WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (April 11-17, 2011)

EDUCATION

HIGHER EDUCATION

Yale not alone in Title IX probe.” By Jordi Gassó. Yale Daily News. April 15, 2011. A federal investigation into whether Yale violated Title IX has been in the media spotlight since it was first announced two weeks ago, but similar probes at Yale’s peer institutions have gone largely unnoticed. At least four other universities and professional schools — including the University of Virginia (UVA), Duke University, Princeton University and Harvard Law School — are presently under investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights because of Title IX complaints, DOE spokesperson Jim Bradshaw said. Legal experts interviewed explained that Yale’s case is not unique, given the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault incidents across universities. “The improper application of Title IX [when colleges handle] sexual misconduct cases is a pervasive issue,” said S. Daniel Carter, director of public policy for Security on Campus, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on safety on college campuses. Duke alone is now facing three open cases — two accusing the university of slow and inadequate action in response to grievances of sexual harassment, and a third accusing Duke of retaliating against a complainant who filed a prior complaint with the OCR. Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke, confirmed the Title IX investigations into his school, but deferred to the OCR for additional details. The OCR inquiries at Yale and the other four schools all stem from alleged violations of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funding. The OCR generally does not release details of investigations, Bradshaw said. Kristen Galles, a Virginia-based Title IX lawyer who has been litigating Title IX cases since 1993, said investigations usually go public only when the complainants opt to discuss their cases with the media. “[An investigation] at Yale might wake up a lot of schools to do something,” Galles said, explaining that OCR commonly “negotiates” with schools to find ways to comply with Title IX throughout the investigation.
Related story:
Title IX Resonates Beyond Yale’s Walls.” The Nation/Yale Daily News. April 11, 2011.
Is Yale University Sexist? Allegations about a ‘hostile environment’ for women could cost the university a half-billion in federal funding.” Wall Street Journal. April 16, 2011.

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