Climate Monitoring and New Initiatives
Vanderbilt proactively monitors the campus environment through periodic campus climate surveys. Overall, Vanderbilt takes extensive, specific actions to promote a safe and inclusive environment where all can succeed.
Provost’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention Committee
The Provost’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention Committee (PSMPC), formerly known as the Provost’s Task Force on Sexual Assault (PTFSA), reviews and recommends campus strategies for prevention of sexual misconduct and intimate partner violence; serves as a liaison to local campus units on these issues; and collaborates with student groups seeking to improve the campus climate regarding sexual misconduct and intimate partner violence. For AY18-19, the PSMPC will specifically focus on issues impacting the campus safety and security in regard to sexual misconduct prevention, and if time allows also review resource needs for prevention of sexual misconduct. Click here for the current membership.
Student Campus Climate
The last campus-wide student climate survey was completed in Spring 2015. All undergraduate, graduate and professional students were randomly assigned to receive one of two surveys.
Following best practices, Vanderbilt is conducting a second campus-wide student climate survey in Spring 2019 as a partner institution with the American Association of Universities (AAU).
Given the unique needs facing graduate and professional students, the Provost’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention Committee (PSMPC) incorporated the needs of graduate and professional students as part of its strategic work. Since 2016, the PTFSA, in collaboration with Project Safe, has taken several steps to address the needs of graduate and professional students, including:
- Working with a team of graduate and professional students nominated from all relevant schools to provide feedback regarding graduate-facing programs;
- Establishing graduate/professional student marketing plans for raising awareness;
- Working with schools to ensure inclusion of trainings and resources in most school orientations; and
- Providing informational connections through school associate deans and Director of Graduate Studies liaisons.
- Spring 2019: Planned and launched/ing follow up surveys for students, postdoctoral trainees, and faculty on campus climate related to sexual harassment to assess progress and determine new actions needed.
- January 2019: Joined the National Academies Action Collaborative as a founding member.
- Aug. 2018: Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente launched an initiative on the status of women. The provost’s initiative focuses on issues facing the broad array of women faculty, students and postdoctoral trainees in the provost’s academic affairs areas (VU-employed or enrolled).
- Feb., March 2018: Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente each publish columns advocating for culture of respect for women and for all members of the community.
- Nov. 2018: 40th anniversary of Margaret Cunniggim Women’s Center celebrated
- June, Nov. 2018: Openly engaged with the National Academies and its report, “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.” First through a public webinar with the report release in June 2018, and then by hosting Drs. Benya and Magley for a campus visit in November 2018 with numerous public presentations and discussions with faculty, students, postdoc and staff in the sciences. We were one of the first institutions to invite and host them for such discussion
- Spring 2016: Conducted the COACHE faculty survey of all Provost-reporting, VU-employed faculty. The survey provided information on such topics as the nature of work, resources and support, mentoring, interdisciplinary work, tenure and promotion, work and personal life balance, and faculty governance, among others. The survey was completed by 56 percent of the Vanderbilt faculty who were asked to participate, which was a high response rate. A faculty working group conducted the analysis and assessed any gender disparities in faculty satisfaction and campus climate. A set of school/college and university action items were developed in collaboration with stakeholders. Implementation of the actions spans from fall 2016 to present. The COACHE follow up survey will be conducted in spring 2020. Learn more about the many Faculty Development programs that have been launched or are informed by the COACHE survey results.
- Spring 2015: Conducted a campus-wide student campus climate survey on sexual assault and misconduct that resulted in community engaged action steps based on the findings. Implementation of the actions spans from January 2016 to present.
- August 2014: Expanded Project Safe, a longstanding Vanderbilt University program committed to preventing sexual assault as well as other forms of power-based personal violence, into a free-standing center on campus.
- 2009: Established the Provost’s Task Force on Sexual Assault, now the Provost’s standing Sexual Misconduct Prevention Committee.