Next Steps: Planning Group Reports, Campus Climate Survey

From: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President
To: Holy Cross Campus Community
April 23, 2019


Dear Members of the Campus Community,

I hope you had a restful and restorative Passover and Easter and that you were able to spend graced time with family and friends. Hopefully, these holidays have given each of us some quiet and reflective time as we now prepare the expectations and celebrations which mark the end of the semester. Before I update you on the Planning Group reports and the recent Campus Climate Survey, I want to express to you my deep shock and sadness over this weekend’s attacks in Sri Lanka. These acts of violence, along with the recent attack on a New Zealand mosque, target religious communities precisely in those sacred spaces where they seek union with God and one another. Please join me in praying for the victims and their loved ones and for an end to such horrific violence in the name of religion.

I am writing today to provide you with updates on the work of the Planning Groups and the results of the student Campus Climate Survey.

PLANNING GROUP REPORTS & COMMUNITY INPUT: I am pleased to share with you the reports I received from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Sexual Respect and Conduct Planning Groups. I have attached the reports here, and you may also see them on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Planning Group and the Sexual Respect and Conduct Planning Group webpages. The planning groups have been laboring since February and, on behalf of the entire College community, I want to thank them for their work and commitment to these issues.  I believe it is important for all members of the community to have access to these reports and to have an opportunity to ask questions about the reports and provide feedback. Thus, I have asked Amit Taneja and Theresa McBride, who chaired the two Planning Groups, to host open campus sessions in which members of the Planning Groups will present their respective reports, and students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide additional feedback. These sessions will take place as follows:

  1. Thursday, May 2
    4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
    Hogan, Suite B/C
  2. Friday, May 3
    12 - 1 p.m.
    Hogan 519

In addition, members of the community may use this form to provide feedback on the recommendations outlined in the reports.  So that we may continue our forward progress and begin to make decisions based on the reports and community input, I ask that comments be submitted by Saturday, May 4.

STUDENT CAMPUS CLIMATE SURVEY PRELIMINARY RESULTS PRESENTATION: I am also pleased to let you know the recent campus climate survey administered to students is complete. Denise Bell, Director of the Office of Assessment and Research, and Michael Kelly, Senior Research Analyst will be holding two open sessions for the campus community at which they will present an overview of the student survey results. The presentation will include a review of the responses received and some of the preliminary patterns that are emerging in the results. These sessions will take place as follows:

  1. Wednesday, May 1
    1 p.m.
    Hogan 519
  2. Wednesday, May 1
    3 p.m.
    Hogan 519

Their presentation will be available on the Campus Climate website as well after that date. 

Over the summer the Office of Assessment and Research will be doing a more complete analysis of the student survey, along with analysis of the campus climate survey for faculty and staff, in order to determine whether and how the responses and patterns differ between groups, to better understand certain key concepts including "sense of belonging", to identify any patterns regarding any reported identity-based discrimination or sexual misconduct, and to determine themes that emerge from the qualitative comments. 

We would like to ensure that the final report on the student campus climate survey addresses the questions the community might have about the survey responses.  Community members are invited to suggest questions to be explored in the data analysis either at the presentations or using this form.

All of this work will inform how we move forward as a campus community. I will review the reports, the survey results, and the community input and respond to the recommendations of the community in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, we continue the work I have outlined in previous communications. You can expect a communication outlining our progress on those fronts, including a third update on the review of our culture, policies and structures being undertaken by Phil Catanzano of Holland & Knight and an update on the work of the Sexual Misconduct Policy Review committee which began its work last week.

Growing as a community, facing our shortcomings and learning from the past is difficult work. I hope you find this information useful as we work together to make Holy Cross the inclusive, compassionate and engaged campus we all wish it to be. I look forward to our continuing conversations.