Novemebr 18th, 2014
A University of Oregon professor is leading a group of sexual violence experts who are urging dozens of university presidents to reject what they call a flawed nationalized survey that seeks to measure rates of sexual violence victimization on college campuses.
In a letter signed by 16 researchers, UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd and other sexual assault experts criticized the Association of American Universities’ efforts to oversee a campus “climate” survey that will be developed and administered by a private firm in April — at a cost of about $85,000 to each university that signs on. Schools have until Dec. 1 to decide whether to give the survey to students.
The researchers say that the AAU — a nonprofit higher education trade group whose members include some of the nation’s top public and private universities, including the UO — is pressuring its university members to agree to a costly survey that university officials won’t be able to review until after administrators write the check.
The expert group sent the letter to presidents of all 60 AAU universities on Monday afternoon.
The AAU announced last week that Maryland-based research firm Westat will conduct the survey. If all 62 public and private universities agree to take the survey, the firm could generate about $5 million.