Clery Review Updates

Update (Dec. 6, 2018): Clery Resolution / Message from the President

Dear Green River College Community, 

I write to you today to bring closure to the November 2015 on-site program review conducted by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to evaluate Green River’s compliance with the Clery Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. 

On October 3,, 2018 I wrote to you and shared that the college received notification that the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) intended to impose a fine against the College totaling $574,500 “based on the violations of statutory and regulatory requirements”. While we did not dispute the majority of the findings of the Campus Crime Program Review Report, we were concerned by the total amount and method of determining the fine, and notified the DOE that we intended to appeal the decision. 

I am pleased to report that following our appeal filing, the DOE notified the College it will be reducing the fine substantially for a total fine of $250,000.  This is a reduction of $324,500.  This significant reduction is a testament to the hard work from faculty and staff across campus to provide a safe and welcoming space for all who visit, work, and study on campus. This dedication and commitment has resulted in a better Green River College. 

As I indicated in my October 3rd Clery communication, College operations will not be impacted nor will there be any negative affects to students or staff in paying this fine.  We are moving forward and will continue to work to ensure that we have policies, procedures and resources in place to serve our students and community. 

If you would like to learn more about the Clery Act, review our FAQ and previous communications, or learn about the steps Green River has taken to improve the reporting of campus crime statistics, please visit our Clery Act page.

Sincerely,
Suzanne

 

Suzanne M. Johnson, Ph.D.
President, Green River College
12401 SE 320th St. Auburn, WA 98092-3622
253-288-3340 (office)
sjohnson@greenriver.edu

Update (October 3, 2018): Clery Audit Update / Message from the President

Dear Green River College Community  – 

I write to you today with the latest update regarding the College’s Clery audit. As many of you know, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) began an on-site program review to evaluate Green River’s compliance with the Clery Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act in November of 2015. 

On September 25, 2017, we received the DOE’s preliminary findings of the 2015 report, which was shared with our community and is still available for review here: Campus Crime Program Review Report. The college completed the required response to the preliminary findings report on November 27, 2017, which was received and reviewed by the DOE. The DOE’s final determination and final Program Review Audit Report were sent to the college on May 25, 2018, was shared with you, and can still be viewed here: Final Clery Program Review Determination

Today, in continuation of open and transparent communication, I write to inform you that we received notification on September 27, 2018, that the DOE intends to impose a fine against Green River College totaling $574,500 “based on the violations of statutory and regulatory requirements”. You can find this correspondence in its entirety here: DOE Notice of Intent to Fine Letter.

Green River College will appeal the DOE’s intent to fine the college.  While we do not dispute the majority of the findings in the Program Review Determination, we do dispute the total amount and method of determining the fine.  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. 

It is essential that the institution maintain sound stewardship of our resources.  The College implemented substantial revisions and improvements to campus safety, policies, and crime reporting protocols to comply with the Clery Act.  I am hopeful that based on the actions taken we will receive a reduction in the fine.  Regardless of the outcome of the appeal on the fine amount, College operations will not be impacted nor will there be any negative affects to students or staff. 

The safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community is a top priority for Green River College. Since joining the college in the summer of 2017, I have observed the dedication and commitment from our faculty and staff to ensure that Green River College is a safe and welcoming space for all who visit, work, and study on campus. The corrective feedback and continued assistance we have received from the DOE and surrounding community has resulted in a better Green River College. 

We will continue to work to ensure that we have policies, procedures and resources in place to meet our responsibilities as outlined by the Clery Act, and I will continue to update you as I have further information. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

 

Suzanne M. Johnson, Ph.D.
President, Green River College
12401 SE 320th St. Auburn, WA 98092-3622
253-288-3340 (office)
sjohnson@greenriver.edu

Update (June 12, 2018): Final Clery Program Review Determination

Dear College Community:

During the fall quarter, I shared with you the preliminary Program Review Report received by the college along with the response to that report prepared by the college. On May 25th, the college received a Campus Crime Final Program Review Determination from the Department of Education (DOE). The report may be read in its entirety: Final Clery Program Review Determination.

The final report identifies the College’s corrective action plan for each finding and the DOE’s acceptance of the responses. The report acknowledges there was a period of time we failed to fully meet the obligations.  The next step in the process is a review by the Administrative Actions and Appeals Service Group. 

The safety of our Green River community is a priority and compliance with the Clery Act is one aspect of creating a safe environment for all individuals. Although Green River College was not in full compliance with its obligations under the Clery Act from 2009 to 2014, the College has worked diligently to address the shortcomings and is reflected in the acceptance of the responses by the Department of Education.

I will continue to share updates with you as the college receives information.

Sincerely,
Suzanne

View Final Clery Program Review Determination

Update (December 15, 2017): Findings of Clery Investigation

Dear Green River College Community:

As I announced in October, the Department of Education provided a preliminary Program Review Report of the Green River College’s compliance with the Clery Act from 2008 to 2014. The College's response to this report was submitted to the Department of Education prior to the required deadline and provided to the Board of Trustees at their December meeting.

Although Green River College was not in full compliance with its obligations under the Clery Act from 2009 to 2014, the College has worked diligently to address the shortcomings. The safety of our Green River community is a priority.

The College is currently waiting for information from the Department of Education regarding their final report and any fines associated with the findings. I will continue to share updates as we receive them.

Sincerely,
Suzanne

Program Review Report Cover Letter

Green River Response to Program Review Report

Table of Attachments

Attachments A-X

Statement of Certification (Finding 13)

Update (October 19, 2017): Clery Review Information

As many of you know, on 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). Passed in 1990, the Clery Act is a federal consumer protection law that mandates the reporting of campus crime statistics and dictates the manner in which those statistics are reported to the public.

Below you will find the Preliminary Campus Crime Program Review Report from the Department of Education, as well as the email sent to the Green River College community, regarding the findings in the report.

Email from President Johnson to Green River College regarding Clery findings

Department of Education Preliminary Campus Crime Program Review Report

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