Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary Woods Scherr, PhD, Director; Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD; Noelia Vela, EdD


California State University, campus climates, Delphi study, higher education, Sexual harassment, women


Based upon the preponderance of research which strongly indicates that sexual harassment is a serious problem for females in academia, the purpose of this study was to identify effective strategies for creating campus climates that are free from sexual harassment. In order to realistically bound the project, the study focused specifically upon the issue as it relates to undergraduate and graduate female students. The Delphi method, designed to generate solutions to complex problems, was the method of choice. Eighteen identified experts from thirteen campuses of The California State University participated as panelists and completed three rounds of surveys. The surveys were designed to identify 1) changes needed to create campus climates that are free from sexual harassment, 2) needed differences for undergraduate and graduate students, 3) strategies being used in higher education to reduce sexual harassment, 4) problems encountered when these strategies are implemented, 5) techniques that have been used to determine the effectiveness of these strategies and, 6) innovative strategies that could be developed for the 21st century. The results of the study were used to create a model for educational leaders who are committed to establishing campus climates that are free from sexual harassment. The model includes recommendations which address the problem from two levels. The first level addresses the sexual harassment of female students and includes a recommended definition of sexual harassment, suggested policies and procedures, and guidelines for establishing a sexual harassment task force, educating the campus community, and assessing the campus climate regarding sexual harassment. Additionally, recommendations are made on a second broader level which address gender inequities in higher education in general. These recommendations include enhancing the visibility of women on campus, empowering women's voices in academia, and creating non-violent and non-exploitive campus climates.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access