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AAU Announces 2019 Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct

Survey results will help colleges and universities in ongoing efforts to address the critical problem of sexual assault and misconduct. 

The Association of American Universities today announced plans to repeat its landmark 2015 Campus Climate Survey by partnering with Westat, a leading social science research firm, to help design and administer a sexual assault and misconduct climate survey. The association plans to carry out the survey in spring 2019. 

“To better protect our students and serve the public good, AAU member universities are continuing their efforts to prevent sexual assault and misconduct,” said AAU President Mary Sue Coleman. “Our universities are using research to inform campus policies and programs and the data collected at the institutional-level will help university leaders create new policies and improve existing programs to fit unique student and institutional needs.”

A team of AAU university experts is leading the design of the survey instrument, including optional customization for university-specific questions. AAU will publicly release aggregate survey data from participating universities. Westat will again provide each university with its own data and those universities will be able to decide how to individually share their results. 

 “I believe it’s critically important that AAU take a leadership role in facilitating this public health research. The data are not only for our universities, but will also inform policymakers and the American people. As we did in 2015, we will provide academic researchers access to the aggregate data, allowing for further research to fight sexual assault and misconduct.” 

In 2015, AAU and Westat surveyed more than 150,000 students at 27 universities, making it one of the largest surveys of campus sexual assault and misconduct ever conducted. The survey provided insight into students’ perceptions of campus climate, and helped universities better understand students’ experiences with sexual assault and misconduct. The 2015 survey was followed by the AAU Campus Activities Report in 2017, which detailed the efforts of AAU member institutions to combat sexual assault and misconduct on their campuses, including dozens of concrete examples of university programs and initiatives.

Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises 62 distinguished institutions that continually advance society through education, research, and discovery.

Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research, are improving human life and wellbeing through research, and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens.

AAU members collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.

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