Only 27 of the Association of American Universities’ member institutions will participate in the organization’s much-publicized survey on campus sexual assault, according to a news release from the association. They will be joined by one non-member, Dartmouth College, in administering the survey, which will begin in April.
The participants represent less than half of the AAU’s members, some of whom have said they would not participate because they planned their own surveys, among other reasons. The AAU rolled out the project, in part, to discourage Congress from requiring colleges to conduct annual sexual-assault surveys. Shortly after the survey was announced, 16 researchers wrote an open letter urging college presidents not to participate out of concerns about transparency in the project.
According to the news release, the participating colleges enroll more than 800,000 students, making the survey “among the largest ever on 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,” said the group’s president, Hunter R. Rawlings III, in the release.
“We also hope the survey will help policy makers gain a better understanding of the problem,” he added, “and that it will make a significant contribution to the growing body of research on sexual assault.”