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Examining Campus Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Processes: Identifying Relevant Research Questions and Design Feasibility

NCJ Number
Carolyn C. Hartley; Sara Feldman
Date Published
May 2019
7 pages
This report describes the features and activities of a researcher-practitioner partnership intended to improve the evidence-based policies and practices of the University of Iowa's (UI's) response to and prevention of student's sexual victimization.
The UI Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (OSMRC) is the practitioner in the partnership. It directs the university's response to reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating or domestic violence, and stalking in cases that involve members of or visitors to the university community. The OSMRC aims to ensure the university responds promptly and effectively to stop problem behavior, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. The researcher in the partnership is the UI School of Social Work (SSW), whose mission is to develop, disseminate, and integrate excellent and compelling research-based knowledge, practice, and policy to improve the lives of vulnerable populations. The purpose of the partnership was to examine the reporting and adjudication process of sexual misconduct on the UI campus, so as to identify potential research questions that could be addressed to increase understanding of students' experience with this process. The goal of the partnership was to identify potential research questions and draft a conceptual framework and research design that could be used in developing a grant proposal to obtain federal funding for activities to address the research questions. The partnership project did not involve collecting research data. Rather, the SSW representative had numerous conversations/informal interviews with OSMRC staff and Dean of Students staff responsible for investigating formal complaints. Also, the partners cooperated in coding several months of reports to the OSMRC to better understand the characteristics of the cases received. The findings are reported, and implications for policy and practice are discussed. 7 references