Penn State University professor Susan Rankin, the lead consultant on our Campus Climate Survey Team, defines campus climate as “the current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.”

“Respect” is one of the most critical words in this description. It’s not just the experience of individuals and groups on a campus; it’s also the quality and extent of the interaction among those various groups and individuals that determines a healthy campus climate. Diversity and inclusion are extremely important aspects.

Climate Studies