Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Art & Design
Social climate (campus climate), which is defined as "Equal Opportunity Climate, 1" has been deemed important by recent legislation requiring that federally funded institutions demonstrate a good faith effort to assess "climate" as an ongoing concern. The 1991 Civil Rights Act has expanded the working definition of social climate by including both the atmosphere and the behavior of discrimination. Social climate then becomes a legally recognized dimension of the workplace that is assumed to be a measurable concept, as an organizational level characteristic, that can be measured by individual perceptions and experiences with the social climate. One purpose of this study is the application and examination of a survey research approach, using a questionnaire composed of a combination of tested and untested items, in a university setting to determine an overall campus climate measure. A subsequent purpose is to analyze the campus climate survey instrument and the scales comprising the instrument to clarify and specify item validity and reliability measurement questions. While individual performance, associated with a higher education institution, may be attributed to many factors, it is felt that social climate becomes a key "contextual" concept influencing individual outcomes. Traditional variables [gender, age, social class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation] have been found to influence individual performance; however it is believed that social climate is a significant intervening variable modifying or distorting individual performance. Introducing and examining the effects of social climate will elucidate prior research linking traditional survey research variables with outcomes. In order to explicate these relationships in a higher education social system, a campus climate scale must be constructed responding to various measurement questions and issues.
Groff, Peter L., "Social Climate in the University Social System" (2000). Theses and Dissertations. 4034.