College and university presidents and trustees, as leaders of their institutions, have the power to send a powerful message that their schools are committed to student safety, well-being, and academic success. Drug and alcohol use poses a dangerous threat in all three of these areas, which is why implementing evidence-based substance use prevention strategies is an urgent and fundamental duty for university leadership.
The continuing reports of alcohol-related sexual assaults, injuries, and deaths are by themselves compelling reasons for trustees and administrators to strengthen and re-evaluate their current substance use prevention strategies. But there is yet more danger. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, of which I am president, has documented two major ways in which substance use also has a deleterious impact on educational performance, as described in our guide for university leaders, Addressing College Drinking and Drug Use.