Federal probe: UW-Whitewater among 55 universities in hot water

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(CNN) — Federal investigators are checking whether 55 colleges and universities illegally handled sexual violence and harassment complaints, the U.S. Department of Education said Thursday. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is the only Wisconsin school on the list.

Such investigations have long been known, but this is the first time that the department released a list of all such probes currently under way.

The investigations center on Title IX, under which a school must ensure that students are not denied or limited in the ability to participate in or benefit from its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex.

The following schools are listed as being under open investigation as of May 1, 2014:

  • Arizona State University
  • Butte-Glen Community College District
  • Occidental College
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Southern California
  • Regis University
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Colorado at Denver
  • University of Denver
  • University of Connecticut
  • Catholic University of America
  • Florida State University
  • Emory University
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • University of Idaho
  • Knox College
  • University of Chicago
  • Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Vincennes University
  • Amherst College
  • Boston University
  • Emerson College
  • Harvard College
  • Harvard University – Law School
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • Frostberg State University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Guilford College
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Minot State University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Princeton University
  • Cuny Hunter College
  • Hobar and William Smith Colleges
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Suny at Binghamton
  • Denison University
  • Ohio State University
  • Wittenberg University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Franklin and Marshall College
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Temple University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • The University of Texas Pan-American
  • College of William and Mary
  • University of Virginia
  • Washington State University
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Bethany College
  • West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater issued the following statement to FOX6 News:

“A complaint was filed against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. That complaint is currently under investigation and because of that ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further.

UW-Whitewater is concerned about the safety and well being of all its students, faculty and staff, and takes reports of sexual violence and harassment seriously. All reports of sexual or gender-based misconduct are investigated in a timely and effective manner.  Complainants are provided with resources, assistance in making reports to law enforcement, options for changing class and work schedules, options for changing living arrangements, and information about counseling and survivor programs.  All student complainants are provided with a brochure outlining these rights and a sheet explaining the law enforcement reporting process.

There are multiple resources available to educate students and others regarding their rights.

UW-Whitewater has a comprehensive Sexual Misconduct Information website and includes information regarding Title IX,institutional policies, investigations, prevention information and reporting at http://www.uww.edu/sexual-misconduct-information.”