KU added to list of schools under investigation for handling of sex assault investigations

Kansas University has been added to the list of colleges and universities under investigation for their handling of investigations into sexual assaults.

In a statement Monday, a KU school official said the school doesn’t tolerate sexual assault and will assist in the federal review.

Over the past several months, dozens of schools — now totaling 71 — have been named by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights as part of a probe into sexual violence against women on campuses across the nation.

The list reflects schools where at least one student has filed a complaint under Title IX, which is a provision of a 1972 law against discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities supported by federal funds. It also regulates institutions’ handling of sexual abuse claims and has increasingly been used by victims who say the schools failed to protect them or properly investigate.

In the newest update to the list, KU was added, in addition to Brown University in Rhode Island, Hampshire College in Massachusetts, St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York, and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, according to a report by McClatchy News Service’s Washington bureau.

The list doesn’t include specific information about the case.

KU provided no specifics either.

In a prepared statement, Tammara Durham, vice provost for students affairs at KU, said, “KU does not tolerate sexual assault, and students have been suspended and expelled as a result of violating university policies.”

Durham added that KU is committed to creating a safe environment and strives to improve its practices to prevent sexual violence and harassment.

She noted that the federal education agency has stated that being the subject of a Title IX investigation doesn’t indicate the university violated any law.

“Our existing policies and practices follow federal guidelines and include efforts to prevent sexual violence and harassment, measures to respond, and resources to assist,” she said.

Earlier this year, a White House task force that said nationally one in 5 female students is assaulted. Earlier this month, Washburn University in Topeka was added to the national list.