Target 7: Liberty University Fined $14 Million for Misreporting 93% of Campus Crimes

Target 7: Liberty University Fined $14 Million for Misreporting 93% of Campus Crimes | Future Education Magazine



In a groundbreaking development, Liberty University faces a monumental fine of $14 million following a scathing report revealing a shocking pattern of underreporting campus crimes spanning from 2016 to 2023. The report, issued by the U.S. Department of Education, uncovered that a staggering 93% of crimes occurring within the university’s premises during this period were either inaccurately documented or completely omitted from the mandatory Annual Security Report. This substantial penalty marks the largest fine ever imposed on an institution for non-compliance with the Clery Act, a federal law mandating transparency regarding campus crime statistics.

According to the exhaustive 106-page report, an alarming 60% of on-campus crimes went entirely unreported, with a significant portion comprising sexual offenses, including allegations of rape implicating a former Liberty University President. The Department’s Final Program Review unearthed a myriad of violations ranging from the failure to accurately disclose crime data to the neglect of issuing timely warnings about potential threats or dangerous individuals on campus. Shockingly, despite 284 Clery-reportable incidents occurring between 2016 and 2021, only a solitary timely warning was dispatched to staff and students.

Controversies at Liberty University: Allegations Mishandled, Records Destroyed.

Furthermore, the investigation revealed unsettling details about the university’s handling of specific cases, such as a football player accused of multiple sexual offenses, including rape and stalking. Despite being convicted of stalking, the player remained on the team, raising concerns about accountability and campus safety protocols. Similarly, allegations of sexual harassment, domestic violence, and inappropriate conduct against the Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness were mishandled, with human resources issuing a mere demotion followed by subsequent promotion.

Moreover, Liberty University’s failure to maintain accurate records further compounded the gravity of the situation. The report highlighted instances where crucial records pertinent to ongoing legal proceedings, such as the 2021 Jane Doe sexual assault lawsuit, were selectively destroyed, impeding the pursuit of justice for survivors.

Accountability Crisis Sparks Urgent Calls for Reform at Liberty University

When approached for comment, Liberty University officials declined to provide insights into the damning findings uncovered by Target 7. However, the university did release a statement earlier this week, asserting advancements in corrective measures while decrying the purported unfair treatment by the Department of Education.

The report’s revelations cast a glaring spotlight on the university’s systemic shortcomings in addressing campus safety and fostering a supportive environment conducive to reporting and addressing instances of misconduct. As the fine levied against Liberty University sets a precedent for accountability under the Clery Act, it underscores the imperative for educational institutions to prioritize transparency, integrity, and the well-being of their student communities above all else.

In the wake of these revelations, the onus lies heavily on Liberty University to implement robust reforms, restore trust among its stakeholders, and uphold its duty of care towards its students and staff. Failure to do so risks perpetuating a culture of negligence and impunity detrimental to the very fabric of higher education.

Also Read: Moral Crisis at Liberty University Highlights Troubling Trends in American Higher Education

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