OCR Investigating 225 Colleges Nationwide for Title IX Violations

The Office for Civil Rights' caseload has increased dramatically over the last five years.
Published: January 30, 2017

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced that 225 colleges and universities are under investigation for Title IX violations Jan. 26.

The OCR has a total of 306 investigations underway to assess the institutions’ response to student complaints of sexual violence, according to the Washington Post.

Under the administration of former President Barack Obama, the OCR’s role enforcing Title IX expanded dramatically, and some have wondered if that would change under President Donald Trump.

A delay in the OCR’s release of the data on sexual violence investigations concerned many sexual assault victims’ advocates.

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But a senior White House advisor for education, Jason Botel, disputed some people’s claims that the delay was part of a concerted effort to scale back the OCR’s role holding colleges accountable.

“When it was called to the attention of the new administration that the list was not released in a timely way, the Office for Civil Rights was directed to release it,” Botel wrote in an email to the Post. “To suggest this was anything other than an oversight on the part of OCR is simply untrue.”

RELATED: ‘Dear Betsy’ Campaign Urges Dept. of Ed Nominee to Uphold Title IX

Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos did little to ease the Title IX concerns of campus safety groups during her confirmation hearing when she said it would be “premature” to agree to uphold the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter that outlined schools’ responsibilities when responding to reports of sexual violence.

“I look forward to understanding past actions and the current administration better, and to ensuring that the intent of the law is actually carried out in a way that recognizes both the victim, the rights of the victim, as well as those that are accused,” DeVos said.

DeVos is set to be confirmed as education secretary Tuesday.

The complete list of schools being investigated includes some schools that have multiple OCR investigations underway. An updated version of the list can be found here.

An investigation into a school does not mean the institution has violated any federal law.

Read Next: 2 Lawmakers Vow to Reduce Role of Dept. of Ed. on Campuses

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