Under the leadership of new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has closed more than 1,500 civil rights complaints at U.S. colleges and universities — including dismissing more than 900 outright — in the previous two months, according to a report from Politico.
Politico reported that as of Wednesday the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights had 7,728 cases pending. It received more than 16,700 complaints in 2016 and has just over 500 full-time employees to handle them.
The bulk of the closed complaints — 915 — were dismissed outright, a 13 percent increase from the year before. Another 206 cases were closed by investigators after they said they couldn’t find sufficient evidence to support the claims, a 78 percent increase, according to the report.
Another 215 cases were closed after schools agreed to change policies to come into compliance, which is almost twice as many cases that resulted in changes during the same period last year.
OCR has closed 11 sexual violence cases during the Trump administration, including eight that were closed without findings of wrongdoing since June.
The office continues to open investigations into sexual assault at a faster rate than it closes them out. OCR opened five such probes this week alone, at Alabama A&M University, George Washington University, Stonehill College, Prairie View A&M University and the University of Vermont. The list of active sexual assault investigations has increased to 354 at 250 colleges and universities, according to Politico.