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UK Assessing Campus Climate Through Wide-Ranging Survey

Josh James

Tuesday, the University of Kentucky is launching a campus-wide survey to gauge the climate on campus. The questionnaire is part of a wider effort to respond to student and faculty concerns about diversity and inclusion.

In February, African-American students organized a Call to Action town hall-style forum to discuss their experience at UK. Kicking off the event was a ten minute video featuring a variety of contributors, many discussing difficult encounters on campus. One participant, a black student named Kortni, described her reaction to racially charged language directed at her on the way to class this way:  "It wasn't a good feeling at all. I felt ugly. I felt just... unsafe."

Now, UK leadership want track the broader sentiment on campus as they survey faculty, staff, and students on their impressions of the university.

"We're looking for the collective voice. We are looking for feedback from each and everyone who is part of this university family," Interim Vice President for Institutional Diversity Terry Allen says.

UK officials will use the results as a baseline to compare against future surveys. The Board of Trustees, administration, and academic leaders are undergoing training on minimizing bias while the school plans to boost outreach efforts to underserved populations.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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