TEXAS – After claims that Texas State University had seriously underreported the number of rapes and other crimes on campus, the U.S. Department of Education has opened a formal review into the university’s compliance with a federal crime-reporting statue.
The statue is meant to provide information about campus safety and failure to comply could mean hefty fines for the university.
According to KTXS, university officials have attributed the misinformation to three main issues: outdated software, lack of communication among campus officers, and the university’s former police chiefs' inexperience with Clery, a federal statute that requires schools to publish campus crime data and promptly warn students about safety threats.
The Texas Tribune reported that’s Texas State University’s police employees claimed that the department lacked the appropriate resources and that the administration failed to act when they were informed of the issues.
Students, faculty, and staff were notified yesterday of the review by the university’s president, Denise Trauth. The statement noted that the school had been with working with the Education Department since May.
“We have been preparing for this possible next step in the process and are fully cooperating with the Department [of Education]’s program review team to continue to improve campus safety and Clery compliance. Our guiding priorities at Texas State are the safety, security, and well-being of our university community. Through this process, we will continue to examine ways we can fulfill that goal.”
The university is seeking outside help to be complaint with Clery. They are currently filling two new positions dedicated to compliance and brought in a new police chief who had a background in university law enforcement and Clery requirements. The chief, Laurie Clouse, has formed a Clery compliance committee to circumvent past communication problems.