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Tufts Resolves U.S. Complaint on Sexual-Assault Reports

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Tufts University
A Tufts University student walks into the Sophia Gordon Residence Hall located on the Tufts University campus in Medford, Massachusetts. Photographer: John Bohn/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Tufts University entered a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Education Department to resolve a complaint of its handling of sexual-assault reports two weeks after revoking its signature on a similar accord.

Under the agreement, Tufts will submit to monitoring of its compliance of Title IX, the law that bars sex discrimination in education, according to a statement yesterday from the department’s Office for Civil Rights.

The issue stems from a 2010 complaint filed by a student who claimed the university took too long to investigate her claims of sexual assault and didn’t take steps to protect her from contact with the alleged assailant. Tufts has since taken steps including hiring a Title IX coordinator and has updated its policies on handling sexual-assault reports, according to the statement.

“The safety of each member of the Tufts community and Tufts’ ongoing compliance with Title IX continue to be among my highest priorities,” President Anthony Monaco said yesterday in a statement.

Schools all over the U.S., including Harvard University, the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley, have been hit with complaints of failure to prevent and respond to reports of sexual assaults. The Education Department is investigating 55 colleges and universities related to their compliance with Title IX, according to a list released last week.

Tufts revoked its signature from the earlier agreement on April 26 after OCR said the school is currently out of compliance with Title IX, a finding that Tufts said had “no basis in law.”

Yesterday’s agreement doesn’t constitute an admission by Tufts that it’s not in compliance with Title IX, according to the resolution.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Staiti in Boston at cstaiti@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net Stephen West

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