The Christian Post reports:
Liberty University President Dondi E. Costin [photo] says the private Evangelical institution has been threatened with an “unprecedented” $37.5 million fine by the U.S. Department of Education for alleged Clery Act violations following the publication of a leaked report accusing a former president of rape and other school officials of destroying evidence.
The Clery Act is a consumer protection law passed in 1990 requiring colleges and universities to report campus crime data, support victims of violence and outline policies enacted to improve campus safety, according to the Clery Center.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Education also allege the Lynchburg, Virginia-based university founded by Jerry Falwell Sr. failed to warn the community about gas leaks, bomb threats and individuals who have been credibly accused of repeated acts of sexual violence.
Fox News reports:
“The most damaging element of this whole process is the fact that for the first time that any of us are aware, the Department of Education leaked a preliminary report while we are in the process of negotiating with the department about all the advancements that we’ve made. And so that’s the biggest issue,” Liberty University President Dr. Dondi E. Costin told Fox News Digital.
“The leak is intentionally aimed at laying the groundwork for an unprecedented fine and the report is filled with factual errors that the Department has admitted to Liberty in their negotiations.” Costin alleged that before they could build a case to the ED before a deadline on June 30 to dispute the findings, the report was leaked. The university released a statement reporting that it “made significant advancements” in safety since October last year.
The Washington Post reports:
Under the Clery Act, colleges that participate in federal financial aid programs — Liberty received $874 million for student loans and grants from the Education Department in 2020-2021 — must disclose crime statistics and other timely information about campus safety. They may face a program review if the department has concerns. That investigation can result in fines or even limits on financial aid eligibility. Liberty acknowledged last year that the Education Department was conducting such an inquiry.
After this story appeared online Tuesday, Liberty posted a statement on its website saying it had hired two firms, Cozen O’Connor and the Healy + Group, to review its Clery Act compliance and craft its response to the Education Department. The school’s response earlier this year, the statement said, detailed “significant errors, misstatements, and unsupported conclusions in the Department’s preliminary findings.”
Liberty University president cries foul after leak of Dept of Education report on school’s safety compliance https://t.co/CvNW1ABo19
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 16, 2023
Liberty U threatened with $37.5M fine over alleged Clery Act violations, president says https://t.co/1TUAtTrUXw
— The Christian Post (@ChristianPost) October 17, 2023
Liberty University broke safety laws for years, government asserts – The Washington Post https://t.co/Sam0tnuToP
— Tiffany Thigpen (@ThigpenTiffany) October 3, 2023