A new state-wide survey suggests overall student satisfaction with the environment at Nebraska is among the highest in the nation, but the numbers were less positive among certain groups.
A joint message from the leadership across all four state universities on April 19 summarized the results of a Gallup poll conducted last fall. The poll asked students across the University of Nebraska system various questions about their experiences in college. Most of the questions were related to feeling welcomed and treated with respect by faculty and fellow students, with answers being grouped by race and gender and rated on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being “I don’t know” and 5 being “strongly agree.”
One notable result was in the responses for whether students felt respected by their peers. While the Chancellors’ message addressed a disparity among Black students, female-to-male outcomes showed a considerable gap in this metric as well.
While nearly 47% of all participants said they strongly agreed they felt respected, only 35% of Black participants agreed, a 12% gap which was slightly higher than the statewide differential of 8%.
Male students at Lincoln strongly agreed 55% of the time while female students gave the 5/5 rating only 44% of the time, slightly higher than the statewide differential of 58% to 51%, respectively.
One metric where Black students responded above the average were in the questions related to whether their college experience was preparing them for life beyond.
While only 29% of all participants agreed that the university was preparing them well for life outside of college, 36% of Black students strongly agreed, the most of any race.
Interestingly, this contrasts with the statewide average, which posts respective figures of 32% and 29%, with Black students having the lowest “strongly agree” figure overall.
The question of whether students would enroll at the university if they had to do it all over again was yet another with disproportionate answers from both female and Black students. At 28%, female students were 13% less likely to strongly agree than males, while Black students were 13% less likely to strongly agree than the average of 42%.
“Black students and colleagues in particular responded less favorably on some measures of inclusiveness and engagement,” the email said. “We are not an outlier nationally in this regard. Yet these results tell us that while we can be proud of our strong foundation, we must make certain that our work to make the University of Nebraska a destination of choice is inclusive of people of all backgrounds.”