This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Support Staff Perceptions of the Campus Climate at a Southern University




Locke, Demetriss

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study was to investigate university support staff members’ perception of the campus climate at a Southern university. Differences among support staff members were examined by age, gender, level of education, and race and/or ethnicity. The data analyzed in the study were collected from a random sample of 600 non-exempt, full-time support staff members at the selected institution. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in its 13 schools and colleges. In fall 2008, the institution enrolled 21,954 undergraduate students and 2,576 graduate or professional students. This study used quantitative and qualitative survey methods. The dependent variable was perception of campus climate as measured by participants’ response to questions investigating perceptions of the psychological and behavioral climates on the Support Staff Campus Climate Survey (SSCCS), the researcher-adapted instrument used to collect participant data. The independent variables were: (a) age, (b) gender, (c) level of education, and (d) ethnicity. The null hypotheses were tested using two one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures. No statistically significant differences were found at the .05 level of significance for any of the independent variables for the psychological climate. For the behavioral climate, the ANOVA revealed statistical significance for the independent variables of gender F(1,50) = 4.21, p = .045, level of education F(5, 50) = 2.88, p = .023, and ethnicity F(4,50) = 2.89, p = .032 and the interaction of gender and level of education F(2, 62) = 3.81, p = .028. This study contributed additional empirical evidence of staff perceptions of campus climate, which should advance the literature and possibly bring institutions of higher education one step closer to addressing the needs of diverse populations and fostering a campus climate that is inviting and welcoming for all students, faculty, staff, and administrators.