Fixing What's Wrong with How Universities Adjudicate Sexual Misconduct Claims: How Procedural Change Can Encourage Cooperation

39 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017 Last revised: 3 Oct 2018

See all articles by Tammi Walker

Tammi Walker

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: October 2, 2018

Abstract

Processes that are considered to be fair for both accused students and victims are what’s missing from the way institutions of higher education adjudicate campus sexual assault. Ideas for reform are available from a myriad of sources. Evidence-based guidance; however, is in short supply. This Article seeks to provide much needed structure for the debate regarding campus sexual assault by describing a model based upon procedural justice theory. The experiments described here investigate the proposition that students will be more likely to report sexual assault and assist authorities when asked, if they trust those authorities because they believe that the process for settling disputes is fair. Results show that perceived fairness matters. When students were presented with fair policies and procedures, they reported having greater confidence in the disciplinary system, which corresponded with greater willingness to cooperate with authorities. Exposure to fair policies increased willingness to cooperate, even when the outcome was unfavorable. Accordingly, students’ opinions about the process should factor into the reform of university disciplinary systems.

Keywords: Sexual Misconduct, Discipline, Procedural Justice, Civil Procedure

Suggested Citation

Walker, Tammi, Fixing What's Wrong with How Universities Adjudicate Sexual Misconduct Claims: How Procedural Change Can Encourage Cooperation (October 2, 2018). 2018 Wisconsin Law Review 111; University of Illinois College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-11; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 18-30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3034779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3034779

Tammi Walker (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States
520-621-1801 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
118
Abstract Views
503
rank
234,805
PlumX Metrics