That’s the surprising implication of an event study by former UO economics professor Jason Lindo (now at Texas A&M), et al:
Since 2011, when the landmark “Dear Colleague” letter declared that the Department of Education (DoE) would use equal-access requirements of federal law to remediate sexual assault on college campuses, 458 investigations have been opened. This letter was withdrawn in 2017 and it remains uncertain how the DoE will handle the issue in the future. We examine the effects of the investigations arising from the 2011 policy change on university outcomes. We find that applications and enrollment increase in response to Title IX investigations, for both males and females. We find little evidence of effects on degree completion or donations.
The estimated application increases are large:
Specifically, our estimates indicate that female FYFT enrollment is increased by 3.6 percent one year after enrollment could plausibly be affected (significant at the ten percent level) and 4.7 percent two years after enrollment could plausibly be affected (significant at the five percent level).
… In Table 3, we present the results of our analysis of the effects on undergraduate male enrollment. These results indicate that male enrollment is also increased by OCR Title IX investigations, again driven by FTFY students. Moreover, they suggest that the effects are larger and more immediate for males than females. Specifically, our estimates indicate that male FYFT enrollment is increased by 4.2 percent in the first-year enrollment could plausibly be affected, 5.6 percent the following year, and 7.4 percent the following year. All of these estimates are significant at the five percent level.
Why? Read the paper for some speculation.
We find no evidence that federal Title IX investigations negatively affect students’ interest in a school. Indeed, we find that they increase applications for admission from both males and females. Moreover, they increase freshman enrollment for both males and females, though this increase is immediate for males and only shows up one to two years later for females. This pattern of results is consistent with the idea that salience effects generated by Title IX investigations dominate the effects of the negative publicity associated with the investigations. An important implication of our results is that federal investigations and campus reviews of how sexual assault allegations are handled do not affect university applications and enrollments. We can neither offer assessment of the procedural improvements these reviews might elicit, nor any recourse they provide to petitioners. However, our findings should reassure college administrators that efforts to improve processes for reviewing accusations of sexual assault and providing remedy to victims does not come at the expense of broader university goals.
Despite the best efforts of Mike Gottfredson and Rob Mullens, the Altman allegations became public in April 2014, and despite the best efforts of UO faculty such as Jennifer Freyd and Carol Stabile, the Department of Education never investigated them. UO’s Freshman enrollment numbers: