Cal Poly Unveils Results of Campus Climate Survey and Shares Next Steps

CPX Initiative Will Create an Action Plan to Improve Campus Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

President Armstrong at the CPX-Strategic Diversity Leadership Institute on Oct. 17.
SAN LUIS OBISPO ­— Cal Poly unveiled the results of its campuswide Cal Poly Experience (CPX) survey today, as the university enters the second phase of an ongoing diversity and inclusion initiative that began in early 2019.

The survey results provide the university with a comprehensive picture of the experiences of Cal Poly students, faculty and staff; highlight areas for improvement; and lay out a clear path forward. The results reflect feedback given last spring from about 41% of students, 61% of faculty, and 60% of staff members — nearly 11,000 campus community members. The survey’s executive summary and full report are now available online at  

“Today is an important step in helping us accelerate our efforts to create a campus where all members of our community feel respected and have equitable access to a Cal Poly education,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said. “We can’t move forward with this important work unless we know how we’re doing as a community and where we need to improve. This survey is another step toward our shared goal of creating a Cal Poly that is truly for all.”  

The survey results show more negative experiences and greater challenges at Cal Poly among campus community members from traditionally underrepresented and marginalized groups. The report also found an extraordinary and widespread level of awareness about diversity, equity, and inclusion and a concern for others even when one’s own experience is comfortable.

Renowned diversity, equity and inclusion expert Dr. Damon A. Williams shared the survey results Oct. 17 at a keynote address to kick off the Strategic Diversity Leadership Institute. The institute is a two-day conference-style campus event to help the Cal Poly community interpret the survey results and discuss how that data can be used to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the university.

The Strategic Diversity Leadership Institute will feature sessions designed to dive deeper and discuss ways to create an everyday culture of inclusion; infuse equity and inclusion into policies, systems and approaches; and better support and meet the basic needs of students, faculty and staff. The sessions will include conversations on the invisible responsibilities of faculty and staff from diverse communities, closing the graduation gap, and strategies for actively demonstrating ally-ship.

“Cal Poly now has an opportunity to unite as a campus and embrace a collective journey to create a more inclusive, diverse and equitable educational and work experience for all,” Williams said. “The path forward includes resources that will allow every person on campus to play a role in leading and creating a better Cal Poly experience.”

With the results, the university will develop a series of action plans later this fall and into 2020 that outline specific goals and strategies for the campus community. These action plans will build on past and ongoing efforts by many university community members and the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion to thread diversity and inclusion throughout the university.

“The campus has been waiting for the survey results to further inform actions and connect the work that has come before,” said Jozi De Leon, vice president of diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. “Through this work, I envision that we will create a culture of inclusion on our campus in which every student and every employee can show up every day knowing they are welcome and they belong.”

University leaders also plan to analyze various programs, including training programs, the Cal Poly Scholars program and its diversity cluster hiring practices to determine how it can further support successful efforts and scale them up.

“Ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion are infused throughout our curriculum is crucial to creating a well-rounded academic experience for all of our students,” said Mary Pedersen, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “In order to provide an education experience that enables our students to succeed at Cal Poly and prepares them to thrive in a global workforce, we must recruit a diverse faculty and staff and provide them with programs, resources and support to ensure their success and retention.”

Cal Poly began partnering in early 2019 with Williams and his team at the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership and Social Innovation to conduct the first phase of CPX, which included a series of listening sessions and a campuswide survey administered in March and April to better understand the experiences and challenges of Cal Poly community members.

“This is an important moment for our students, because we’re creating the steps needed to move our community forward,” said Keith Humphrey, vice president for student affairs. “We know there is more to be done, and we are committed to seeing this process through. Our community will continue to come together and do the important work to create a better Cal Poly for everyone.”

For more information on CPX, visit

Jozi De Leon at the CPX-Strategic Diversity Leadership Institute on Oct. 17.
Jozi De Leon, Cal Poly's vice president for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer

Damon A. Williams at the CPX-Strategic Diversity Leadership Institute on Oct. 17.
Damon A. Williams

At top: Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong at the Strategic Diversity Leadership Institute keynote session on Oct. 17.

Contact: Matt Lazier

October 17, 2017

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