The University of Wisconsin-Madison is under federal investigation for how it handles sexual assault cases, the university said Wednesday.
According to a UW-Madison statement, the U.S. Department of Education informed UW-Madison and several other schools recently that they were added to the list of campuses under investigation for potential Title IX violations.
The Department of Education’s list of schools under investigation for how they handle sexual violence is now at 101, up from 55 schools in the original May list that included UW-Whitewater.
UW-Madison officials said they are working closely with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
“Sexual assault is unacceptable on our campus and we acknowledge the impact of these crimes on our students,” UW-Madison spokesperson John Lucas said in a statement. “We strive to respond promptly and appropriately to all reports of sexual assault and provide resources and support. This is an important issue and the university has worked diligently to ensure its policies comply with federal law and regulations.”
The list means only that the school are under investigation, not that the schools are in violation of Title IX.
The Dean of Students Office and Office for Equity and Diversity handle Title IX complaints, according to UHS.
According to a UW-Madison sexual assault summary, 164 assaults were reported to UW Division of Student Life in 2014, up from 122 in 2013. Of those, 31 occurred on-campus with 22 on-campus assaults happening in residence halls. Additionally, 70 were committed under the influence of alcohol or drug use.
Only 21 reports led to a UW investigation, according to the report. Of those, 10 were found responsible under a caveat that “there must be a preponderance of evidence for a student to be found responsible.” Therefore, if a case lacks substantial evidence, the student is not found responsible.
Of the 10 sanctions issued, five received university probation, three were suspended and one was expelled. One case remains in progress.
About half of the assaults occurred between individuals who knew each other, according to the summary. However, approximately 46 percent of the reports did not include any known relationship between the victim and assailant, according to the summary.
Earlier this year, UW-Madison said it would participate in a national sexual assault climate survey sponsored by the Association of American Universities. The survey is tentatively set to begin on April 13. Westat, the research firm partnered with the AAU, will collect data from over 800,000 students from 28 universities nationwide.
The actual survey is modeled off a prototype from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.
This post has been updated.