Update, 11:00 p.m.: The University's $1.5 million fine is the third largest Clery Act fine settlement to date, said S. Daniel Carter, president of Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses, LLC.
Carter said the consulting firm advises colleges and universities on campus security policy, and conducts Clery Act audits. As time has gone by and enforcement becomes more consistent, fines have generally become more frequent and larger, he said.
Carter said beyond the settlement fine, he believes the implementation of a post-review monitoring program is critical to ensuring Clery Act compliance and campus safety.
"The gold standard that this sets is far more important to keeping students, employees and visitors safe at the University of North Carolina," Carter said.
UNC has entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Education requiring the University pay a $1.5 million fine over violations of the Clery Act, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced in a campus-wide email.
The Department of Education previously concluded in August 2019 that UNC had, for years, mishandled campus safety claims under the Clery Act, which requires institutions receiving federal support to report crime statistics. The 2019 report was based on nine initial findings identified in February 2017 of the University’s noncompliance with the Clery Act, including a failure to properly disclose and compile crime statistics, collect campus crime information from all sources and follow institutional policy regarding alleged sex offenses.
“As I said in November, while the University has made many safety improvements and staffing changes since the review began in 2013, the shortcomings noted in it are nonetheless disappointing and do not meet our standards for excellence,” Guskiewicz said in his email sent Tuesday afternoon.
Under the settlement, over the next three years, the University will also engage in a post-review monitoring program, which is expected to remain in place until areas of concern have been addressed and the Department of Education is reasonably satisfied.