Story URL:
Story Retrieval Date: 4/17/2015 11:13:11 AM CST

Top Stories

Luiz Gadelha Jr./University of Chicago

University of Chicago issued a statement Thursday in response to the news of the U.S. Department of Education's investigation.

U.S. education department investigates U. of C. for handling of sex assault claims

by DeJonique Garrison
May 01, 2014

The University of Chicago and Knox College are among 55 schools under investigation for their handling of sexual abuse claims, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday.

The investigation is being undertaken under the auspices of Title IX, a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender. It’s part of a larger effort by the Obama administration to protect students from assault and offer more transparency regarding enforcement efforts.

“We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue,” said Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights, in a statement.

Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., responded to its inclusion on the list by circulating a campus climate survey to help students better understand and respond to sexual violence, according to The Knox Student, the college’s daily newspaper. Knox College President Teresa Amott expressed the school’s full cooperation to “remedy the identified violations in compliance with applicable civil rights laws.”

Jeremy Manier, news director for the University of Chicago issued a statement saying, "In order to sustain an academic community in which all students and scholars can participate freely and fully, the University has a particular commitment to addressing sexual misconduct and unlawful harassment and discrimination involving students.”

If these schools are found to be in violation of the law, they could risk losing federal funding and/or be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for additional disciplinary action.