Just got this announcement from the University of Minnesota, and I’m trying to get details:

A complaint has been filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), against the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. The complaint alleges discrimination in intercollegiate athletics on the basis of gender. The OCR letter indicates a broad full-scale review of our program in virtually all relevant areas. We welcome their assistance in reviewing the program.

The University and Gopher Athletics are committed to Title IX compliance. We focus on the student-athlete experience to ensure our student-athletes are provided equitable experiences and opportunities.

Well before we received this complaint, the University had retained a gender equity consultant to proactively review Athletics Department practices. Many coaches, staff and student athletes participated in interviews related to that review last summer. That self-initiated review is ongoing, and we expect to get the results, determine any corrective actions that may be needed, and make them public this spring. The University Senate’s Advisory Committee on Athletics Subcommittee on Gender Equity recommended we undertake the review and they have been involved in the process.

Center of a lot of news Courtesy of UMN

This year didn’t spare any sector of Minnesota higher education from headlines.

Campuses in the public, for-profit and nonprofit sectors struggled with crime, labor dissatisfaction, legal troubles or complaints over race relations.

Here’s a chronological look at how that all played out in seven of the most notable Minnesota higher education stories from this year:

1.) U of M battles crime

After a rash of high-profile robberies on and around the University of Minnesota campus in Fall 2013, university students called for university leaders to crack down on crime.

Throughout 2014, the campus community saw a range of safety-education and security measures, such as an increase in police staffing, improved lighting on campus, and a restriction in the number of hours many campus buildings were open to the public.

Let’s talk campus climate. Alex Friedrich / MPR News

The heightened security didn’t please everybody. Some African-American students and faculty voiced suspicion that they were being racially profiled.

Those concerned with campus safety also braced for the summer debut of the Green Line — which opened three stations on the Minneapolis campus in June – and the fall arrival of Vikings Sunday football games at TCF Stadium.

Some in the community feared the line would make it easier for criminals to access campus, and thought Vikings fans might be a bit too rowdy on Sundays.

But campus police Chief Greg Hestness says he’s seen no significant problems.

This month the U reported that robberies this fall – 13, including two on campus — were just half what they were last year. They were also lower than the five-year fall average of 17.

Despite the return to a calmer campus, Vice President Pam Wheelock cautioned,  “We have no crystal ball. So we’re going to just keep our level of effort and awareness up and hope that that doesn’t repeat itself.”

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