Yesterday, the University of Wisconsin System released results from a survey (below) of students on their perceptions of free speech on campus. The survey was proposed last spring, but its implementation was delayed due to questions about how the survey would be administered. PROFS was very concerned about the survey and called on UW System Interim President Michael Falbo to cancel, rather than postpone, the survey.
The survey was completed last December by nearly 10,500 students representing every four-year campus within UW System. The response rate ranged from 9.4% at UW-Milwaukee to 19.1% at UW-Platteville.
About 40% of students identified as liberal or very liberal, while more than 52% indicated they were moderate, conservative, or very conservative.
Results showed that many students are concerned about how others may view their opinions and worry their grades could suffer if they expressed themselves in class.
Hundreds of students from each University of Wisconsin System institution received emails today inviting them to participate in a survey on perceptions of free speech and civil dialogue on campus. The full survey is below. Last week, UW System President Jay Rothman announced the relaunch of a revised survey that had been planned for last spring.
PROFS spoke out against the need for such a survey last spring, and last week PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that faculty are “still unsure why the survey is needed in the first place because climate studies have shown pretty clearly that students from various groups, political and otherwise, feel that they can express their opinions freely.”