Image courtesy of Malak Abdel-Ghaffar.

NYUAD to Conduct a Campus-wide Climate Survey on Racial and Gender Justice and Global Inclusion

“Your voice is critical” — Senior Director of Inclusion and Equity Fatiah Touray explains the purpose and significance of the survey for the NYUAD community.

Apr 18, 2021

For the first time in its 10 year history, NYU Abu Dhabi will be conducting a campus-wide climate survey titled “Our NYUAD, Journey to Belonging.” The anonymous survey allows community members — including students, faculty and staff — to share their thoughts and opinions on subjects such as racial and gender justice, antiracism and global inclusion. The survey is an opportunity to play an active role in fostering a culture of inclusion, belonging and equity in the campus community.
Fatiah Touray, Senior Director of Inclusion and Equity, explained that the purpose of the survey is for the university administration to evaluate its diversity and inclusion efforts from the community’s perspective, especially with regards to how it can do better.
“The goal of this survey is to assess how current students, faculty and staff experience the living, learning and working environment at NYUAD with respect to inclusion, equity, diversity and belonging across multiple dimensions including race, gender, disability status, religion and other markers of identity,” Touray shared.
According to Touray, NYUAD is a very young institution, and Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging and Equity – as it is conceived of today – is a relatively new field.
“As a starting point, I thought it was critical that we assess our climate to see what's going on,” she expressed, explaining the significance of quantifiable data in the field of IDBE today. “It is a best practice in this work in higher education. I'm sure we'll have another one in another four years or every three years, as we see fit.”
Touray emphasized that the survey was completely anonymous, secure and confidential, to ensure all community members feel safe and secure about speaking out and voicing the ways in which the community can improve.
“Encouraging participation is very, very important, because the more voices that participate, the greater assessment we have on our community,” said Touray, adding that through listening sessions and individual meetings, she has heard students’ concerns about the curriculum, classroom experiences and other issues that she wants to address in her work here. “Now I need to quantify that so that we can pinpoint the places we really need to make a change.”
For Kyle Farley, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, this survey is a significant opportunity to learn about how our community members actually experience NYUAD. “We know there is no monolith, no individual can begin to represent our complexities,” he said. “This survey is an opportunity to better understand who we are as individuals so we can better move forward as a community.”
Ultimately, Touray wanted to remind the community that their voices are crucial to understanding important concerns and charting a way forward. Without mass participation, the administration will lose a vital opportunity to truly hear from the whole community, she expressed.
“We're here to help shape your experiences for the next 10 years and beyond, and you as students, you're taking the first survey of this kind at NYUAD,” Touray concluded. “So your voice is critical.”
The survey will be available online to all NYUAD community members from April 18 to May 15.
Kaashif Hajee is Editor-in-Chief. Email him at
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