AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force Academy reversed course on Friday and released the results of a survey that showed mixed results on the school’s efforts to improve religious and racial tolerance and limit sexual harassment.
The survey, conducted in December and January, showed improvements in making minority groups feel more accepted and in reducing the number who say they feel pressured by others to participate in religious activities.
But it found that many cadets believe that some religious and racial minorities face discrimination and harassment, and an increasing percentage of the faculty and staff believe that sexual harassment occurs at the school.
The academy superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, said the survey overall shows that many of the school’s tolerance initiatives are effective but that improvement is needed.
Gould initially declined to make the results public, saying the were a “commander’s tool” best used internally.
Several groups filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the data, including the Associated Press. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., also pushed Gould to go public.
Gould said he consulted with Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz, and “at their suggestion and my agreement,” the survey results were released.
“I learned a lesson here – we all did, I think – that this is of public interest,” Gould said.