55 schools face US federal sex assault probe - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

55 schools face US federal sex assault probe

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Education Department on Thursday took the unprecedented step of releasing the names of the 55 colleges and universities currently facing a Title IX investigation over their handling of sexual abuse complaints.

The release came two days after a White House task force promised greater government transparency on sexual assault in higher education. Going forward, the department said, it will keep an updated list of schools facing such an investigation and make it available upon request.

The schools range from big public universities like Ohio State University, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Arizona State University to private schools like Knox College in Illinois, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and Catholic University of America in the District of Columbia. Ivy League schools like Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth are also on the list.

The agency previously would confirm such an investigation when asked, but students and others were often unaware of them.

"We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue," Catherine E. Lhamon, the department's assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement.

Lhamon said a school's appearance on the list does not mean that it has violated the law but that an investigation is ongoing.

Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. It is the same law that guarantees girls equal access to sports, but it also regulates institutions' handling of sexual violence and increasingly is being used by victims who say their schools failed to protect them.

Citing research, the White House has said that 1 in 5 female students is assaulted. President Barack Obama appointed a task force comprised of his Cabinet members to review the issue after hearing complaints about the poor treatment of campus rape victims and the hidden nature of such crimes.

The task force announced the creation of a website, notalone.gov, offering resources for victims and information about past enforcement actions on campuses. The task force also made a wide range of recommendations to schools, such as identifying confidential victims' advocates and conducting surveys to better gauge the frequency of sexual assault on their campuses.

The department publicized guidance on Title IX's sexual assault provisions in 2011, and complaints by students have since increased. Complaints, however, don't always lead to an investigation.

The department can withhold federal funding from a school that doesn't comply with the law, but it so far has not used that power and instead has negotiated voluntary resolutions for violators.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., have said non-compliance under the law is "far too common." They say a lack of federal resources is partly to blame for that, and they've sought more money to ensure timely and proper investigations.

Another law that campus sexual assault cases fall under is the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to report crime statistics on or near their campuses. It also requires schools to develop prevention policies and ensure victims their basic rights. Investigations under this law are not included in the list that was released.
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


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