Dept. of Education Finds MSU Violated Clery Act for Years

Dept. of Education Finds MSU Violated Clery Act for Years

According to the Education Department’s report, the investigation found “serious violations” of the Clery Act by university officials. The Clery Act requires that U.S. universities participating in federal student aid programs issue timely notifications about crimes that occur on campuses.

A new U.S. Department of Education investigation found that Michigan State University violated campus safety laws for years.

According to the Education Department’s report, the investigation found “serious violations” of the Clery Act by university officials. The Clery Act requires that U.S. universities participating in federal student aid programs issue timely notifications about crimes that occur on campuses.

The investigation was triggered by the serial sexual assaults on university gymnastic athletes by Larry Nassar, the school’s former sports medicine physician and Olympic gymnastics team doctor, ABC News reports.

"Michigan State failed to compile and disclose accurate and complete crime statistics because its crime statistics did not include the sex crimes that Nassar committed during the years in which the statistics were reported," according to the 46-page preliminary report.

In January 2018, Nassar was sentenced to serve 40-175 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting numerous athletes at MSU and in his capacity as the doctor for the U.S. Olympics gymnastics team and USA Gymnastics.

According to WLNS, the investigation also found that crimes committed on or near fraternity and sorority houses were not properly reported. MSU also did not inform students and employees in a timely fashion about Nassar’s crimes and 21 other crimes that took place on or near campus between 2011-2016.

"Failure to issue Timely Warnings to notify the community of serious and on-going threats deprives students and employees of vital, time-sensitive information, and effectively denies the campus community the opportunity to take adequate steps to provide for their own safety and to increase their situational awareness," the report states.

In addition, the investigation found that MSU did not properly identify people who are required to report crimes within the university or inform these employees of their obligations to report crimes. The report also shows that the university’s Clery Act Coordinators were not formally trained.

According to the report, all of these violations show that MSU did not have “the ability and/or willingness” to follow federal regulations and guidelines. Investigators also said that the university’s failure to detect and end Nassar’s abuse over the span of 20 years “indicates a lack of institutional control,” particularly given that credible reports were made to university officials.

The Department of Education is requiring MSU to take several steps to correct the issues discussed in their findings, including a review of all records related to crime statistics beginning in 2011. The university is also required to compile a list of current campus security authorities and ensure that they have been properly trained.

Digital Edition

  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - March April 2019

    March/April 2019

    Featuring:

    • Proactive Steps in Protecting Students Using Technology
    • Securing Our Hospitals and Protecting Your Privacy
    • Leveraging a Unified Mass Notification Solution
    • From Safe Campus to Smart Campus

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