The maximum fine for any violation of the Jeanne Clery Act has increased from $35,000 to $54,789. The new fines posted by the U.S. Department of Education in the Federal Register are effective for civil penalties imposed on or after August 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015.
The costs for non-compliance just got higher. In recent history, heavy fines for Clery Act violations have been levied against colleges and universities. ED recently imposed the largest fine ever against Penn State University for numerous Clery Act violations. Penn State’s failure to comply cost the University nearly $2.4 million dollars. Until then, the highest fine was in 2007 when a $357,000 fine was assessed against Eastern Michigan University.
The consequences for non-compliance go far beyond fines for failing to follow regulations. The consequences of non-compliance are many:
- Suspension of Title IX funding
- Institute’s name will be provided to Congress by the Secretary of Education
- Final review and determination reports are public record
- Can be used in court to demonstrate an indifference to security issues during a premises security liability litigation
- Negative media attention
It is important to understand that the Clery Act is here to stay. Assume your institution will be audited. Violent acts continue to occur on the campuses across the United States and ED will continue to raise the level of scrutiny to determine compliance. It is vital for school leaders to conduct internal audits of their Clery program.
Protus3 works with administrators and campus public safety officials to ensure they understand their Jeanne Clery Act obligations and associated regulations as well as Title IX. We can help develop the procedures necessary to satisfy the requirements under those federal laws. In addition, Protus3 offers an Annual Security Report review to make sure your institution is in compliance with the Handbook for Campus Safety and Reporting.