Sexual assault gained attention on the campus when the Education Department identified it in an initial list of 55 institutions facing a federal inquiry for potential Title IX violations over their handling of sexual-violence cases.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault and collected resources online.
Minot State University (University) enters into this Resolution Agreement (Agreement) with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), to resolve the above-referenced complaint and to ensure compliance with Title IX of the Edu...
Dear President Shirley: This letter is to inform you that the U.S. Department of Education (Department), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has completed its investigation of the above-referenced complaint filed with OCR against Minot State University ...
This 7-page document bundle includes letters from the Education Department to the university and complainant informing them that an investigation is being opened and requesting data from the university.
This investigation stemmed from a federal complaint filed by a student who said that the university had failed to promptly and equitably respond to reports of sexual violence, including her allegation in April 2013 that she had been harassed and assaulted by a professor.
The Office for Civil Rights found numerous problems with the Minot State's handling of the student's case, including that the university did not determine whether she had been subjected to a hostile environment. The office also faulted the university for failing to take "prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end any harassment, eliminate a hostile environment, and prevent further harassment from recurring."
The government's letter of findings stated that the university was out of compliance with the gender-equity law known as Title IX at the outset of the investigation. "Although the university has since designated and adequately trained a
Title IX Coordinator," the letter stated, "its sexual harassment or sexual assault policies and procedures remain in violation of Title IX."
To resolve the investigation, the university agreed to offer the student at the heart of the case remedies to make up for problems she had faced as a result of its delay in dealing with her complaint.
The university also agreed to revise its Title IX procedures and its code of conduct, to craft a policy for working with the local police department on reports of sexual violence, and to provide the government with documentation of its handling of sexual-assault allegations over the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 academic years, among other things.
Minot State University is one of 55 colleges and universities nationwide under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for possible violations of Title IX federal law related to the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.