2023 Culture Survey FAQ
Part1: Culture Survey
What is the Culture Survey?
The Culture Survey is a way for USC to hear from students, faculty and staff about your perceptions of and experiences with our institutional culture. Specifically, we want to learn the extent to which our Six Unifying Values – which were defined collaboratively by our community in 2019-2020 – are being lived out at USC. The survey results will be used to make decisions about how we continue to support and initiate positive culture change, to be the best institution we can possibly be for all Trojans.
Who is ECI?
ECI stands for the Ethics & Compliance Initiative, an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to drive business integrity for a better, more ethical world. Located in Vienna, Virginia and celebrating its 100th year of service, ECI is a research organization with expertise in helping universities and other institutions develop and measure the impact of their values. USC has partnered with ECI to administer the 2023 Culture Survey, to ensure survey taker confidentiality and to benefit from their expertise in this area. To learn more about ECI, please visit http://www.ethics.org.
How is this survey different from the Values Poll I took in 2019?
In 2019, through the Values Poll we embarked on an institution-wide effort to collect input from USC staff, faculty and students to define our values and supporting behaviors, and to chart a path forward toward a stronger, more ethical culture at USC through our Culture Journey. Now, four years later, we are conducting a Culture Survey for staff, faculty and students to establish a baseline and assess how we as a community are living out those values and behaviors, and to identify any potential new areas where we should focus our attention.
How can you capture the opinions of such a large community?
Engaging a community as large and multifaceted as ours is not easy. To do so, we have worked with ECI as well as with our Working Group on University Culture (composed of USC faculty, staff, and student leaders) to create the 2023 Culture Survey as an inclusive community engagement and collaboration tool. All USC students, staff and faculty are invited to take the survey and make your voice heard.
Is the Culture Survey confidential?
Yes. ECI treats each survey response as confidential. When you click on your unique link that is contained in the email ECI sends to your USC email address, you will be logged on to a secure site with instructions and access to the survey. ECI does not share your email address or your participation with anyone else. While the survey is online, ECI uses your email address to send you the invitation and reminder emails. At the conclusion of the survey, unique identifiers are removed, links between your email address and the survey are removed, your email address is deleted, and survey results from all participants are aggregated. ECI combines all responses to prevent specific responses from being traced to any individual. No person at USC ever has access to individual responses. ECI provides only aggregated information in its reporting to USC with a minimum reporting threshold of 20 respondents or more.
How will I receive the survey invitation?
You will receive an email from “ECI” (USCculturesurvey@ethics.org) with a unique survey link. Please do not delete this email. It is an important invitation to share your opinions and thoughts with us.
What demographic information will be included in the Culture Survey?
We will pull demographic data elements directly from Workday and the Student Information System. These Demographic elements include length of time at the university, existing role and primary unit, gender, and race/ethnicity. Additional elements for students include the program of study and first-generation status.
How long will it take to complete the Culture Survey?
It is estimated to take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
Will a paper survey be available?
Select USC staff groups who do not regularly work at a computer will be offered a paper version of the survey to complete during the launch period.
Will a translated survey be available?
Select USC staff groups will be offered the option to take a Spanish-language translated version of the survey to complete during the launch period.
What if I need to exit the survey before finishing?
If you need to exit the survey before finishing, simply exit the site and your answers will be saved automatically. To return, just follow the link within your email invitation or re-enter your unique URL in your browser, and you will arrive at the last question answered.
Will the Culture Survey be used for research?
The 2023 Culture Survey is not being used for research and is not subject to Institutional Review Board (IRB) review. Rather, in the spirit of open communication, accountability, and transparency, the purpose of this survey is for USC to hear from our community members (students, staff and faculty). We want to learn about how our institutional culture is being experienced, and assess the extent to which our Unifying Values are being put into action. We will use the information collected through the survey to make plans for continuous improvement of our culture, and of the systems and processes that support the institution.
What if I have additional questions about the Culture Survey?
Please contact the ECI Helpdesk via phone at 703-647-2185, select option “5” (research and survey help desk), or reach ECI by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. ECI staff will be available to assist you Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
What if I need assistance with ADA accessibility and taking the survey?
Please contact the USC Office of Culture Ethics and Compliance by emailing email@example.com. Please include in the subject line “Culture Survey ADA Accommodation Request”.
What if I need to reset my password or receive other technical support at USC?
Please contact USC ITS ServiceDesk via phone at 213-740-5555 OR submit a ticket by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For other USC IT questions please visit https://itservices.usc.edu/contact/.
