US Dept. of Ed. Finds Michigan State Didn't Comply with Campus Safety Rules

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2019

COLLEGE PARK, MD- JANUARY 28:  The Michigan State Spartans logo on a pair of shorts during a college basketball game against the Maryland Terrapins at The Xfinity Center on January 28, 2018 in College Park, Maryland.  The Spartans won 74-68.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Michigan State was found to be in violation of federal law by failing to comply with campus safety rules, underreporting crime statistics and demonstrating a lack of institutional control related to the handling of sexual assault allegations against former athletic physician Larry Nassar.

Per Outside the Lines' Paula Lavigne and Dan Murphy, the United States Department of Education issued its findings in a 46-page report that details violations throughout the Michigan State campus:

"The report found that university officials routinely failed to report crimes and disclose accurate crime statistics; failed to warn students of possible criminal threats; and failed to identify and train people who are responsible for reporting crimes. In addition, investigators found that the university had a 'lack of administrative capability,' an impairment that the report noted was 'one of the most serious findings that can result from a campus safety program review.'"

The U.S. Department of Education informed Michigan State administrators last month the school was in violation of the Clery Act, which "requires colleges and universities that participate in federal student aid programs to report crime statistics and security concerns so the public can assess campus safety, including reports of sexual violence."

Michigan State has until Feb. 12 to issue an official response before federal investigators "review any additional materials and issue a final determination."

Potential punishment for the school could include financial discipline and financial aid restrictions. 

The Department of Education opened an investigation into Michigan State in January 2018 to examine possible violations related to the reporting of sexual abuse by Nassar and to look into how campus police handled all crime reports dating back to 2011. 

Investigators listed 11 examples dating back to 2008 in which survivors of Nassar's abuse complained to campus security who failed to properly report the claims.

Nassar, who worked at Michigan State from 1997-2016, is currently serving at least 100 years in prison after being convicted in three different cases related to criminal sexual conduct and child pornography. 

 

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