ProPublica has just revealed to the public all civil rights investigations on college campuses for the first time— including the University of Nevada, Reno’s.
The university has been revealed by the nonprofit newsroom to have seven pending investigations for civil rights violations with the U.S. Department of Education. The seven investigations still pending have all been open for a year or more.
These seven pending investigations are among the 14 investigations launched in the last three years. Of the seven closed, two were closed with proof of violations and were resolved with a corrective change and five had no violations with need for corrective change.
Of the seven pending investigations, all but one were regarding disability problems, ranging from accessibility to treatment. The remaining open case is investigating sexual harassment. Four of the disability cases opened in Aug. 2015, while the remainder of the cases opened in Oct. 2016.
Disability and accessibility at the university have been an ongoing affair, as the concept of universal design has been considered in the university’s latest renovations. According to the National Disability Authority, universal design is “the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.”
The case regarding sexual harassment is being investigated in the midst of the #MeToo movement, in which sexual assault and harassment survivors were encouraged to come forward to report their assaults.
The cases of which were resolved with violations found regarded physical accessibility, adoption of grievance procedures and accessibility of an online course. These two investigations resulted in corrective changes in regards to the issue.
The remainder of the 14 cases were resolved and closed without any violations found to need a corrective change. Their matters ranged from different treatment and denial of benefits to discrimination to financial aid and assistance.
The university’s investigations are just some of the thousands investigated by the U.S. Department of Education every year. Pending investigations give no additional information other than the opening date and brief matter of investigation.