Yale University is facing a $165,000 fine from the U.S. Education Department for underreporting the number of sexual assaults on campus.
Yale committed “numerous” violations of U.S. regulations, including failing to report four forcible sex offenses on its campus in New Haven, Connecticut, in 2001 and 2002, according to a letter the agency sent university President Richard Levin on April 19. Yale has appealed and requested that the fine be reduced, Jane Glickman, an Education Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
The failures are a violation of the Clery Act, which requires colleges to disclose crime and safety data to the government. The department began reviewing Yale’s practices in 2004 after an article in the Yale Alumni Magazine raised questions about crime reporting. The fine includes $27,500 for each of the four unreported sex crimes, according to the letter.
“This is a serious violation because current and prospective students/employees must be able to rely on accurate and complete crime information,” Mary Gust, director of the department’s Administrative Actions and Appeals Service Group, according to the letter.
Yale was also fined for failing to report crimes that occurred in areas that should have been recognized as part of its campus. The penalties took into account the gravity of the violations and the size of the institution, the letter said.
The size of the fine imposed by the department isn’t warranted “based on the particular situations that resulted in findings of violations,” said Tom Conroy, a university spokesman. The Education Department has noted that the school has corrected its reporting processes, he said.
The college is also being monitored through next year for compliance with Title IX, federal regulations that bar sexual discrimination at educational institutions. In a resolution reached with the Education Department last year, Yale agreed to take a number of steps to improve how it handles allegations of sexual misconduct on campus.
In addition to fines, violations of the Clery Act can result in the loss of eligibility for federal student financial aid.
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