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Academics@UCSD Survey

UC San Diego is invested in the well-being and success of its academic appointees, and in the continuous improvement of its work environment. On May 5, 2020, the Center for Faculty Diversity & Inclusion (FDI), a unit of the Vice Chancellor’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion launched the first Academics@UCSD™ survey to better understand and improve the experiences of Academic employees at UC San Diego, including those of faculty, researchers, and librarians.  The survey closed on June 1, 2020, and received a 44% response rate.

The 2020 Academics@UCSD™ Survey was sponsored by the Offices of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The survey tool was designed by the Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives (OSI) in collaboration with FDI, Institutional Research (IR), Academic Personnel Services (APS), and with faculty input. Covering several dimensions of academic work life, the survey asked questions related to academic welfare; department values, culture, and effectiveness; equity, diversity and inclusion; interpersonal behaviors; reward structures; and satisfaction with UC San Diego.

Given the overlapping timeline of the survey launch and the COVID-19 crisis, a series of 6 questions—5 quantitative and one open-ended—related to the impact of the pandemic on academic appointees was included at the end of the survey.

Academics@UCSD Report

Download the 2020 Academics@UCSD Survey Report

(Full screen mode recommended)


A Note About Survey Permissions

The Academics@UCSD™ survey instrument may be reproduced and used for non-commercial research and educational purposes without seeking written permission. Any other type of reproduction or distribution is not authorized. If you refer to, use or reproduce this survey in any way, even for educational and research purposes, please cite and attribute to University of California, San Diego (2020). For questions or permissions, email

If you are interested in conducting this survey or a customized version at your Institution, the Tritonlytics Team at UC San Diego can help. Tritonlytics offers in-house survey tools, system application and data, and statistical reports designed to help unit leaders identify opportunities for improvement and optimize operational effectiveness. If interested in full or partial-service deployment, please visit Tritonlytics online or email

2020 Survey Process

Institutional surveys are an important means of measuring the extent to which academic appointees feel valued and supported. The results will be used to identify opportunities for improvement and establish a baseline from which we can chart our institutional progress. Furthermore, they will be used to inform policy and procedure, the allocation of resources, and climate improvement goals.

The Center for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion, Institutional Research, and the Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives (OSI) have collaborated to analyze the survey results in two phases.

Phase 1

The first phase, led by OSI's Tritonanalytics team, resulted in statistical reports for all schools/divisions, departments, and programs with at least 5 or more respondents. As of November 2020, all unit-level reports have been distributed to unit leaders. Each department will share their survey results with their academic appointees.

Survey results were also summarized at the VC level (Academic Affairs, Research Affairs, and Marine Sciences) and the campus-wide level.  A campus-wide statistical report is accessible HERE

A Note about Verbatim Comments 

Comments provide valuable insight into the thoughts and feelings of academic employees. To ensure anonymity and preserve the trust that appointees demonstrated in providing candor, comments have only been shared in themes. Raw verbatim comments have only been shared with the Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion and Institutional Research, the stewards of this data.

Phase 2

For deeper insights and sensemaking, we will engage academic appointees in themed roundtables during Winter and Spring 2021 in a second and qualitative phase of analysis, with a final summary report expected by Summer 2021. 

For inquiries, please email

Roundtable Discussions on Survey Results

The Center for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion invites Academic Appointees to attend a roundtable discussion to share their thoughts on the 2020 Academics@UCSD™ survey results. Each roundtable will start with a brief overview of the survey and key findings related to the theme. Participants will be invited to share their reflections and participate in a facilitated discussion to ensure a richer understanding of the results and to start exploring potential solutions. These discussions will not be recorded. 

The roundtable discussions are organized by emergent themes and key findings; each theme includes two options to accommodate different schedules:

Academic Workload

Using the Academics@UCSD Survey results to understand perceptions about workload among academic appointees

Wednesday, February 3, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, March 4, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Perceptions of Underrepresented Academic Appointees

Using the Academics@UCSD Survey results to shed light on the experiences of underrepresented academic appointees, including women, people of color, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ

Thursday, February 18, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday, February 24, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Institutional Transparency

Using the Academics@UCSD Survey results to understand perceptions about institutional transparency and decision-making

Monday, March 15, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Academic Performance Review 

Using the Academics@UCSD Survey to understand perceptions about how performance is assessed, valued, and rewarded

Wednesday, April 7, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

A final summary report based on the survey results and the feedback received during the roundtable series is expected by the summer of 2021. 

