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perceptions, gender, female, sexual, harassment, senior, women, W.W.U., western, Washington, university, faculty, staff, WWU


In 1999, the Faculty Senate approved Western's participation in a national survey of faculty conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). Western's preliminary analysis of the data revealed that Westerns full-time female faculty reported experiencing sexual harassment at a higher percentage than did full-time female faculty at peer institutions--with each cohort made up approximately 62% tenured faculty and 38% non-tenured faculty. It was also noted that Western's female faculty were more likely to report feeling subtle discrimination than female faculty at peer institutions and less likely to agree that women faculty are treated fairly. Limited by the survey data at hand, the only other finding researchers could note was that sexual harassment was more likely to be reported by tenured female faculty than by non-tenured female faculty (34% of senior female faculty versus 8% of junior female faculty). While the data provided by the survey was obviously noteworthy, so too was the scarcity of data. Indeed, key problems with the national survey data included that:

no time frame was given; therefore it was unclear if the problems were long past or recent: and no definitions were given. In particular, were respondents interpreting sexual harassment as gender harassment (the former defined for this study as sexually intimidating or hostile behavior and the latter as poor treatment due to one's gender)?

At the request of the Provost, a committee of faculty and expert researchers were formed in Winter 2001 to advise and plan a follow-up to the finding. This survey is the result of that committee's efforts.




Digital object produced by Office of Survey Research, Western Washington University, and made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Women college teachers--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Sex discrimination in employment--Washington (State)--Bellingham

Title of Series

Technical and research reports (Western Washington University. Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing) ; 2002-02






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