Eastern Michigan University Agrees to Pay Largest Ever Clery Act Fine of $350,000

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan University (EMU) announced June 6, according to published reports, that they will pay a record fine of $350,000 to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for violations of the federal Jeanne Clery Act campus crime reporting law. The fine is for failing to warn the campus community about the murder of student Laura Dickinson in her on-campus residence hall in December of 2006 and numerous other violations that subsequently came to light.

“This is the largest fine ever imposed for a Jeanne Clery Act violation,” said Jonathan Kassa, executive director of Security On Campus, Inc. the non-profit organization responsible for securing passage of the Act. “This action sends an important signal that colleges will be held accountable and that compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act can not be ignored. By taking this step the U.S. Department of Education is helping to protect the safety of millions of college students across the country.”

How this case was handled also led to the departure of three top campus officials, including President John Fallon who was fired. EMU reached a $2.5 million dollar settlement with Dickinson’s family. Orange Taylor III, a fellow student unknown to Dickinson, has been convicted of murder in the case and sentenced to life in prison.

EMU has made significant strides to improve safety on campus since the murder. In the settlement agreement ED notes that EMU “now has procedures in place and a published policy that should substantially improve EMU’s ability to make timely warning determinations and issue campus-wide advisories, as needed.”

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SOC June 6, 2008 press release

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