Is the U.S. Department of Education investigating UAA, too?

Question

I notice that the Department of Education list of schools under investigation lists “The University of Alaska Higher Education System.”  In watching the movie and hearing the Town Hall comments, and Sen. Murkowski’s condemnation of UAF, I wondered if UAA has had any Title IX violations. If not, what are they doing that UAF is not doing? Are they using any “best practices” that we could adopt?

Response

You are correct that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is reviewing the entire UA system’s Title IX compliance — not just UAF’s. To be clear, OCR has not yet determined whether Title IX violations occurred, and the UA system has not been told when to expect a determination.

UA’s own internal review covered all three universities. In addition to the discipline issues at UAF, that review indicated that UAA and UAS had some documentation and technical deficiencies that may raise Title IX concerns but also indicated that UAA and UAS had been using the suspension and expulsion discipline process.

All three universities — UAF, UAA and UAS — are now working on Title IX issues collaboratively and are sharing best practices.

— Michael O’Brien, associate general counsel, University of Alaska