The University of Michigan will participate in the Association of American Universities’ second national campus climate survey on sexual assault and misconduct later this academic year.
The 2019 AAU survey is a follow-up to the landmark 2015 AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, which surveyed more than 150,000 graduate, undergraduate and professional students across the country.
The 2019 participating universities — 33 public and private research universities — total more than 870,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, making this survey among the largest ever on sexual misconduct.
“The AAU survey is an important part of our shared commitment to combat sexual misconduct on university campuses and gives us the opportunity to assess progress and evaluate interventions,” says President Mark Schlissel.
“By better understanding students’ experiences and perceptions, we can improve our education and prevention efforts and reduce the harm that is affecting too many of our students.”
The survey, which is planned for February 2019, will be offered to all U-M undergraduate, graduate and professional students on the Ann Arbor campus.
AAU and the participating institutions have contracted with Westat, a leading social science research firm, to conduct the survey and analyze survey results.
Westat is developing the survey based on the 2015 AAU survey.
The 2019 survey will capture characteristics and frequency of campus sexual assault and misconduct and assess campus climate in a manner that further protects student confidentiality and allows for data sharing across universities.
AAU will publicly report aggregate results from across the participating AAU campuses. Westat will provide each institution, including U-M, with its own data. U-M will make the data available to the public on its website.
“Our primary goal is student safety,” said AAU President Mary Sue Coleman.
“AAU universities are committed to protecting students and we believe this survey will contribute to the growing body of research on this topic to better inform campus policies and procedures. As university leaders and as academics, we believe that one of our best courses of action to better address sexual assault and misconduct is with data.”
In 2015, U-M was one of 27 universities across the nation to participate in the AAU survey.
U-M also conducted its own survey designed specifically for the Ann Arbor campus by U-M experts from the Institute for Social Research, Student Life and the Office of the General Counsel.