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UNC's compliance with the Clery Act will be reviewed

The University will soon face yet another federal review of its handling of sexual assault procedures and compliance with federal law.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Clery Act Compliance Division announced Thursday that a team of four federal officials will conduct a program review to evaluate UNC’s compliance with the Clery Act, a federal law that requires all federally funded universities to report crime statistics.

The review, which will begin April 2, was prompted by a complaint received Feb. 20 that accuses the University of failing to accurately and completely disclose its campus crime statistics and to implement proper sexual assault policies.

The program review, which has no set completion date, is separate from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights investigation that was announced March 1.

The complaint filed with the Clery Act Compliance Division was filed Jan. 17 by three students, one former student, and one former administrator – Melinda Manning, a former assistant dean of students who stepped down in December. The five complainants are the same as those who filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.

The announcing of the review comes just weeks after Manning accused the University of pressuring her to underreport cases of sexual assault.

Manning alleged that she was told by the University Counsel’s office that the number of sexual assault cases she compiled for 2010 was “too high” – before the total was decreased by three cases without her knowledge.

Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Leslie Strohm said in a Jan. 24 meeting of the UNC Board of Trustees that Manning’s allegations were false – citing that the University reported seven more cases in 2010 than Manning submitted. Twenty-three total sex offenses were reported in 2010, Strohm said.

The purpose of the review is to evaluate the allegations and UNC’s overall Clery Act compliance, according to a March 21 letter addressed to Chancellor Holden Thorp.

The review will be conducted through campus visits and evaluations of detailed University documents, including all reported incidents of crime and daily crime logs during 2009-12, according to the letter.

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