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MOSCOW -- Federal investigators are checking whether 55 colleges and universities illegally handled complaints of sexual violence and harassment.

In our region, the University of Idaho and Washington State University are on that list. Both schools responded to the public announcement of the investigation Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Education said the investigations fall under the Title XI rules that call for a school to ensure students aren't denied services or programs based on gender. This is the first time the department has released a list of investigations that are underway.

WSU responded to CNN's request for information Thursday, with officials saying the university was notified last January that a federal complaint had been filed and volunteered to improve its policies. Officials said there has been no finding of wrongdoing, and they are still waiting to hear about a voluntary resolution process.

The University of Idaho sent KTVB a statement saying the complaint it's being investigated over was filed in March 2013, and university officials were notified in April 2013 by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Officials say the complaint involves allegations the university didn't adequately respond to a sexual harassment complaint, and didn't provide a prompt and effective grievance procedure. The university says it is fully cooperating with OCR investigators by providing information and facilitating a campus visit.

The University believes that it fully complies with Title IX. Nonetheless, the University is always working to improve its policies and procedures and will continue to cooperate with OCR to make any suggested changes to ensure that our approach remains consistent with OCR recommendations and best practices, a statement reads.

U of I also gave a list of things it has been doing to improve campus safety and student support, both before and after this complaint.

In 2012, the school reorganized staff and added coordinators focused on issues of violence, sexual assault and student conduct violations. Last fall, students under 24 years old began taking required online training called Think About It dealing with topics like alcohol and substance abuse, and sexual misconduct.

U of I also agreed to make changes following the 2011 death of Katy Benoit, a student who was killed by a former professor she had dated. As part of a settlement with her family, the school held a campus safety education event and said it would improve sexual harassment training.

See the full list of 55 colleges under investigation here.

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