IU, Vincennes universities investigated for possible Title IX violations

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(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 Occidental College
CA University of California-Berkeley
CA University of Southern California
CO Regis University
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
GA Emory University
HI University of Hawaii at Manoa
ID University of Idaho
IL Knox College
IL University of Chicago
IN Indiana University-Bloomington
IN Vincennes University
MA Amherst College
MA Boston University
MA Emerson College
MA Harvard College
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 Guilford College
NC University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
ND Minot State University
NH Dartmouth College
NJ Princeton University
NY Cuny Hunter College
NY Hobart and William Smith Colleges
NY Sarah Lawrence College
NY Suny at Binghamton
OH Denison University
OH Ohio State University
OH Wittenberg University
OK Oklahoma State University
PA Carnegie Mellon University
PA Franklin and Marshall College
PA Pennsylvania State University
PA Swarthmore College
PA Temple University
TN Vanderbilt 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 Bethany College
WV West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine