Quick Ref

To: University Faculty, Students, and Staff
From: Eric D. Isaacs, Provost
Re: Preliminary report on campus climate survey

In an effort to address sexual misconduct on our campus, we invited our students to participate in the Sexual Misconduct Survey: Attitudes, Knowledge and Experience (also referred to as the Spring 2015 Climate Survey) in April. The survey was conducted by NORC, a nationally respected survey and research organization. It was intended to gather essential information to help guide our efforts to improve sexual misconduct prevention, education, and awareness programs, and to provide the best resources for our students. 

We are now sharing a preliminary summary of the survey’s results, compiled in the last few weeks by NORC.  The preliminary results, which can be found along with the survey questions here, indicate that a number of our students have experienced some form of sexual misconduct. We are concerned that this misconduct has occurred in our community and we will be taking steps to address these behaviors. In all circumstances, sexual misconduct is unacceptable.

Although this preliminary report offers an immediate look at some key findings, it is not a definitive analysis of the survey data. NORC will further analyze the data and produce a full report.  Many U.S. institutions are in the process of conducting similar surveys and are in the early stages of the analysis and discussion of the resulting data. We believe it is important to release a preliminary report now even though the full analysis is not yet complete, both to inform our own work and to advance the ongoing national discussion about preventing sexual misconduct on college campuses.  

This summer we will form a working group to begin evaluating the University’s current education, outreach and response programs and associated processes. This group will evaluate the full campus climate report once it is released by NORC and will engage with students, faculty and staff in the Autumn Quarter. 

The information we are gathering will help enhance programs and actions currently in development for the Autumn Quarter. These include broadening the availability of sexual misconduct training to all campus community members and new orientation activities, developed with student input, focused on education and prevention. Campus-wide dialogues, involving students, faculty and staff, are being planned to coincide with the release of the full report, both to discuss the data and to solicit input from the campus community.

The Spring 2015 Climate Survey is the most recent manifestation of the University’s commitment to address sexual misconduct on our campus. Last spring, the University reviewed and consolidated two existing policies into a single Unlawful Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy, created a new University-wide student disciplinary committee, and appointed a new Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs. In addition, in early 2015, I appointed a committee of faculty, staff and students to review and recommend revisions to the Unlawful Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

This ongoing work is essential to reinforcing the University’s core values and ensuring that all faculty, students and staff can participate, without limitation, in our unique intellectual community. 

I want to thank every student who took the time to respond to the survey. I also want to thank our faculty committee for its work on the development, content, and deployment of the Spring 2015 Climate Survey.