HxA’s Campus Expression Survey (CES) is designed to assess campus expression climate among undergraduate students; how freely they believe they can express their true opinions about important topics on campus. Each year, HxA administers this survey to a nationally representative sample of undergraduate students to assess the expression climate among students on college and university campuses.

Whereas student expression is an important part of campus expression climate, a complete understanding of this climate includes corresponding information about faculty and staff. To measure this part of campus expression climate, a team of researchers has been developing a version of the CES for faculty and staff. This new CES version specifically measures the extent to which post-secondary faculty and staff feel free to discuss specific controversial topics on campus. 

In 2020, this Faculty and Staff CES underwent a pilot test at Linn Benton Community College. Results from this pilot survey found that post-secondary faculty and staff are reluctant to discuss every controversial topic this survey includes, and comparing these results with corresponding ones about students indicate that faculty and staff are even more reluctant to discuss each controversial topic than were students. These results highlight the need to examine campus expression climate from the perspective of faculty and staff, complementing the current CES.

Linn-Benton Community College President Lisa Avery, Ph.D.,  praised this survey and the pilot testing during October 2021’s Free Speech Week, “LBCC has long been lauded for the College’s outstanding commitment to freedom of expression.  As part of that work, the Free Expression Team conducted a faculty and staff survey and I am pleased to share the results with you here. Over 200 LBCC employees responded to the survey, and I found their input to be invaluable. I hope you will as well.”

How can you use the Campus Expression Survey?

So that individuals may administer the CES (Student Version) on their own campuses, HxA makes available the administration manual, codebook, and other supplemental materials. Individuals are encouraged to compare their campus-level results with national trends.

You can view the 2020 student CES report here. Curious about what the 2021 data says? The report for the Fall 2021 administration will be released in February 2022.

If you’re interested in piloting the Faculty and Staff Campus Expression Survey on your campus, please consider contacting Shelly Zhou, HxA’s Researcher.

The Faculty and Staff Campus Expression Survey team included:

Shelly Zhou, Researcher at Heterodox Academy
Deb Mashek, President at Myco Consulting
Mark Urista, Communication Faculty and Civil Discourse Program Advisor at Linn-Benton Community College
Gene Rendino, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Elmira College
Aaron Kindsvatter, Assistant Professor at University of Vermont
Rob Camp, Student Leadership Coordinator at Linn-Benton Community College
Shanshan Wei, Research Analyst at Linn-Benton Community College
George Yancey, Professor of Sociology at Baylor University