Institutional climate census starts

01 October 2012

The 2012 staff institutional climate census championed by deputy vice-chancellor Professor Crain Soudien has been launched at UCT.

The purpose of this census is to gather information from all staff members about various aspects of the work experience and climate at UCT. It provides an opportunity for staff to give feedback about their experiences of the working environment at UCT.

This census follows two surveys conducted in 2003 and 2007 and, although it covers the same array of issues, the number of questions has been trimmed significantly so as to encourage participation and engagement. The individual responses are anonymous and confidential and the results will be independently analysed.

Once the findings have been discussed and areas identified for further action, the results and planned interventions will be communicated back to the university.

Further to the feedback from the last surveys and subsequent discussion and debate, a number of areas were identified and a comprehensive action plan was developed. The areas of concern included victimisation, awareness of disability issues on campus, sexual harassment and sexual offences, racism and racial harassment, participation of senior leadership and academics in transformation initiatives such as Khuluma, respect for and recognition of PASS staff, and gender issues.

A range of initiatives have since been actioned.

Soudien urges all staff to participate in this census, which should take between five and 10 minutes to complete.

"It is your citizenly duty to give us honest feedback on your experiences at UCT so that we can continue to plan and action initiatives and responses designed to create a respectful and welcoming work environment at UCT," says Soudien. "It is also very important that we hear all the voices at UCT so as to better understand the concerns and anxieties staff may have, so please commit this short time required to complete the questions.

"I'd also like to call on line managers to actively encourage their staff to participate."

An email containing a link to the survey has been sent to all staff, and in addition paper copies have been mailed to those staff who may not have access to a computer.

The surveys can also be found at (Academic) and (PASS).

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