
  • Past Website Archival Information (docx)

Future Climate Studies

  • A climate study or campus-wide assessment would be initiated by the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor.

  • For a Snapshot of Diversity at KU, visit our homepage.