Guidance for Data Collection

The purpose of this page is to provide you with the information you need to complete the INSPIRES Index efficiently, accurately, and thoroughly.

What is the INSPIRES Index?

The INSPIRES Index is an opportunity to examine your institution's efforts to create a welcoming campus for students of diverse religious, spiritual, and secular identities on campus. The Index is composed of 42 questionnaire items that map onto specific campus climate dimensions.

Many of these questions are objective (yes/no) in nature and related to departmental and university-wide structures, spaces, policies, positions, and groups. The questions are organized by topic/focus in the following order:

  • Institutional policies
  • Organizational behaviors and climate
  • Training and development
  • Spaces for support and spiritual expression
  • Academic engagement
  • Extra-/Co-curricular engagement
  • Negative interworldview engagement

How will the INSPIRES Index benefit you as a campus?

The Index is an opportunity to assess what you are currently doing and what you could or want to accomplish in the future. Even if you answer "no" to a question now, you may use that as grounds for important next steps to make your campus more welcoming. The Index will raise awareness and support for religious, spiritual, and secular diversity on campus.

The INSPIRES Index is only as helpful as you make it! Honesty about what your campus offers is key. It is okay if some pieces of data are not tracked or available for your institution, but do your best to answer all questions.

How long will it take me to complete the INSPIRES Index?

While timing will vary campus to campus, we expect the Index to take between 30-90 minutes to complete in total. It will likely be challenging to complete all of the items in one sitting if you have not prepared materials beforehand. To help with this, we will provide PDF of all the items and made sure that you can complete the survey incrementally. We suggest you follow these steps:

  • Complete the contact information part of the survey and review all of the items; it may be helpful to compare the PDF version with the Qualtrics survey to understand the answer formats.
  • Respond to the items you feel confident answering.
  • Identify sections or questions that require input from another person/department.
  • For example, you may want to consult someone from campus dining services to answer questions about religious dietary restrictions and accommodations.
  • Reach out to those whose input is needed. As you get answers, add them to the survey.
  • Alternatively, you may also choose to work through the items during a department or committee meeting where multiple stakeholders are present.
  • Consider who (if any) needs to needs to review the responses.
  • Once you are confident you have completed the Index, and hit "submit!"

What is the role of the campus representative?

As the liaison, you are the point person for inspiring enthusiasm around this initiative on your campus and gathering information needed to complete the index. You do not have to know the answer to every question. We encourage a team-oriented approach in which you invite relevant campus constituents (e.g., administrators, faculty, students, and staff) to help gather the information needed. As you coordinate these efforts, we encourage you to consider the following questions:

  • With which functional areas should you consult (e.g., campus religious and spiritual life; housing and residential life; diversity, equity, and inclusion)?
  • Would certain offices, such as research and assessment, student life, or admissions, have access to some data?
  • Who in leadership needs to approve or be informed of participation, both for the instrument (now) and for the index (later)?
  • What might be the benefits of inviting people in certain positions of leadership to join in this stage of the process?
  • What relevant voices are missing? Who might be affected?

Sharing INSPIRES Index Results

The public-facing INSPIRES Index will be a website designed to help prospective students and families make informed decisions about the higher education institutions they are considering. Participation demonstrates that your campus values students’ religious, spiritual, and secular identities and is committed to continuous improvement toward fostering a welcoming climate for all. Your institution will have an opportunity to review the results for your campus before confirming participation in the public-facing index. You will have to specifically opt-in to the public-facing component, and regardless of your decision will be able use the results of the Index as an internal guiding tool.

If at any point you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the INSPIRES team through your institution's contact or by emailing Any member of the team can help you navigate completing the survey and we are excited to support your involvement with the INSPIRES Index!

Contact the Inspires Campus Climate Index Team

We are currently recruiting our first cohort of institutions to participate in the INSPIRES Campus Climate Index. Please complete the form below to get on the list for updates, or to connect with our research team to learn more.

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The INSPIRES Campus Climate Index project is a collaboration between researchers at The Ohio State University and North Carolina State University, inspired by data gathered through the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS).
The project is led by Matthew J. Mayhew, William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Educational Administration at The Ohio State University and Alyssa N. Rockenbach, Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University.