CU-Boulder was one of the initial 55 colleges under investigation in this wave of federal enforcement as announced by the Education Department in May 2014.
A student who filed a federal complaint against the institution for allegedly mishandling a reported sexual assault has spoken publicly about her experience. A male classmate was reportedly found responsible for the assault and suspended for eight months, but the victim said it took several weeks for him to be removed from the campus. In 2014 the university paid her a settlement of $32,500.
A student accused of sexual assault, found responsible, and suspended for three semesters sued the institution in 2014 for violating his civil rights. The university settled the lawsuit in 2015, paying the student, who withdrew, $15,000 and agreeing not to disclose without a waiver the details of his disciplinary record.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault, collected resources online, hired a law firm to review its policies and procedures, added staff members, worked with fraternities on bystander intervention, and publiclydetailed other efforts to improve prevention and response.
The institution backed out of a national climate survey administered by the Association of American Universities in 2015 and planned to conduct its own. That survey, the results of which the university released in February 2016, found that 28 percent of undergraduate women and 6 percent of undergraduate men had experienced sexual assault (ranging from unwanted sexual touching to penetration) on or off the campus since enrolling. Slightly less than half of undergraduate women and just over half of undergraduate men said they knew where to go to make a report of sexual misconduct to the university.
An outside review of CU-Boulder’s philosophy department found that it was rife with "inappropriate, sexualized unprofessional behavior," and the university disciplined several professors and halted graduate admissions in the field. In the case of a female graduate student who alleged that a male professor retaliated against her for reporting that she had been sexually assaulted by a fellow student, the university paid a settlement of $825,000 to the student and $160,000 to the professor, who resigned.
In a high-profile case involving athletics recruiting, two female students sued the university in 2002 and 2003, saying that they had been gang raped at a football party and that university officials knew female students were at risk of sexual harassment or assault by players or recruits but did nothing to correct it. CU-Boulder settled the lawsuits in 2007 for $2.85 million and agreed to add staff members, including in the Office of Victim Assistance.
Twenty-eight percent of female undergraduates at the University of Colorado say they were sexually assaulted during their time in college ? experiences ranging from rape to unwanted touching ? according to newly released data.