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Education Dept. Releases Latest List of Title IX Investigations, After Failing to Do So

[Updated (1/26/2017, 3 p.m.) with new information.]

The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday released its latest list of colleges facing sexual-violence investigations under the gender-equity law known as Title IX, after initially failing to do so for the first time in more than two years.

The department has made such a list public since 2014, when it named 55 colleges and universities that its Office for Civil Rights was investigating. At the time, the department said its announcement offered the “first comprehensive look” at which colleges were facing such investigations.

The department said that its list of colleges under investigation would be “updated regularly and made available to the public upon request.”

Since then, the department has honored that pledge, by providing news outlets with a list of open Title IX investigations on a weekly basis. The Chronicle used the list of federal investigations to help build its Title IX tracker — a comprehensive tool for following investigations in the era defined by the government’s pivotal 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter.

The department has typically provided information about new investigations within a few hours of being asked each week. But that pattern changed on Wednesday, when The Chronicle submitted its latest request for the list of investigations — its first since President Trump was inaugurated.

“About all I can tell you for now is that we’ll relay your request for the list to the appropriate people,” a spokesman for the civil-rights office said in an emailed response on Wednesday evening. “It doesn’t look like we will have it today. We’re still in transition. As soon as I know more, I’ll let you know.”

The department’s response was significant because many people have speculated that President Trump’s administration will roll back enforcement of some of higher education’s most hotly debated rules and regulations, including Title IX. Under President Barack Obama, the department adopted an aggressive stance on the law and put pressure on colleges to crack down on sexual assault.

On Thursday, however, the department released an updated copy of the list, which showed 306 open cases at 225 colleges and universities around the country. The newest additions to the list were investigations at the University of Florida and the University of Mary Washington.

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