COVID-19 Related Results

Given the overlapping timeline of the survey launch and the COVID-19 crisis, a series of 6 questions—5 quantitative and one open-ended—related to the impact of the pandemic on academic appointees was included at the end of the survey.

Of the 818 respondents, 90% answered the supplemental questions related to COVID-19.  Institutional Research (IR) prepared an executive summary outlining preliminary high-level results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Vice Chancellor Units participated in the survey? Academic Affairs, Marine Sciences, and Research Affairs.

Who was invited to take the survey?   It was distributed to Senate Faculty, Non-Senate Faculty (represented and non-represented), Academic Coordinators & Administrators, Academic Researchers (represented and non-represented) and Librarians in participating units. The following titles/groups were not included: Extension, Preuss School, Postdoctoral Scholars, Visiting and Non-Salaried Titles, Graduate Student Instructors, and Emeriti/Recall.

How is anonymity being maintained?  The Academics@UCSD survey is completely anonymous, made possible through the following:

  • The distribution of Response IDs were randomized, eliminating the possibility that a specific user's response could be identified based on survey or alphabetical order.
  • Respondent IP addresses, email addresses, and other identity-related information was not logged or stored (i.e., no cookies.). Outside of the emailed invitation itself, there’s no record correlating a specific user with a specific response.
  • Using a uniquely generated passphrase per Response ID, each invitee was sent a unique survey link to complete the survey. 
  • Lastly, a secure SSL certificate was utilized for all online survey activity, preventing others from "listening in" on the survey responses.

How is confidentiality being maintained? Although the survey is anonymous, we want to ensure that respondents cannot be identified based on demographic data and/or qualitative responses. To protect individuals and ensure confidentiality, responses will only be reported in a summary format. Furthermore, results will only be reported where n is greater than five.

What about academics with joint or split appointments with multiple departments?  Academic appointees with joint or split appointments were asked to complete the survey based on their primary, or “home”, department, which was pre-determined based on a set of criteria, e.g. hiring department, percent appointment, etc.

Who should I contact if I have any questions? Email

2017-2018 HERI Faculty Survey

In AY 2017-2018 the Center for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion launched the HERI Faculty Survey with the intent to establish a cyclical practice for tracking longitudinal trends in the faculty experience and perceptions of campus climate. Our goals were to understand the academic work climate and to promote improvements for faculty to thrive at UC San Diego.

The initial survey findings indicated that overall, the faculty experience at UC San Diego is positive and faculty are generally satisfied with their affiliation to campus. However, there are challenges for many, and experiences of inclusion and perceptions of equity are inconsistent.

As a whole, our faculty reported good job satisfaction but also considerable work-related stress. We noted that faculty perceive that the institution values increasing prestige over civic and community engagement, an imbalance that can be of concern to many. On the topic of inclusion, faculty reported that instances of discrimination are rare, but that campus could be doing better to cultivate a culture of equity and inclusion and to demonstrate our institutional commitment to diversity.

We also noted challenges facing specific groups within our community. For example, survey responses indicated that women of color, in particular, experience our campus climate differently from other groups. We also found that the experiences of LGBTQ+ faculty are mediated by intersections with ethnicity and gender. However, the small n for these underrepresented groups limited our ability to draw conclusions. No statistical tests were performed.

All deans had access to their survey results with breakdowns by gender and race/ethnicity and were asked to consider their unit data in the EDI accountability process and to address any gaps with plans for improvement.  

The HERI Faculty Survey was an important first step to in assessing faculty experiences and needs. However, it was a research-based instrument designed only for instructional faculty.  The Academics@UCSD survey, developed specifically for and by our campus, was designed as an institutional tool to give leaders access to actionable data and to include other non-instructional academics who play a critical role in our educational and research mission.