This study reports on a multi-faceted assessment effort for diversity underway at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The four major elements of this project include: (1) archival research of the institution's history of segregation and desegregation; (2) a report on the status of women and minority faculty, staff, and students; (3) climate surveys of faculty, staff, and students; and (4) interviews with various constituents and benchmarking visits to other institutions. This paper focuses on the survey of faculty's assessment of the campus climate for diversity. The survey questionnaire, which was mailed to all 2,648 faculty members both on and off campus, included questions on professional treatment and social acceptance in the department, institutional climate, attitudes about affirmative action, level of commitment evidenced by institutional leaders, and personal experiences with discrimination and harassment. The response rate was 50 percent. The survey strongly suggests that experiences and perceptions of non-majority faculty differ in significant ways from those of majority faculty and that majority faculty are generally unaware of the extent of these differences. Both women and faculty of color expressed concern about the institutional commitment to creating a diverse faculty. The survey questionnaire is appended. (Contains 15 references.) (RH)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (24th, San Antonio, TX, November 18-21, 1999).
ASHE Annual Meeting; Virginia Polytechnic Inst and State Univ