Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Color me not surprised

Have I used this title before? Probably.
My little world was abuzz yesterday with the news that colleges manipulate their roster numbers to make it appear they are closer to gender equity than they really are.
The NYT published a report on the issue noting that "many" (not a great figure) colleges use a variety of techniques when reporting their EADA numbers in order to look like they are at (or closer to) proportionality than they really are.
The article gives several fairly egregious examples including the University of South Florida which has some very large rosters--specifically in the cross country and track and field teams. This is because USF added a football team not so very long ago and had to also add opportunities for women. Unfortunately it does not seem that these are real opportunities. Many of the members listed on the track team are not really on it. How this stuff has flown under the radar for so long is kind of amazing. When told about the 75-woman cross country team roster (four times the size of the average cross country team) a former OCR investigator said "Goodness gracious. That would certainly justify further examination." That was a somewhat mild response.
Erin Buzuvis over at the Title IX Blog wrote a thoughtful post about the article. And Dr. Nicole LaVoi at One Sport Voice tied this article into the one by Alice Dreger article I mentioned yesterday.
I will be very interested to see the fallout from this investigation. None of the schools who were revealed and chose to speak to the NYT had anything very coherent to say on the matter. Not sure, now that this information is out, if OCR will go investigate on their own. But remember, anyone can file an OCR complaint that would trigger an investigation; there is no issue of standing because it is not a lawsuit.
Just sayin'.

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