What If I want to report misconduct at USC?
The 2023 Culture Survey is not a substitute for established procedures for required reporting of misconduct at USC. Rather, the survey is a tool to help us learn the extent to which our Unifying Values are being lived out at USC. In order to ensure proper handling of any misconduct reporting, please submit your reports using one of the following channels:
Part2: Sharing Survey Results
What happens after the surveys are completed?
At the conclusion of the survey, unique demographic identifiers are removed, links between your email address and the survey are removed, your email address is deleted from ECI’s system, and survey results from all participants are aggregated. ECI combines all responses to prevent specific responses from being traced to any individual. No person at USC ever has access to individual responses. After ECI summarizes responses, it will provide reports to USC. ECI provides only aggregated information in its reporting to USC with a minimum reporting threshold of 20 respondents or more. USC leadership will then analyze the aggregated results and share the findings with the university community.
How will results be shared?
We will share high level results on the Culture Journey website as well as tailored reports for each USC school and administrative unit. Also, USC-wide town halls and school/unit-level debrief sessions will be conducted to inform and engage stakeholders across USC.
How will the survey results and analysis reports be broken down?
The survey results will be presented university-wide, and by school/unit. In certain unique situations, there may be more than one report per school/unit (i.e., in the example of an institute that functions apart from the school with which it is associated).
Who will be invited to the town halls and discussion sessions?
All staff, faculty and students will be invited and encouraged to attend.
What if I can’t attend the town halls and discussion sessions in person?
We will offer a combination of virtual and in-person events. If you cannot attend a town hall or discussion session, you will be able to access the slides and in some cases, event recordings, on the USC Culture Journey website.
Will I be able to access results as they relate to my division, school or unit?
There will be a report on the survey results issued for the university at large as well as for each school/unit at USC. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, these reports will be posted for staff, faculty and students to access.
What will change as a result of this survey?
The input from the survey will enable actionable strategies to support continued positive changes to processes and systems that align with our Unifying Values. High participation in the Culture Survey will enable organizational changes that truly reflect the needs of our USC community.
Part3: Culture Journey
What is the USC Culture Journey?
The USC Culture Journey is a university-wide initiative to collectively define our values, align supportive behaviors that bring those values to life, and develop opportunities to improve our systems and processes. Together, we are shaping an ethical and inclusive culture: one in which Trojans act with integrity in the pursuit of excellence; embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion; promote the well-being of ourselves and others; engage in open communication; and are accountable for living our Unifying Values and helping to make USC the best place it can be.
How did the Culture Journey get started?
In 2019-2020, more than 24,000 Trojans shared their perspectives and developed USC’s Six Unifying Values as a community. For more on the Culture Journey’s inception and milestones, please refer to the 2022 USC Culture Report.
Why are we assessing our culture?
Since the beginning of the Culture Journey, USC has made a firm commitment to strengthen our organizational culture. Culture is never a “one and done” matter. That is why we call this work our Culture Journey. It is an ongoing journey deserving of our attention and continuing assessment. Our Unifying Values give us a compass for a process of collective self-examination, improvement, and renewal. In reference to this compass, every 3-4 years we plan to conduct a survey of this kind to assess our progress and to uncover new areas of focus.
What is organizational culture?
Organizational culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, behaviors, and standards that make up an environment. Culture is manifested in many ways and is shaped by the collective community and stakeholders within an organization. Attending to our culture is very important because it affects the experiences of all people at USC.
What infrastructure is in place to sustain the Culture Journey?
- The Working Group on University Culture is a group of committed volunteer staff, faculty, students, and administrators who participate in committees that collect community input for culture priorities, identify integration points for our Unifying Values, and drive engagement.
- Our Culture Network is made up of more than 400 dedicated volunteer faculty and staff members who serve as culture champions and on-the-ground support for culture initiatives.
- A dedicated Culture Team was established as part of the USC Office of Culture, Ethics, and Compliance to manage the Culture Journey and its advisory bodies, drive community engagement, and facilitate discussions and programs around evolving Trojan culture to make our institution the best it can be.
- Leaders in key focus areas throughout the university such as addressing concerns, DEI, well-being, and organizational learning and development are actively involved with the Culture Journey.
Where can I learn more about USC’s Culture Journey?
You can learn more about the USC Culture Journey at our website: www.culturejourney.usc.edu.
How can I join the Culture Network?
You can sign up for the Culture Network via this link: https://usc.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6sASRZXfPkGuZ38