Campus Climate Report: 2019 AAU Survey Results

Message to the USC Community:

Today (October 15, 2019) we are sharing the results of a national survey designed to better understand campus climate around sexual assault and sexual misconduct at universities across the country.

Last spring, the Association of American Universities (AAU) led this survey of 33 member universities as a follow up to a similar study in 2015. We participated both years because we believe this information will help us identify the work we need to do to provide safe campuses so all members of the USC community can thrive.

A total of nearly 200,000 students from the participating schools filled out the survey this year, providing invaluable data points to help us – and peer universities across the country – benchmark where we are and highlight how much work we have yet to do.

This morning, the AAU and participating universities, including USC, released the results of the survey and we wanted to make sure you had the information as soon as it was publicly available. The full release of data can be found on the Campus Climate Survey Data website; the condensed findings are summarized in the Data Spotlight.

We are sharing these results with the campus community to confirm that we are committed to addressing this issue head-on in our efforts to build a community that is safe and protects our well-being. We hope you will join us for an open conversation at one of two Town Halls scheduled at our two main campuses today:

University Park Campus (UPC)
Town and Gown
12 noon – 1:30

Health Sciences Campus (HSC)
Mayer Auditorium
4:30 – 6 p.m.

The survey results clearly show the need for ongoing work to strengthen the prevention and intervention efforts already underway, and to provide additional support for those impacted. Over the past years, the university has increased efforts in these areas. We value your input and will continue to work vigilantly to improve the climate on our campuses.

When our Annual Security Report was shared two weeks ago, President Folt said, “Nothing is more important to me than the safety and well-being of our entire community. While USC has expanded resources and launched new programs, we must take further measures to improve. Together, we must do better.”

In addition to the town halls, we will provide other opportunities to share feedback on these issues. The Provost’s Office has appointed a task force to review the AAU survey findings and engage with our community. The task force will release a report later this spring detailing our findings and recommendations for next steps for our campuses.

We can reduce the risk of sexual assault and misconduct by working together towards culture change and using the many available campus resources for prevention, support and care. Our highest priority is ensuring a safe environment for every member of our community.

Sarah Van Orman, M.D.
Co-Chair, AAU Task Force
Principal Investigator, AAU Survey
Chief Health Officer
USC Student Health| Keck Medicine of USC
University of Southern California

Winston B. Crisp
Co-Chair, AAU Task Force
Vice President of Student Affairs
University of Southern California