The Obama administration’s decision to call public attention to universities under investigation over their sexual assault policies could be a major turning point in the fight over government transparency, prompting similar openness about probes into companies and other institutions facing federal inquiries on issues ranging from civil rights to the environment, reported Politico.
The focus remains on investigating the crimes themselves, and the debate continues about whether colleges are doing enough to fight rape and sexual assault on campuses. But for transparency advocates, the decision was a welcome surprise to those pushing for years to see President Barack Obama do more to fulfill his promise to bring unprecedented openness to the federal government.
The administration clearly hopes that schools’ fear of being put on the investigation list will encourage them to do more to prevent and respond to sexual assault. “Disclosure changes behavior. We’ve learned that time after time,” he said.
Title IX is a federal anti-discrimination law that dates to 1972 and prohibits schools receiving federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex. Universities found to have violated the law can lose funding from the U.S. government.
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