NASPA Releases Research Report on Increasing Transparency and Accountability of Campus Police

Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice
May 11, 2022 NASPA

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2022 - As higher education institutions respond to student demands regarding campus police presence and reach, it becomes critically important to ensure institutionwide awareness about policies, practices, and reform efforts. NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education–engaged in a research project to better understand the scope of authority and responsibilities of campus police, the level of online transparency of campus police policies and procedures, and the impact of state and federal legislation on campus law enforcement efforts from March 2020 through September 2021. The resulting report, “Efforts to Increase Transparency and Accountability of Campus Police,” is now available.


“Given how much of the focus of the protests following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 centered on police reform, we felt it was important to examine the extent to which campuses were proactively addressing these concerns and implementing reforms rather than waiting for legislative action,” said Jill Dunlap, co-author of the report and senior director for research, policy, and civic engagement at NASPA.


To better understand campus policing policies and reforms, the report’s authors conducted a three-part analysis involving: a theme analysis of relevant federal- and state-level legislation; a survey of vice presidents for student affairs with campus safety listed as a functional area; and a content analysis of campus safety websites for 200 institutions.


The survey of senior student affairs administrators (n=50) who oversee campus law enforcement indicated that institutions employ various types of campus safety officers and that the differences among them are not always transparent on public websites or communicated clearly to faculty, staff, or students. The survey also found that campus law enforcement officers have a large range of duties, beyond just emergency response.


The full report includes the findings from the survey and content analysis, outlines the potential impact of state- and federal-level policy reforms on campus law enforcement agencies, and highlights opportunities for improving transparency and communications about campus police reform efforts.


To access the full report, visit


NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 12,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.


Contact - Jill Dunlap, [email protected]