Federal regulators are investigating whether or not Duke’s policies for handling sexual misconduct and harassment complaints violate Title IX law.

The University was notified in November that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights had initiated the investigation of a “Title IX complaint filed by a Duke student,” wrote Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, in an email. Title IX legislation prohibits gender discrimination in federally funded education programs—giving colleges and universities an independent obligation to deal with sexual misconduct in a timely fashion, regardless of whether a police investigation occurs. The news was first reported by the Durham Herald-Sun last week.

“The University will cooperate fully with the investigation, which will review the handling of sexual misconduct and harassment complaints involving students, faculty and staff,” Schoenfeld wrote in an email.

The OCR only releases the names of students who file complaints at the end of its investigations.

A similar investigation occurred at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill three years ago when students and alumni voiced complaints. Federal regulators notified UNC that they would investigate allegations that administrators had not properly responded to complaints of harassment, assault and violence.

There are currently 197 ongoing investigations occurring at 161 institutions, with the Duke case being the most recent one, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

John Burness—visiting professor of the practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy and former senior vice president for public government affairs and public relations—explained that the OCR will come to campus to interview administrators about Duke’s procedures.

“They’ll take a look at the policies the University has and measure those against federal Title IX requirements,” Burness said.

He noted that most similar investigations take between two and four years—which he described as a “glacial” process.

At the conclusion of the investigations, most institutions establish more clear policies and procedures on how cases will be evaluated in the future, he explained. The University of Virginia, for example, implemented a new sexual assault policy after reaching an agreement with the Department of Education.

“There is a sense that no matter where the institution is, it will be found to have violated something,” Burness said. “It ensures the institution is paying attention.”

He added that investigations often lead to heightened expectations of both the students and administrators to address sexual assault on campus.

Duke has faced incidents concerning sexual assault during the last few years. Last year, head coach Mike Krzyzewski dismissed Rasheed Sulaimon from the men’s basketball team, noting that Sulaimon had failed to “consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program.” The Chronicle later reported that two students had voiced sexual assault allegations against Sulaimon at off-campus retreats, though no formal reports were filed with the Office of Student Conduct or the Durham Police Department.

In January 2015, a female student claimed that she had been drugged and sexually assaulted at an off-campus party hosted by Alpha Delta Phi. The Durham City Police investigated the claim, but Durham District Attorney Roger Echols decided against pursuing criminal charges.

Neither OCR nor Schoenfeld has specifically linked either of these events to why the investigation began, however.

Schoenfeld explained that providing education and training on Title IX as well as support for those who report sexual misconduct is a priority for the University.

“Duke is firmly committed to sustaining a safe, inclusive environment for all students, and works diligently across the campus to ensure compliance with the letter and spirit of Title IX,” he wrote.