Department of Education to conduct campus crime program review

students+walk+to+and+from+classes.

Jaden Edison

Texas State students walk to and from classes, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, near the Lyndon Baines Johnson statue.

Jakob Rodriguez

The Department of Education notified Texas State it would be conducting an off-site campus crime program review to evaluate the university’s compliance with the Clery Act.

The notification from the DOE on Nov. 6 was followed by an announcement from University President Denise M. Trauth the next day addressing the review to current students, faculty and staff.

According to Trauth’s email, the university has been preparing for this eventual step to address the deficiencies an instances of underreporting.

“We have been preparing for this possible next step in the process and are fully cooperating with the Department’s program review team to continue to improve campus safety and Clery compliance,” Trauth’s email stated.

Texas State tallied 57 rapes from 2016-2018 in its latest report, which was released at 5:35 p.m. Sept. 30, 2019. Additionally, The University Star was able to uncover 24 sexual assault crimes from 2014-2016. The crimes were Clery reportable and uncategorized into four sexual offense categories: rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape.

Assistant Vice President for Communications, University Advancement Sandy Pantlik said the review will continue the university’s partnership with the DOE.

“We had already been working with the Department of Education since May 2019 to address deficiencies in our Annual Security Report, so this is a continuation of that relationship with the Department of Education,” Pantlik said.

Texas State administration reported to The University Star they began receiving technical assistance from the DOE on May 14, 2019.

The technical assistance was reported to address formatting issues within the report. Vice President of Finance and Support Services Eric Algoe said administrators became aware of the discrepancies in the data, but the report itself was not up to standards set by the DOE.

However, according to Pantlik, it has yet to be determined by the DOE what exactly will need to be provided by Texas State to complete the review.

“We will have meetings with the Department of Education and they will outline the specific information they are looking and what they are asking us to provide for them,” Pantlik said.

Initial meetings between the DOE and Texas State are currently being scheduled. Materials submitted for review to the DOE will be sent electronically due to the off-site nature of the review.

Pantlik said DOE officials will be working directly with University Police Chief Laurie Espinoza Clouse, Vice President for University Administration Lisa Lloyd and Algoe.

“Right now, we’re just fully cooperating with their review team to work toward improving campus safety and Clery compliance,” Pantlik said.

In an email response to The University Star, Lloyd said FAQs with a comprehensive timeline are being developed and will be released once complete.

University Police Chief Laurie Espinoza Clouse and Vice President of Finance and Support Services Eric Algoe were contacted for comment on this story and offered no additional comments.

 


If you liked this story, consider supporting student media through a donation or by signing up for our weekly newsletter.


Did you like this story? Share it on Flipboard

Flipboard share
Viewed 257 times, 1 visits today