US Department of Education Launches PSU Investigation

Mary Wilson and Essential Public Radio Staff November 28, 2011

A federal investigation into Penn State’s campus crime disclosure compliance was launched on Monday. The Department of Education (DOE) is checking to see if the university has been living up to the requirements of the Clery Act, which requires universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to report the number of crimes on their campus every year.

The federal law also requires schools to warn the campus community after crime incidents that could pose a threat.

Investigators from the DOE’s office of Federal Student Aid are asking to have access to Penn State’s crime reports dating back to 1998. The investigators said that they might want to interview students and employees involved in campus security, student life, and athletics.

The investigation was spurred by the allegations of child sexual abuse against former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, and charges that two university administrators failed to report abuse.

Penn State President Rod Erickson said in a written statement that the university has been busy gathering the requested information and records since it was notified of the investigation on November 9th.

The Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act gets its name from former Lehigh University student Jeanne Clery who was murdered on campus by another student in 1986. The law was signed in 1990.