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Campus and Workplace Culture Pulse Survey Results Now Available

February 20, 2024

Results from the October 2023 Campus and Workplace Culture (CWC) Pulse Survey show areas of strength for CU Denver faculty and staff, like work-life balance and feelings of belonging, as well as areas where the university can improve, which include better fostering a sense of community and pride. The pulse survey is an important tool as the university works towards its strategic goals of becoming the nation’s first equity-serving institution and becoming a people-centered best place to work.  

The pulse survey—which followed a more comprehensive CWC Survey in fall 2021 that was requested by the CU System—was administered by the CWC committee, which has shared governance and dean representatives as well as cross-departmental representation from the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE), schools, colleges, and administrative units. OIRE’s Assistant Vice Chancellor Dave Deffenbacher and data analyst Laura Perrigo have finished aggregating the employee data, which is now available to all faculty and staff in a convenient dashboard. As a reminder, the survey data is anonymous, and no names or personal identification are used.  

Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Antonio Farias encourages schools, colleges, and units to use the dashboard as a guide for what’s working well in their areas, and what needs attention.  

“Data serves no purpose if it’s not put to work,” Farias said. “The good news is all schools, colleges, and administrative units have created their own Inclusive Excellence Plans in response to the 2021 CWC. So, short as the timeframe is, we now have some trendline data on impact of effort, as well as teams within each school, college, and administrative unit that will work with their communities to make progress.”

Survey Details 

The survey was sent by email to all CU Denver faculty and staff in October 2023. Among faculty, 307, or 26% participated; for staff, 413, or 49%, participated. The survey had representation from every school and college, as well as administrative units. The dashboard allows viewers to look at responses based on school, college, and various demographic factors.  

While there was some overlap with the Staff Council Job Satisfaction Survey (which took place in December 2023), the CWC Pulse Survey focused on academic and workplace culture and sense of belonging.  

Read more: Results Dashboard from Second Annual Staff Satisfaction Survey Now Live 

Key Findings  

The pulse survey asked respondents to agree or disagree with 10 different sentiments about the workplace and campus life. The survey also asked for responses relating to race, ethnicity, and gender. Areas of strength are those to which greater than 65% of employee respondents agreed or strongly agreed, as well as questions that saw growth since the 2021 survey. Areas of growth are those to which less than 50% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed (all items in this category saw improvement from 2021 to 2023).

Areas of strength include:

  • 69% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed their department values the balance between their job and life outside the work setting (an increase of 11% from 2021);
  • 59% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they are treated like they belong (an increase of 6% from 2021);
  • 70% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their work is respected by the people they work with. 

Areas of growth include:

  • 46% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they have a sense of community (an increase from 42% from 2021);
  • 49% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that department resources are allocated transparently (an increase from 44% from 2021). 

Next Steps  

Farias and members of the CWC Committee met with Cabinet, deans, the Inclusive Excellence Council, and shared governance leaders to review the findings. Farias will also visit schools and colleges through the spring and summer to discuss the survey findings and unit-level Inclusive Excellence Plans. In the meantime, teams are encouraged to review their data and discuss at the unit-level.  

Farias and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources teri engelke, who also serves on the CWC Committee, said the results will help inform new initiatives that support equity and workplace support, as well as build on the progress of existing ones.