The US Department of Education has released a list of 55 universities that they are investigating to see if they are responding properly to reports of sexual violence and harassment complaints, as required under legislation known as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
This is simply a list of current investigations. It does not mean that that those listed are guilty nor does it mean that other universities will not be added to the list later. It also does not mean that there are no assaults at those universities not on the list but only that there is an adequate mechanism for reporting and handling such assaults. What the list does reveal is that this problem of sexual assault and harassment on university campuses spans every type of institutions of higher education: public/private, rural/urban, large/small, elite/community colleges.
I was pleased to see that my university was not on that list but that is no grounds for complacency. Although we have had many discussions to alert everyone who works here on the importance of treating allegations of assault and harassment seriously and know how to respond and report them properly, we have also had the situation where the dean of our law school resigned following allegations that he was sexually harassing faculty, staff, and students and retaliating against those who reported him. That issue is now before the courts.