December 2020 meeting summary

What a strange year it’s been! Hello, everyone. The DIBS blog has been radio silent for a bit, but we are picking back up with the December 2020 meeting which was held on Monday, December 14th via zoom.

This meeting focused on the results of the 2020 department climate survey, which was conducted in November and December of this year. During the meeting, we mainly looked at written feedback that people provided on the survey, as well as some data on the effects of the pandemic. One saddening pattern that we observed is that both faculty and undergraduate students are very stressed about work during the pandemic. Faculty feel like they’re doing everything they can to support undergrads, but undergrads still feel like they don’t have as much support as they need.

We discussed some next steps to follow up on the survey:

  • Create a report summarizing this year’s and last year’s survey results to highlight important findings and begin trying to identify temporal trends.
  • For more rigorous data analysis, have 1-2 additional people classify the written responses to the survey into categories and compare/reconcile the different classifications.
  • Comb through the written responses again to see which action items would be best handled by DIBS / DIBS members, the Diversity Committee, UPBM, etc. Collate relevant responses to be provided as evidence.
  • Create and/or publicize repositories of funding opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students – perhaps a funding channel on the biograds slack, and an email announcement about existing and/or newly created funding opportunity databases.
  • Create an anonymous suggestion form / anonymous feedback form on the DIBS website and publicize this and the Diversity Committee’s anonymous feedback form on their website.

Update: DIBS now has an anonymous feedback form which can be found here! Also easily accessible at any time from our website’s main menu.

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