(May 1, 2014)—Two Indiana universities are included in a list of 55 U.S. colleges and universities under federal investigation for possible violations over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.
Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released the list of universities apart of the Title IX probe, which includes Indiana University-Bloomington and Vincennes University.
“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. “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.”
The department said they would not release specific facts about why the universities are under investigation, but they will disclose whether a violation occurred following their review.
Earlier this week, the Education Department released updated guidelines and responsibilities of schools receiving federal funding on addressing sexual violence and discrimination. View the guidelines here.
The universities released the following statements today:
Indiana University: “The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in March initiated a routine compliance review of Indiana University Bloomington’s handling of reports of sexual harassment, including sexual assault.
“This type of compliance review is distinct and separate from investigations that arise from complaints to OCR, and the office has confirmed that it has received no complaints against IU Bloomington that would have triggered an investigation.
“As OCR explained to campus officials, it is in the process of conducting compliance reviews on numerous campuses throughout the country, and individual institutions have been chosen randomly based on size, geographic location, type of campus community (commuter vs. residential) and other factors.
“The stated goal of the review is to help institutions determine areas for improvement under Title IX, and the university welcomes the opportunity to share its practices in this area and receive input that will help the Bloomington campus strengthen its work in this vitally important area.”
Vincennes University: “VU is always interested in learning how to improve the campus environment and safety measures for our students, including best practices to combat sexual assault and harassment,” said Lynn White, assistant provost of Student Affairs.
“Vincennes University supports the government’s increased emphasis on sexual assault prevention on college campuses and takes an active role in providing informational programming, support services, and processes that effectively address needs and issues,” White said.
This following list reflects investigations open as of May 1, 2014:
|AZ||Arizona State University|
|CA||Butte-Glen Community College District|
|CA||University of California-Berkeley|
|CA||University of Southern California|
|CO||University of Colorado at Boulder|
|CO||University of Colorado at Denver|
|CO||University of Denver|
|CT||University of Connecticut|
|DC||Catholic University of America|
|FL||Florida State University|
|HI||University of Hawaii at Manoa|
|ID||University of Idaho|
|IL||University of Chicago|
|MA||Harvard University—Law School|
|MA||University of Massachusetts-Amherst|
|MD||Frostburg State University|
|MI||Michigan State University|
|MI||University of Michigan-Ann Arbor|
|NC||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|ND||Minot State University|
|NY||Cuny Hunter College|
|NY||Hobart and William Smith Colleges|
|NY||Sarah Lawrence College|
|NY||Suny at Binghamton|
|OH||Ohio State University|
|OK||Oklahoma State University|
|PA||Carnegie Mellon University|
|PA||Franklin and Marshall College|
|PA||Pennsylvania State University|
|TX||Southern Methodist University|
|TX||The University of Texas-Pan American|
|VA||College of William and Mary|
|VA||University of Virginia|
|WA||Washington State University|
|WI||University of Wisconsin-Whitewater|
|WV||West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine|