Clery Review FAQ

Clery Review FAQ

What is the Clery Act?

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The U.S. Department of Education conducts reviews to evaluate an institution's compliance with the Clery Act requirements. A review may be initiated when a complaint is received, a media event raises certain concerns, the school's independent audit identifies serious non compliance, or through a review selection process that may also coincide with state reviews performed by the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS) Audit Unit. Once a review is completed, the Department issues a Final Program Review Determination. In addition, the Department conducts general assessment compliance reviews and audits which may also result in fine actions taken by the Department against an institution for violations of the Clery Act. Read more about the Clery Act.

What is the timeline of the audit?

  • November 16, 2015: The U.S. Department of Education formally initiated an on-site program review to evaluate Green River College’s compliance with the Clery Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA).
  • September 25, 2017: Green River College received the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Crime Program Review Report.
  • November 27, 2017: Green River College completed the required response to the preliminary findings report on November 27, 2017, which was received and reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • May 25, 2018: U.S. Department of Education sends Green River College Final Clery Program Review Determination.
  • September 27, 2017: S. Department of Education notifies Green River College that it intends to impose a fine against Green River College totaling $574,500 “based on the violations of statutory and regulatory requirements”.
  • October 18, 2018: Green River College has until this date to file its appeal.

What were the overall findings of the audit and how are the amount of fines determined?

Under the Clery Act, the Department of Education may impose a maximum fine of $35,000 for each violation that occurred from October 2, 2012 – November 2, 2015, and a maximum fine of $55,907 for violations that occurred from November 3, 2015 – present. A full breakdown of the Department of Education’s findings, and the associated fines, can be found here: Final Clery Program Review Determination.

What is the range of fines schools have received from the DOE regarding Clery reporting?

Clery Act fines were originally $25,000 and were previously adjusted for inflation to $27,500; $35,000; and $53,907. The current $54,789 fine applies to any violation occurring after Nov. 2, 2015 and assessed after April 20, 2017.

What does this mean for Green River College?

The College has made significant strides to address the previous shortcomings noted from 2008 – 2014, as recognized by the Administrative Actions and Appeals Service Group. In addition, the National Association of Clery Compliance Officers and Professionals (NACCOP) named Green River College as the Most Improved Clery Compliance Program at its 2017 Annual NACCOP Conference Recognition Ceremony. This award recognizes programs that have significantly improved within the last 3-5 years by overcoming historical weaknesses of the compliance program and working to address shortcomings while enhancing the institution’s capacity for complying with the Clery Act. The corrective feedback and continued assistance we have received from the DOE and surrounding community has resulted in a better Green River College.

What has Green River done to address these issues?

Alongside fully cooperating with the Department of Education, Green River College has worked to ensure the policies, procedures and resources in place to meet our responsibilities as outlined by the Clery Act. A full detailing of the actions Green River College has taken in response to the review can be found here: Green River Response to Program Review Report.

Have other schools received fines of this magnitude from the DOE regarding Clery reporting?

Yes, between 2010 and 2017, the department imposed 40 fines on colleges for violations of the Clery Act’s campus-safety and drug-free-campus regulations.

All together, the department has assessed just over $5 million in fines against colleges, with a nearly $2.4-million fine (the largest on record) levied against Pennsylvania State University and a nearly $1 million fine levied against the University of Montana (Source: “A $1-Million Fine for Violating the Clery Act? Expensive, but Not Unprecedented,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 Oct. 2018.).

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