Every college should be reviewing guidance recently released by the Federal Student Aid (FSA) office. The guidance addresses recent and significant changes to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
Since every college must comply with the Clery Act and file an Annual Security Report (ASR) reflecting the new rules in the next 60 days, the FSA guidance merits immediate and close scrutiny from every institution of higher education.
Congress amended the Clery Act in 2013, and the Department of Education’s regulations implementing those changes became effective on July 1, 2015. The statutory amendments and the regulations require material changes for the 2015 ASRs. The FSA guidance provides a summary of the new regulatory requirements which must be followed by college officials as they prepare to file their ASRs by October 1.
The new Clery requirements will lead to many questions about the contents of the 2015 ASRs. Officials should plan now to complete their ASRs within the next 30 days to allow ample time for both internal and external reviews of the ASRs to be sure that they satisfy the extensive modifications required for the first time in 2015.
In addition, institutions should evaluate their current policies governing cases involving: (a) dating violence, (b) domestic violence, (c) sexual assault, or (d) stalking to ensure those policies provide appropriate hearing processes and training for those persons hearing the cases.
In 2015, Clery requires much more meticulous work than in years past. The time for compliance is rapidly arriving.
Steptoe & Johnson’s Higher Education Team is prepared to assist with your institution’s Clery Act compliance. Please contact the author of this alert with your questions.