Last Thursday, we wrote about the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights disclosure that 55 schools were under investigation for possible Title IX violations. The specific focus of thse violations was possible college mishandling and/or misreporting of sexual assaults. Now, however, the Department of Education has confirmed to Huffington Post that 32 additional Title IX investigations are underway.

These investigations were reported separately because, unlike the 55, these investigations do not deal with sexual assault. Rather these investigations break down as follows:

  • 4 investigations concern a possible failure to designate a Title IX coordinator,
  • 25 investigations concern Title IX and retaliation, and
  • 32 investigations focus on the institutional failure to properly disclose grievance procedures.

In its article today, Huffington Post rightly points out that the way in which these ‘cases’ are counted limits the transparency of the depth of any problem. Cases are not the same as investigations, as multiple schools can be in one investigation. Furthermore, one school might be part of multiple investigations because of a series of possible wrongdoing related to a single incident. (Huffington Post suggests that UNC-Chapel Hill’s inclusion in the 55 schools under sexual assault violation and its existing retaliation complaints makes it likely that UNC-Chapel Hill is counted in both lists.)

It is also important to note that media in the past week have shown that at least two schools were missing from the list of 55 investigations from last week. Those schools are Hanover College (under retaliation investigations against of student sexual assault survivor) and Cedarville University.

Sadly, even as policy moves in positive directions, collegiate transparency lags. College Parents of America will continue to keep our members and readers aware of these stories and other issues concerning college transparency. Hopefully, through both awareness, position papers and member momentum, we can see an ever-increasing realization of college transparency on financial and safety issues, as we as all other issues of concern.