SUNY promises better review of sexual violence cases

New York’s public university system has agreed to improve the way it handles reports of sexual violence on its 29 state-operated campuses.

The agreement announced Thursday follows a compliance review by the U.S. Education Department’s civil rights office.

The federal agency says the review of State University of New York practices wasn’t triggered by a specific complaint, but was undertaken because SUNY is the nation’s largest public higher education system.

The Office of Civil Rights reviewed 159 cases of alleged sexual harassment from four campuses: the University at Albany, Buffalo State College, SUNY Morrisville and SUNY New Paltz. It found instances of complaints not being investigated quickly or thoroughly enough and of complainants not receiving notice of the outcomes.

Education officials say SUNY cooperated with investigators.

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