Penn State to Pay $2.4M Clery Act Fine
The historic penalty is related to the investigation into convicted serial child abuser Jerry Sandusky.
Penn State University announced it will not appeal the Department of Education’s $2.4 million fine handed down Nov. 3.
PSU’s announcement followed a discussion between university and DOE officials where administrators discussed areas of the penalty they disagreed with.
“It is Penn State’s goal to not only meet the standards articulated by the Department of Education, as we believe we currently do, but to set a new standard for Clery compliance in higher education,” PSU President Eric Barron said Nov. 25.
The fine, which was the largest Clery Act penalty ever handed down to an institution, stemmed from violations discovered during the investigation of sex offenses committed by former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky is currently serving a 30 to 60 year prison sentence for abusing boys.
The school has also reached expensive settlements with victims in the abuse scandal.
In total, DOE officials found 11 serious areas of Clery Act non-compliance at PSU, which are covered in more detail here.
The department’s Office of Federal Student Aid conducted the review on PSU’s crime programs, focusing on the 14-year period when Sandusky was accused of abuse, according to The Pocono Record.
The biggest penalty was given for “failure to properly classify reported incidents and disclose crime statistics from 2008-2011.”
Read the full DOE ruling here.
Read Next: How to Respond to Suspected Child Abuse