Office of Diversity Letterhead.

July 30, 2019

Dear campus community,

San Jose State is committed to academic excellence, diversity and inclusion. One of the many desired outcomes of Transformation 2030 is to “foster an inclusive environment and infrastructure where diverse populations can flourish.” In order to fulfill our mission, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has invited an outside consulting group, Rankin & Associates Consulting to come to our campus to facilitate a campus climate study during the 2019-2020 academic year. Susan Rankin and her colleagues at Rankin & Associates [R&A] started this process when they came to campus this summer for a day of work with our SJSU Campus Climate and Belonging Committee [CCBC] of 25 individuals from the ranks of staff, faculty and students. This working group will provide their perspectives and analysis to help R&A tailor a campus climate survey to the issues that are relevant to our campus communities.

The CCBC will be working with R&A to populate 22 focus groups in October 2019, which will be facilitated and analyzed for themes and findings by R&A. Those findings will be brought to the CCBC for analysis and selection of recommended campus climate survey questions (for the actual on-line survey to be administered during the Spring semester 2020). R&A will work closely with our Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics to seek IRB approval for the campus climate survey. R&A will also work with our Strategic Communication team to help us develop a marketing plan to generate excitement to support a survey completion participation rate of over 30 percent for undergraduates, graduate students, staff, faculty, and administrators.

R&A was chosen through a competitive RFP process earlier during the spring semester of 2019. R&A met several important criteria we believe are important for the process and findings to have a high level of integrity and credibility. They are as follows:

  • Strong theoretical background based in higher education studies research literature on diversity, inclusion, and equity in tertiary education institutions; these frameworks assume that the effects and impacts of inequity are systemic rather than disconnected data points. 
  • Ownership of data by SJSU protected by IRB processes for future work and analysis; survey administration that would maximize anonymity and confidentiality (survey is housed and accessed through a web-based portal provided by R&A).
  • Findings and report are to be released and presented by R&A to the entire SJSU community at the same time including the cabinet and president. 

We are excited and ready for the hard work ahead to carry out this large campus-wide initiative of the “belong@SJSU” Campus Climate Study. The findings from the survey will drive the next step of developing plans and assessments for divisions and units across the campus to improve campus climate so that all students, staff and faculty can grow and thrive.


Kathy Wong(Lau) Signature.
Kathleen Wong(Lau)
Chief Diversity Officer
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Office of the President