UK Happenings

UK Conference Hosts National Experts on Campus Sexual Misconduct

artwork for CRVAW conference program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2017) National experts on campus sexual misconduct will be in Lexington this week as the University of Kentucky Center for Research on Violence Against Women (CRVAW) hosts "Campus Responses to Sexual Misconduct: Pausing to Consider the Implications" Sept. 21-22, at the Hyatt Regency.

The national conference is a conceptual and issue-oriented conference, endeavoring to:

  • explore the role, issues and recommendations for campus climate assessment in the future; and 
  • present information, issues and implications for approaches to adjudicating cases of campus sexual misconduct.

"Sponsoring a national conference on the issues surrounding campus sexual misconduct allows us to promote continued discussion of the important issues involved in this topic," said Diane Follingstad, director of CRVAW. 

"We are highly invested in the assessment of campus interpersonal violence, so our center continues to keep that as a significant focus for gathering experts from around the country to think about the 'next steps' now that most institutions of higher education are beginning to assess their own campus climate. 

“But we also want thoughtful consideration and discussion of the attendant issues when investigations and hearings on campuses take place for these sexual misconduct cases. We have structured our conference to be a time when professionals and experts ‘pause to consider the implications’ of developments to date regarding campus sexual violence," Follingstad added.

Conference topics will include:

  • legal implications of data sharing,
  • confidentiality,
  • mandatory reporting,
  • affirmative consent issues and implications,
  • rights of the complainant and accused, and
  • sanctions and remedies.

These topics are pertinent to university administrators, student affairs personnel, faculty, researchers, lawyers, Title IX officers and graduate students. A list of speakers for the conference can be found at

"Our approach to this conference is to provide information in the form of thoughtful analyses and raising issues to which attendees can participate through discussion," Follingstad said. "We are aware that the vast majority of information that comes to universities is based directly on Title IX and Department of Education sources and guidelines. It has been difficult to find sources that consider implications of the directions Title IX has been taking or that propose a broader range of views."

In 2014, CRVAW was designated by the UK Office of the President to develop and analyze a campus climate/violence survey for all UK students to participate. As of May 2017, Campus Attitudes Toward Safety (CATS) has been administered to the entire population of UK students for three consecutive years.

Emerging from the CATS survey project, CRVAW sponsored two conferences. The first was in 2015 focusing on campus climate assessment at postsecondary institutions within Kentucky. The second conference in 2016 expanded to include regionally-based institutions that had contacted CRVAW regarding how to administer and analyze their own campus climate assessments successfully. This year’s national conference combines information on campus climate assessment and sexual violence adjudication issues on college campuses.

The conference is sponsored by CRVAW, CATS and the UK Office of the President. For more information on the “Campus Responses to Sexual Misconduct” conference, visit