Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is UTRGV launching a climate survey for faculty, staff and students?

    The Transforming our World Strategic Plan includes a focus on promoting a welcoming, inclusive and nurturing campus climate, along with values around engagement, shared governance, leadership, inclusion and well-being. In response to these goals/values, we hired ModernThink to conduct a customized Faculty/Staff Engagement Survey and a Student Engagement Survey for UTRGV. This survey will assess our progress in these areas and will allow us to develop a plan to strengthen our campus climate.

  • Who will be participating in this survey?

    All full-time faculty, full-time staff, and registered students will be surveyed.
  • Is my participation in the Campus Climate Survey optional?

    Yes, participation is completely voluntary.

  • Why is my participation in this Campus Climate Survey important?

    As a UTRGV faculty, staff, and/or student, your voice matters. Higher response rates give a more accurate picture of the university and its individual departments. This is a significant opportunity for you to share your ideas, opinions, and solutions by participating in both the survey and the action planning that will follow.

  • When will the survey be administered?

    Monday, March 26, 2018

  • Will the survey be electronic or on paper?

    The survey will be administered online and available in English and Spanish.

  • Can the survey be done on a mobile device?

    Yes. The survey is mobile-friendly and can be completed on a PC/laptop, tablet, or smart phone, and even at home or a public computer.

  • Do I have to complete the survey on my own time?

    No. Completing this Campus Climate Survey is an important business function of UTRGV. Time spent completing the survey may be considered work time. No UTRGV faculty or staff member will be charged personal time for completing the survey.

  • What if I don't have regular access to a computer?

    Faculty, staff, or students who don't have access to a computer may use the computers located in the Office of Human Resources at Edinburg: EMASS 2.126 or Brownsville: BVAQ2 1.200. 

  • Who will administer the survey?

    ModernThink, founded in 2003, a nationally recognized organizational development firm with expertise in higher education surveying, will administer the survey. ModernThink developed the survey based on ongoing research of organizations that have been successful in building workplace cultures that enhance performance. UTRGV was given the opportunity to add additional questions based on feedback from a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government Association, Human Resources, Faculty Affairs, and Student Success.

    The ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey© is an employee engagement survey derived in part from the ModernThink Insight Survey©, an assessment tool that has been used in over 50 “Best Places to Work” programs with more than 4,000 organizations. In 2008, ModernThink convened a blue-ribbon panel of experts and professionals from across higher education to solicit input regarding the customization of the ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey© so that it would best reflect the dynamics, systems, and demographics unique to higher education. ModernThink has surveyed universities across the country and have accumulated an unparalleled database of higher education benchmarking statistics and best practices using their ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey©.

    The ModernThink Higher Education Student Experience Survey© is designed to complement the ModernThink faculty/staff survey and create a 360 degree view of a campus culture. Student survey results will be used to strengthen and improve relationships on campus, build a connection to the university’s mission and goals, surface risk management issues, highlight what in the UTRGV culture gives students a sense of belonging, and in doing so, enhance students’ likelihood of academic success. Staff interaction is, in most cases, the first experience students have on campus, so gathering student perceptions of staff, as well as faculty, is important.

  • How is this survey different from other surveys I have completed?

    This survey is specifically designed to assess our progress in faculty/staff engagement and student engagement. This initial baseline survey, will allow us to set meaningful goals, prioritize resources, influence outcomes and measure progress over time to strengthen our campus climate.

  • Why did I receive two surveys?

    All full-time faculty, full-time staff, and registered students will be surveyed. If you are both a student and a faculty or staff member, you will receive both the student survey and the faculty/staff survey.  Please complete them both!  Your perspective as a student and as a faculty/staff member is important.

  • Once I start the survey, can I access it again?

    Your answers will be stored each time you select the SAVE & CONTINUE button at the bottom of a survey page. So if you get interrupted you can come back to the survey. You will need to log on to the ModernThink survey site to re-access the survey. To protect your confidentiality, you will not be able to access the survey after you click the SUBMIT button on the last page of the survey.

  • Are there any incentives for faculty/staff to complete the survey?

    Everyone who completes the survey is making an investment in improving the climate at UTRGV.

  • Are there any incentives for students to complete the survey?

