U Of C Among 55 Colleges Facing Sexual Assault Investigations

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Facing mounting pressure from lawmakers, sexual assault survivors and activists, the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday released for the first time a comprehensive list of colleges and universities under Title IX investigation.

Fifty-five higher education institutions are currently under review by the department’s Office for Civil Rights for allegedly mishandling sexual assault and harassment on campus in violation of the gender equity law Title IX.

“We are making this list available in an effort to bring more transparency to our enforcement work and to foster better public awareness of civil rights,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon said in a statement. “We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue. I also want to make it clear that a college or university’s appearance on this list and being the subject of a Title IX investigation in no way indicates at this stage that the college or university is violating or has violated the law.”

Women who have filed complaints leading to such investigations have long criticized the Education Department for shielding schools under investigation and for not providing enough transparency on the reviews. Prior to the list’s release, the department only confirmed when a school was under review upon request, which usually resulted from disclosure by a complainant or the school. The department has typically released information about an investigation after a resolution has been reached.

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