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Bentley Equity Experience

Bentley Equity Experience FAQs

Why is Bentley doing a climate study?

The need for a climate study emerged from the racial justice task force discovery document. An assessment of the campus culture uncovered a lack of consistent opportunities to express concern with the climate and to share perceptions of the impact of discrimination, harassment, and bias. In the history of Bentley there has not been a consistent measure of the campus climate across the entire campus including students and employees. This campus climate engagement effort will provide a baseline from which to measure our progress, allow for transparency and accountability as we move our DEI efforts forward.

How will the results of this study be used to address the climate on campus?

The results of this survey will be shared widely with the campus to inform the creation of specific measurable systemic changes. Data will be disaggregated, to the extent possible, by specific demographic groups to uncover patterns and themes. Data will also be analyzed by division and department to inform the creation of specific action plans focused on the unique contributions of these areas to the culture.

How will my identity be protected if I take the survey?

Confidentiality is essential to the success of campus climate research. We have contracted with an external research firm, SoundRocket, to help ensure that confidentiality is maintained, while allowing us the ability to conduct the study with the most rigorous methodology. Multiple measures will be taken to protect individual confidentiality and the de-identification of data:

  • Data shared by Bentley University to SoundRocket will only contain names, email addresses, campus role, recorded race, and legal sex for the purposes of survey distribution, respondent tracking to reduce duplicate responses and allow participants to complete the survey over multiple sessions, and to conduct analyses designed to understand and correct for potential nonresponse bias.
  • Your responses to the survey will never be included in an analytic dataset together with identifiable personal information (such as your name and email).  After the study is concluded, your identifiable personal data will be destroyed.
  • Only the deidentified final analytic data that has been stripped of personally identifiable data will be shared with Bentley University for the purposes of data analysis.
How was the climate survey designed?

The campus climate survey that was selected has been developed and validated by the University of Michigan. The Campus Climate Survey on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion includes questions that capture information and perceptions on demographics, climate, institutional commitment and inclusive and equitable treatment, department norms, intergroup interactions, and discrimination. The instrument was tailored with the assistance of SoundRocket and Bentley's Business Intelligence team to reflect Bentley's unique structure and a few questions were added to identify information relevant to our current efforts to impact DEI.

Who is conducting the survey data collection?

Bentley has partnered with SoundRocket, a social science research firm based in Ann Arbor Michigan to distribute the campus climate survey and collect all data. They have extensive experience working with higher education institutions to field single campus and multi-institutional surveys on topics including diversity, equity & inclusion, leadership, well-being, and sexual misconduct. Bentley has partnered with SoundRocket to field the survey to ensure confidentiality and privacy of those who participate. Bentley is in no way involved in the collection of data.

Why was an external vendor chosen for this project?

An independent, external partner was selected to ensure the reliability and credibility of the data collection process for the climate survey. SoundRocket will provide survey management support by handling the distribution of survey invitations, data collection and management, and preliminary analysis. SoundRocket will also work to ensure the anonymity of the data by deidentifying data before it is shared with Bentley.

Did this study receive approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

The Bentley Institutional Review Board (IRB) members reviewed the Scope of Work for the Bentley Campus Climate study and determined that IRB approval was not required. No data will be collected through intervention or interaction with an individual, and identifiable personal information will be protected. This decision is consistent with other climate surveys of this kind at Bentley.