    Everyone who completes the survey is making an investment in improving the climate at UTRGV.

    To thank students for participating, ModernThink will select up to 100 students who complete the survey to win a gift card.  Winners will be notified by email with instructions for picking up their prizes on campus.

  • What if I have problems accessing the survey site?

    For technical questions or problems with the survey site please contact ModernThink at (888) 684-4658 or, M-F 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST. After hours, leave a message and your call will be returned as promptly as possible.

  • Will my responses on the survey and email address identity remain confidential?

    Yes. The purpose of the survey is to get honest feedback which is why UTRGV is using an external partner (ModernThink) to administer the survey. It is web-based and automated with a secure internet connection.

    Each student, faculty, and staff member will receive an email invitation from ModernThink to participate in the survey. Once you click on the survey link, you will go directly to ModernThink’s website. UTRGV has no access to this website.

    Your responses will be sent directly to, and processed by, ModernThink LLC, an independent research and consulting firm that specializes in workplace excellence. No individual or office at UTRGV will ever have access to the responses; ModernThink will conduct all analyses. UTRGV will not be given any information that would enable the university to trace answers back to a specific person - even if you are part of a small demographic group. Results from demographic categories containing fewer than five respondents will not be reported. The survey is completed on ModernThink’s confidential website. Your email address is only used to access the survey and to ensure that only one survey per employee is completed. Emails are purged from ModernThink’s system once the survey project has been completed.

  • How many questions will be on the survey and how long will it take to finish?

    The faculty/staff survey will have 60 standard survey statements and 2 open-ended questions which measure 15 dimensions reflecting all the employees’ experience.  15 questions have been added to the faculty/staff survey by the steering committee touching on experiences that are unique to UTRGV.  There are 7 demographic questions and 19 benefits questions. ModernThink reports that the average respondent spends 20-30 minutes completing the survey.

    The student survey follows a similar format but includes 36 standard survey statements, 2 open-ended questions, and 7 questions have been added to the student survey by the steering committee touching on experiences that are unique to UTRGV.  14 questions also ask about demographic characteristics. Most students take less than 20 minutes to complete this survey.

  • What happens to my responses to open-ended questions?

    ModernThink will provide UTRGV a summary of all responses to the two optional, open-ended questions at the end of the survey. The report will list all responses to those two questions in alphabetical order by the first letter of the response to ensure confidentiality in reporting. In order to preserve your anonymity, please do not include your name or other identifying remarks in your responses.

  • What type of questions will be asked?

    The belief statements address key dimensions of employee and student engagement, including job satisfaction, institutional pride, communication, and fairness. Examples of belief statements are “My job makes good use of my skills and abilities,” “I am provided sufficient support and resources from this institution to succeed academically,” “Faculty care about me as an individual,” and “I understand how my job contributes to this institution's mission.” Respondents will answer how strongly they agree or disagree on a five-point scale, or they can select ‘not applicable.’ The benefits questions gauge employee satisfaction on a five-point satisfaction scale with a variety of benefits programs provided by the UT System/UTRGV.

  • Why will demographic information be requested on the survey?

    The demographic information helps ModernThink better understand the patterns and themes in the survey data. As the confidentiality of your responses is critical, ModernThink will not report your individual demographic data. Group demographic data will only be reported when there are five or more respondents in a particular group.

  • Does this survey measure “morale”?

    Although “morale” is not itself easily measurable, this survey is intended to cover many issues to which students and employees typically refer when speaking of “morale”. These dimensions include job satisfaction and support, collaboration, respect and appreciation, pride, and fairness.

  • Once all the results are received, what's next?

    The President, Executive Leadership Team and Steering Committee are committed to working closely with the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and Student Government Association to share the findings, gather feedback, identify priority areas of action, and develop action plans to address them. 

  • How often will this type of survey occur?

    UTRGV will conduct a follow-up Campus Climate Survey in 2021. This year’s results will provide us with important baseline data for UTRGV so that we can chart our progress moving forward.

  • Who can I contact with additional questions about the survey?

    If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding the survey and/or the survey process, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Gonzales Smith at (956) 665-7098 or, or Liz Flood, Project Manager at ModernThink, at (888) 684-4658 or