UK Happenings

UK to Host National Conference on Campus Climate Assessment and Adjudication of Sexual Misconduct

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 5, 2017) — This fall, the University of Kentucky will host a national conference focused on issues relevant to campus climate assessment and sexual misconduct.

"Campus Responses to Sexual Misconduct: Pausing to Consider the Implications" will be held Sept. 21-22, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington. The conference is designed as a conceptual and issue-oriented conference, endeavoring to:

  • look at 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.

Registration information is available at

"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 the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women (CRVAW), which is hosting the conference. "We are highly invested in the assessment of campus interpersonal violence, so continue 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."

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. Nationally-known experts have been invited as session speakers and panelists to discuss the full range of these issues while exploring current directions and best practices. The topics will be pertinent to university administrators, student affairs personnel, faculty, researchers, lawyers, Title IX officers and graduate students who would find these topics to be most relevant.

A list of speakers 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."

"Since before I arrived, the University of Kentucky has been a leader in using evidenced-based practices to confront and address campus sexual assault," UK President Eli Capilouto said. "The Green Dot Program, which we’ve moved from our campus to K-12 schools around the Commonwealth, and our campuswide safety survey are two of the most comprehensive and robust interventions developed by a college campus. This national conference is an opportunity to build on that work, sharing what we know and hearing from national experts on how we — and all of higher education — can continue to foster safe university environments where our campus families can succeed."

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 Safey (CATS) has been administered to the entire population of UK students for three consecutive years.

Emerging from this 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 will combine 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, including registration information, visit