The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, after finding that the university's handling of complaints arising from reports of sexual assault violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
The Title IX probe was based on two complaints filed in July 2011 and April 2013, alleging that the university failed to respond promptly and equitably to reports that the students had been sexually assaulted.
OCR's investigation included reviewing the university's policies and procedures, reviewing more than three years of files maintained by the university in its investigation of Title IX complaints, and conducting on-site visits and interviews of students and university staff.
Following its investigation, OCR found that the university's violations of Title IX included failing to have policies and procedures that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints, to treat students equitably when responding to complaints, and to provide a notice of nondiscrimination that is compliant with Title IX.
OCR's mission is to ensure equal access to education and promote educational excellence throughout the nation through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights. OCR is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination by educational institutions on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, and age, as well as the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act of 2001.
Additional information about OCR is available here.