The U.S. Department of Education's unprecedented identification of colleges and universities it is investigating over their responses to sexual assault complaints is a wise move that, by itself, indicates the scope of the problem.

On the list are 55 schools large and small, public and private, familiar and obscure, mass market and elite. In Pennsylvania two big public universities, Penn State and Temple, are on the list, along with private Swarthmore, Carnegie Mellon and Franklin & Marshall.

Princeton, Harvard and Dartmouth are under scrutiny along with a number of non-Ivy elite institutions across the country.

The DOE did not list the details of any individual inquiry, so it is not clear in each case whether the investigation is part of a routine compliance review or the result of a specific complaint.

In any case, the transparency inherent in publicly identifying the colleges under investigation is a certain means to ensure that, going forward, all colleges quickly and comprehensively will investigate sexual assault complaints.

Meanwhile, Congress should use the results of the newly public inquiries to ensure that institutions have adequate resources for investigation and compliance.