This week the university will launch a survey of students on the Ann Arbor campus to gauge the campus climate regarding sexual misconduct among students.

A scientific sample of 3,000 undergraduates and graduate students is being invited to complete the online survey. President Mark Schlissel sent an email message to all students Monday announcing the effort.

“I am committed to providing the safest possible environment for all students at the University of Michigan and I am writing to ask for your help in preventing and addressing sexual misconduct,” Schlissel says in the email.

“An important step for our university is to assess the campus climate and culture in relation to sexual misconduct, and we have surveys planned for this part of the effort.”

The U-M survey will be completely confidential and voluntary. The university has contracted with the Ann Arbor firm of Survey Sciences Group to administer the survey and no one at the university will have any identifiable information from participants.

Survey questions were informed by previous surveys, federal government recommendations, U-M sexual misconduct experts and survey research experts from the university’s Survey Research Center.

As a token of appreciation, participating students will receive a small payment or the option of donating the payment to the United Way. This approach follows best practices among survey research and is designed to get the best possible participation in the survey.

Later this spring the university also will participate in an all-student survey regarding sexual misconduct administered by the Association of American Universities.

“Learning about the experiences of students and the degree to which students feel safe and respected will help us to better understand how we can more effectively address and prevent sexual misconduct,” the president says.

“U-M will make the findings from the survey public to promote transparency and allow others to learn from our data.”