WASHINGTON The Education Department has taken the unprecedented step of releasing the names of 55 colleges and universities currently facing a Title IX sexual abuse investigation.
The release comes two days after a White House task force promised greater government transparency on sexual assault in higher education.
The agency previously would confirm such an investigation when asked, but students and others were often unaware of them.
"We are making this list available in an effort to bring more transparency to our enforcement work and to foster better public awareness of civil rights," Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon said.
"We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue. I also want to make it clear that a college or university's appearance on this list and being the subject of a Title IX investigation in no way indicates at this stage that the college or university is violating or has violated the law."
Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. It is the same law that guarantees girls equal access to sports, but it also regulates institutions' handling of sexual violence and increasingly is being used by victims who say their school failed to protect them.
For a full list of the schools with active Title IX sexual abuse investigations, click here.