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Campus Sexual Assault and Gender-Based Violence

The Newcomb Institute has been a contributing force to the work both at Tulane and nationally around researching, preventing, and organizing around sexual assault on campus and gender-based violence.


Lisa Wade

Sally J. Kenney

Newcomb College Endowed Chair

Executive Director, Newcomb Institute

Professor of Political Science

Tulane University


Since 2010, Sally J. Kenney has held the Newcomb College Endowed Chair at Tulane University where she is the executive director of the Newcomb Institute, a Professor of Political Science, and an affiliated faculty member of the Law School. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University, a B.A. and M.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa. She has published extensively about comparative employment discrimination, the European Court of Justice, and judicial selection, focusing particularly on women judges. 


She has taught an undergraduate service-learning course on The Politics of Rape at Tulane for the last five years and has been a national leader on sexual assault on campus. She was one of the original planners of the Dartmouth Summit on Sexual Assault with David Lisak and Claudia Bayliff. She led a team of Tulane staff and students who attended that conference. Kenney was invited to the White House for the release of the Its On Us Report. Newcomb Institute has brought many leading researchers to campus to speak on their scholarship on sexual assault and assembled a consortium of faculty, students, and staff interested in working on the issue which evolved into the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Committee, now dissolved. (See Student Affairs’ All In for more recent information.)


The Newcomb Institute first screened the films Invisible War and The Hunting Ground which brought the filmmaker to town. Questioning following the screening of The Hunging Ground led Tulane to make more transparent its reporting of complaints that evolved into the Shifting the Paradigm annual event. Newcomb hosted several trainings for faculty about changing requirements to report sexual assault on campus; it hosted Assistant Secretary of Education Catherine Lhamon for a campus convening in 2014. Newcomb Institute has sponsored two conferences for student activists on sexual assault and is currently planning a third. Kenney was an active member of the Sexual Assault Taskforce responding to Tulane University’s ARC3 climate survey which garnered over 50% response rate. She attended the Stanford Conference on Title IX Advocacy in the Trump Era. She served on the Tulane Sexual Assault Climate Taskforce and continues to chair the committee endeavoring to change the grievance procedure for faculty who are accused of sexual harassment. In the fall of 2018, she gave a keynote address at the University of Kentucky’s annual conference on sexual assault on campus and delivered an address at the University of Houston on sexual assault and restorative justice. In the spring of 2019, she has been invited to deliver a paper at the Stanford Institute of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She is currently writing her own survivor narrative.


In the 2019 Newcomb Summer Session, Kenney and Laura Wolford will offer a one-week course for high school students on Dismantling Rape Culture. She is currently writing, working to make her course available online, planning a series on sexual assault and restorative justice, and planning a national interdisciplinary conference of scholars.



Tulane University courses on sexual violence taught by Newcomb Institute staff.

Newcomb Pre-College Summer Session Courses for High School Students:
Summer 2020: Dismantling Rape Culture (online course), Professor Sally J. Kenney and Laura Wolford
Summer 2019: Dismantling Rape Culture, Professor Sally J. Kenney and Laura Wolford

Louisiana Sexual Assault Student Activitst Conference

Spring 2016: 
Newcomb Institute supports the first Louisiana Sexual Assault Student Activist Conference (planned by students Tara Wilson, Hannah Novak, and Nina Baumgartner). Laura Dunn from SurvJustice was the keynote speaker. 

Fall 2017: 
Newcomb Institute supported the second Louisiana Sexual Assault Student Activist Conference (planned by students Hannah Novak and Helen Robins). Wagatwe Wanjuki was the keynote speaker. 

Spring 2019: 
Newcomb Institute joins with the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault to support the third Louisiana Sexual Assault Student Activist Conference (held at Xavier University). Dalton Tiegs and Rebecca Merton are keynote speakers. 

Newcomb Institute Interdisciplinary Symposium on Sexual Violence

Newcomb Institute is committed to fostering education and seeking solutions to sexual assault; our 2020 Interdisciplinary Symposium on Sexual Violence featured the latest research by leaders who approached the issue from a variety of perspectives, including historical, legal, psychological, and more.

Past Programming

Newcomb Institute has brought national leaders, new documentaries, and cutting-edge researchers to campus each year to spark conversation and increase our knowledge about campus sexual assault. 

Spring 2012:  

  • Lynn Rosenthal, first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, for a talk on domestic violence 

Spring 2013:  

Fall 2013: 

Fall 2014: 

Fall 2015: 

  • Newcomb Institute and Tulane University Campus Programming (TUCP) brought Mac McClelland to campus  
  • Kevin Swartout, Associate Professor of Psychology at Georgia State University and a leading researcher on campus sexual assault perpetrator and survey design 
  • Screened The Hunting Ground and India’s Daughter 

Spring 2016: 

  • Libby Sharrow, Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at UMass Amherst for a talk on Title IX and sports policy history 
  • Brittney Cooper, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers for a talk on Black Lives Matter 
  • Newcomb Institute hosted lunch for Tulane faculty to learn more about their roles as mandatory reporters under Title IX 

Fall 2016: 

  • Newcomb Institute hosted a Fridays at Newcomb with panel of faculty who teach and/or research on Gender-Based Violence. 

Spring 2017: 

Fall 2017: 

Spring 2018: 

Fall 2018: 

  • Newcomb Institute co-sponsors English Department talk by Greta LaFleur, Associate Professor of American Studies at Yale, entitled “Ugly Histories: What Literary Study Can Teach Us About the History of Sexual Violence in America” 
  • Newcomb Institute took a group of students to the New Orleans Film Festival to see the documentary, Roll Red Roll

Spring 2019: 

Fall 2019: 

Spring 2020: 


Reading Groups

Newcomb Institute hosts a reading group for students, staff, and faculty to continue our education about sexual assault. 

Conference Attendance

Newcomb Institute has supported staff and faculty presentation and attendance at many conferences.  

Fall 2012: 
University of Michigan Campus Sexual Assault Policy: Progress and Policy Conference 

Spring 2014: 
Sally Kenney invited to White House for release of report by White House Taskforce to Protect Students from Sexual Assault 

Summer 2014: 
Dartmouth Summit on Sexual Assault 

Spring 2017: 
Laura Wolford, Meredith Smith, Julia Broussard, and Lindsey Greeson present on Tulane’s first-year reading project at the NASPA Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Conference in Austin, Tx 

The Way Forward: Title IX Advocacy in the Trump Era at Stanford University 

Fall 2017: 
University of Kentucky Campus Responses to Sexual Misconduct 

Summer 2018:  
Newcomb Institute sponsors Julia Broussard and Megan Fuller to attend the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act Sexual Assault Resistance Education Program training, developed by Charlene Senn 

Fall 2018: 
Sally Kenney is a keynote speaker at the 2018 University of Kentucky Conference, Campus Responses to Sexual Misconduct: Navigating Change at the DOE