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The 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 A. 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 diversity.

Every team prepared a report to be shared with key stakeholders on campus. Beginning with the President’s cabinet, we presented a PowerPoint overview 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.