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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 13, 2004

Survey To Assess Campus Climate

On Monday, Sept. 13, all University of Iowa faculty, staff and students -- about 44,000 people -- will receive an invitation to complete an online questionnaire that seeks to assess the degree to which members of the campus community have experienced unwelcomed sexual behavior and sexual harassment.

"We want to learn whether our academic community is adequately addressing such behavior," UI President David Skorton states in a letter that accompanies the survey. "The survey is an important step in a series of actions to be implemented in the university's endeavor to foster and support a positive campus climate."

Participation in the survey is voluntary and anonymous. A report based on the survey's findings is expected to be completed by spring 2005.

The "Unwelcomed Sexual Behavior Questionnaire" grew out of recommendations made in October 2003 by the Gender Climate Task Force, an ad hoc group appointed in February 2003 by then-interim President Willard "Sandy" Boyd. (View the report at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2003/october/102403climate-report.html)

Boyd asked the task force, which was chaired by UI sociology professor Jennifer Glass, to make recommendations on how best to communicate the existence and details of university policies against harassment and violence; what additional training and resources might be necessary to reduce assault and harassment on campus and to fairly deal with alleged victims and offenders; and whether the campus could benefit from discussions or a conference to fully air issues of harassment and violence.

After studying those recommendations, Skorton asked the UI Council on the Status of Women to write and administer the survey. The council in turn appointed a task force to author and administer the survey.

The survey task force is co-chaired by Nancy Hauserman, associate dean for the Henry B. Tippie College of Business undergraduate program and the Williams Teaching Professor, and Deborah Hampton, an administrative assistant in the UI College of Engineering's Center for Computer-Aided Design and member of the Council on Status of Women.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Nancy Hauserman, co-chair of the survey task force, 319-335-1037, nancy-hauserman@uiowa.edu, or Laurie Croft, chair of the Council on the Status of Women, 319-335-6148, laurie-croft@uiowa.edu; Writer: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.