Branding Higher Education in the Face of Controversy: A Document Analysis on Institutional Branding and Sexual Violence Policies at Brock University
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This study examines the relationship between institutional branding and reports of on-campus sexual violence at Ontario Higher Education (HE) institutions with a focus on Brock University. Using a document analysis of 3 documents available via the Brock University website, I consider how institutional branding informs and is reflected in HE policies and specifically, how Brock’s brand reflected in those policies contributes to how on-campus sexual violence is understood and addressed. Working within the framework of Feminist Critical Policy Analysis, I present key themes that emerge through the document analysis and critically analyze what those themes indicate about the relationship between institutional branding and reports of on-campus sexual violence at Brock University. This project seeks to encourage HE institutions, and the stakeholders within and around them, to prioritize putting documents into action over prioritizing the act of creating the document. Documents that are not in action are documents that are not of use to those they are meant to inform and protect. Moreover, this research can be used to (a) inspire advocacy, (b) promote a feminist approach in institutional branding and policy development, and (c) assist survivors of sexual violence in seeking support.