Ohio Gov. John Kasich has asked the state department of higher education to conduct a review of Title IX enforcement as it pertains to sexual assault on college campuses.
The governor’s request was made in light of the Larry Nassar case at Michigan State University. Nassar has so far been accused of sexually abusing more than 265 people during his time as a doctor, treating young gymnasts.
Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges and another 40 to 175 years for state charges that he abused women while working at Michigan State.
“It is second nature for the governor to look into major issues in the news to make sure Ohio has the right measures in place…He has asked staff and the department of higher education to look into what happened at Michigan State,” Jon Keeling, a spokesman for Kasich said in an email to this news organization.
The state department of higher education just received the request and details on a possible review could come some time next week, said spokesman Jeff Robinson.
Title IX is the a gender-equity law used to prevent discrimination at American colleges that receive federal financial assistance.
There are 18 active federal Title IX investigations going on right now on Ohio college campuses. Miami University is tied with the College of Wooster for the most active probes with three ongoing, while Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati both have two active investigations.
Under the governor’s watch, the state launched a program called Changing Campus Culture in 2015 with $2 million in state funding. The program charged the state department of higher education with developing the best practices for preventing and responding to campus sexual assault.
Kasich’s request for a review comes just months after U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the federal department of education would review guidelines for dealing with sexual assault. In September, DeVos said that colleges need to do a better job at balancing the rights of the accuser and the accused.
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