Monday, March 22, 2021
Virginia Commonwealth University’s Division of Student Affairs has hired Dyad Strategies, a research and consulting firm specializing in cultural and risk assessment within fraternities and sororities, to conduct a full external review of the VCU fraternity and sorority community.
VCU called for an independent review following the death of freshman Adam Oakes on Feb. 27 at an off-campus residence. Richmond Police are investigating the cause of his death with assistance from VCU Police.
The external review at VCU will consist of two phases: a quantitative assessment of the fraternity/sorority community, followed by an in-depth qualitative examination of fraternity/sorority culture guided by the results of the quantitative assessment.
The first portion of the review, the community cultural survey, will launch in late March. Dyad representatives will then visit VCU in late April to conduct interviews and focus groups. The final report, which will include benchmarked findings and a series of recommendations, will be submitted to VCU in June.
Cultural and risk assessment examines factors that influence member and organizational experiences including sense of belonging, quality of relationships, alcohol use, social status, hazing, openness to diversity, commitment, identification, sexual assault mindset, and motivation to join, among others.
“We look forward to the review of Greek life at VCU by Dyad Strategies and their recommendations. This comprehensive review of major facets of Greek life will assist us as a university community in realizing our values related to a climate of respect, care and inclusion while also promoting health and safety,” said Charles Klink, Ph.D., senior vice provost for student affairs.
The firm has completed fraternity/sorority community cultural assessments on nearly 100 campuses, is currently partnered with 15 national fraternities and sororities, and has conducted full-scale external reviews on nearly 20 college campuses over the past five years.
The company’s partners, Gentry McCreary, Ph.D., and Joshua Schutts, Ph.D., are widely regarded as leading experts on the culture of fraternities and sororities. Their research has been published in the Journal of Cognition and Culture; Oracle, the research journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors; The American Journal of Alcohol and Drug Abuse; and the Journal of College and Character.
About VCU and VCU Health
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Tappahannock Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and MCV Physicians. The clinical enterprise includes a collaboration with Sheltering Arms Institute for physical rehabilitation services. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.