May 1 — The U.S. Education Department is investigating 55 colleges for failing to prevent and respond to sexual assaults and harassment on campus.
Washington State University is one of the schools being investigated.
The colleges are being probed for violations of Title IX, the law that bars gender discrimination in education, the agency said today in a statement. Bloomberg News and other media organizations requested the list under the Freedom of Information Act.
Students at colleges across the country have inundated the agency’s Office for Civil Rights with complaints of botched investigations, skimpy prevention programs and failures to enable assault victims to continue their studies. A White House task force report released April 28 proposed a series of measures, including greater government transparency around investigations, to help address the issue.
“We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue,” said Catherine Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, in the statement. “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.”