Oklahoma State Faces Sex Assault Investigation

Staff and Wire Reports

Oklahoma State University is one of 55 colleges and universities currently facing a Title IX sexual abuse investigation.

The U.S. Department of Education released the names of the schools today, 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 hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue," Catherine E. Lhamon, the department's assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement.

Lhamon said a school's appearance on the list does not mean that it has violated the law but that an investigation is ongoing.

University officials confirmed they are working on a compliance review with the education department and issued a statement saying:

"Oklahoma State University is gathering information requested by the U.S. Department of Education. The university will work with DOE as the department conducts this compliance review. Oklahoma State University is committed to providing the safest campus possible for students and others. In the last year, OSU conducted an exhaustive, system-wide review of our policies related to sexual abuse on campus. As a result of that review, OSU has further strengthened its policies."

Web Extra: Read the Letter the Education Department Sent OSU

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 schools failed to protect them.

Oklahoma State was the only Oklahoma school on the list.