UMass Amherst, Amherst College On Feds’ Investigation List

The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday released a list of 55 schools under investigation for potential violations for their handling of sexual violence complaints. Amherst College and UMass Amherst are on the list.

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights notes that an open investigation does not mean a school broke the law in how it handled sexual violence on campus.

UMass spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski points to a letter from the feds, that says the university was picked for a review based off a variety of factors, including media.

“The fact that there may have been reports in the media of some concerning incidents and there certainly have been some here as there are at many other schools,” he says.

Blaguszewski says that review began in 2011 and is not yet complete, but UMass has and continues to implement strategies to solve this problem.

In other cases, like at Amherst College, schools face a federal review because of specific complaints. A spokesperson acknowledges Amherst has had problems dealing with campus sexual assault in the past, but says the college has made important changes and is holding itself to the “highest possible standards.”

Other New England schools on the list are UConn, Harvard College, Harvard Law, Boston University, Emerson and Dartmouth.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Boston College as on the list. It should have said Boston University.