recursive qualities of our assessment approaches are evident
in descriptions of the research processes used by each of
our four teams and the findings that emerged from that work:
Each of our teams used
mixed methods, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative
strategies. For example, we designed, administered, and
analyzed several surveys, including one on
faculty career flexibility provided by the American
Council on Education through their partnership with the
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and another developed for staff
by our own
L. Burruss Institute of Public Service and Research.
But we also held formal
focus groups on
campus climate for both faculty and staff, who addressed
open-ended questions about recruitment and retention issues
and work/life balance challenges—two topics identified, in
pilot focus groups, as particularly important to several
constituencies on campus. We gathered statistical and
anecdotal data from a range of sources at KSU, but we also
interviewed colleagues at numerous other institutions and
reviewed reports by other university teams who had studied
Every team prepared a
report to be shared with key stakeholders on campus.
Beginning with the President’s cabinet, we presented a
of our work. Soon afterwards, we gave similar presentations
to the deans’ council, chairs’ council, faculty senate,
staff senate, and student government representatives. In
each case, questions from colleagues helped us further
refine our inquiry and identify avenues for future research.
Thus, dissemination of our work has helped set the agenda
for additional diversity assessment projects in the future.
In this section, we provide
brief summaries of the core inquiry questions addressed by
each team, the research processes they employed, and the
recommendations emerging from their efforts.