In addition to developing a University-centric sexual assault survey, which will be randomly distributed to a pool of 3,000 students, the University is teaming up with the Association of American Universities to conduct a uniform sexual assault survey across 28 college campuses.
The AAU is comprised of 62 top research universities in the United States and Canada. Twenty-seven of the participating schools, including the University, are members of the AAU; Dartmouth College will also distribute the survey.
University President Mark Schlissel said the AAU survey, which is set to launch this April, will be campus-wide, and added that it will supplement the University’s data.
“I figured that it would be valuable to have us be able to compare our data to that at a lot of different schools that are similar, big research universities, but different than us, to see how we’re doing,” he said in a January interview with The Michigan Daily.
On each campus, the AAU survey will be identical, apart from five school-specific questions pertaining to resources for reporting and addressing sexual assault.
Westat, a global research firm, has been contracted to facilitate and assess the survey results, which the AAU plans to publically report upon completion. Experts from both Westat and participating universities are still putting the survey together based on standards set forth by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.
“Our primary purpose in conducting this survey is to help our institutions gain a better understanding of this complex problem on their own campuses as well as nationally,” AAU President Hunter Rawlings said in a statement.
“We also hope the survey will help policymakers gain a better understanding of the problem, and that it will make a significant contribution to the growing body of research on sexual assault,” he added.
Correction appended: A previous version of this article misstated the number of AAU member universities. It is 62, not 64. Twenty-eight campuses are participating in the survey.