US Education Shake-Up: Department Lists 55 Colleges Under Investigation Over Sexual Assault Cases

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 2, 2014 3:31 PM EST

For the very first time, the U.S. Department of Education has publicly revealed a list of colleges that are under investigation for possible violations regarding sexual assault and harassment complaints on their campuses.

Among the schools on the list include the Michigan State University, Arizona State University, Princeton University, Catholic University of America, Florida State University and Swarthmore College.

The federal department hoped the disclosure will encourage dialogue but most importantly persuade schools to review and toughen up their procedures as to how they handle and manage campus sexual violence cases.

"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," Catherine Lhamon, the Education Department's assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement.

An unidentified Department of Education spokesman cited by Reuters said resolutions will be negotiated with a school found to have violated the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. However, if the education institution refuse to negotiate or comply, it will be subjected to further enforcement action, which could include a Justice Department litigation or withdrawal of federal funding.

The Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is an instrument that ensures students are given full ability to participate in educational and other opportunities at schools that receive federal funds without gender bias. Colleges, universities and schools given federal funds cannot discriminate based off of a student's gender as stipulated under Title IX.

Moreover, the Department of Education would post resolution agreements and compliance findings for settled cases. "That will also be hugely valuable to motivate proactive compliance by universities and to provide more blueprints for compliance," Erin E. Buzuvis, a Title IX expert and a law professor at Western New England University, told New York Times.

As cases of sexual assault and violence rise, more and more victims are citing Title IX, claiming their schools failed to protect them.

Colleges and universities are required to have a Title IX coordinator so students can report a wide range of violence including sex-related crimes.

This list reflects investigations open as of May 1, 2014. Schools are listed alphabetically by state.

State

Institution

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

"Today's move by the Department of Education is an important, helpful step for students and their parents, who until today had no way of knowing whether their school was under investigation for Title IX violations," Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, said. "We'll continue working to help schools provide the highest level of responsiveness and protections for victims and to require the federal government to provide the highest level of transparency on compliance and enforcement."

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Four buildings at Harvard University’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have been evacuated (Reuters)
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