Climate Survey

Creating a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment is central to our mission as a Department and as a research enterprise dedicated to the free and open exchange of ideas. We define such an environment as one that fosters research excellence, inclusive teaching, well-being, and a sense of belonging for all. As such, this work is an essential component of the Department’s efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Microbial Sciences community at UW-Madison and beyond.

In support of Bacteriology’s commitment to fostering equity, inclusion, and a respectful workplace environment for all, members of the Department will be asked to complete a workplace climate survey annually in May each year. Survey results will help the Department to identify individual, unit-based, structural, cultural, and institutional factors that foster an inclusive department climate. These factors will be analyzed so that they can be addressed through targeted interventions. Overall, we see the survey as an act of information gathering and caretaking for our community, and we are looking forward to using the information that we gather from this survey as an opportunity to learn more about our community and to take actions in ways that improve it.

***The 2024 Bacteriology Department Climate Survey is Now Available***

Please take a moment to complete the survey between now and June 30. You can access it through the following link:

Note: Starting this year, we will also be surveying current undergraduate students affiliated with the Department. This includes Microbiology majors and any undergraduate students conducting research in the building (whether they are a Microbiology major or not). Please forward this email and encourage relevant undergraduate student members of your classes and labs to participate. We look forward to continuing to foster more engagement with undergraduate-level Department members and affiliates in the coming years.


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General questions

Who can take the survey?

The survey is for all instructional and research faculty, faculty affiliates, administrative staff, classified employees, graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Bacteriology.

Why should I complete the survey?

Your voice and perspective matter. Completing the survey provides important and valuable information. While we often hear from individuals or groups in discrete ways, the survey will provide a broad and diverse sense of our entire community and will better inform us of what needs to be improved, changed, or created from a systematic framework. Each individual response is critical in helping us to understand our entire community and amplifies the collective voice of your respective employee/identity group. Responses will help to provide us with accurate information and diverse voices to support change on an departmental, individual, interpersonal, and societal level.

How will I receive and take the survey?

You will be sent an email with a link to the survey. You will be able to take the survey on any desktop or any mobile device or tablet.

What should I do if I didn’t receive an email invitation to take the survey? 

First check your Junk Email folder. Look for the following subject line: “Bacteriology Departmental Climate Survey”. If you are still unable to locate it, email

Results and survey outcomes

How will the data be shared or reported?

A report on the findings will be published biennially to the Bacteriology Portal. The results will also be shared in aggregate. All results will be shared in ways that ensure data confidentiality and anonymity. For example, reports will not contain any group data that is so small that it could inadvertently identify one or more individuals and compromise confidentiality. Instead, the report would combine groups with very small numbers or take other measures to eliminate any potential for demographic information to be identifiable. Recognizing that combining groups would limit the way in which quantitative data about specific groups can be used, strategic efforts will be made to incorporate qualitative data to gain an accurate and nuanced understanding of experiences.

How will the results be used to improve the workplace climate?

The Department is committed to using the results of the climate survey to plan and take action to address the issues the survey process identifies. Survey data will be used in multiple ways, including:

  • to help members of the Bacteriology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee identify and recommend post-survey actions, timelines, and resources.
  • to create resources to support underrepresented communities and identify interventions focused on success and achievement.
  • to update departmental policies.
  • to support leaders and teams as they use climate results to make necessary changes at the departmental, college, and campus level.