MICHIGAN — The U.S. Department of Education issued its finalreport Tuesday to Eastern Michigan University, detailing the school’sviolations of the federal Clery Act in failing to properly notify the campusabout an investigation into the homicide of a student who was killed in campushousing.
In December 2006, Laura Dickinson’s body was found in her dormitoryroom. Though circumstances surrounding the case prompted law enforcement toinvestigate the death as a homicide, university officials told her parents andthe campus community that no foul play was suspected.
The Clery Act requires colleges that receive federal funds to collect andrelease information about campus crime and to issue warnings about threats tocampus safety. Yesterday’s report listed seven findings of violations ofthat law, including failure to issue a “timely warning” to thecampus community that a possible crime had occurred, absence of a “timelywarning” policy, misreporting crime statistics in its annual report andfailure to provide adequate policy statements on safety.
“The findings in this program review report indicate numerous andsystemic violations by EMU of the Clery Act requirements,” the reportsaid. “EMU … failed to take action to ensure the safety and well beingof the campus community.”
The public learned about the possibility that Dickinson was murdered onlywhen a suspect in the killing was arrested two months later. EMU then firedUniversity President John A. Fallon; Public Safety Director Cindy Hall andVice President of Student Affairs Jim Vick were forced to resign.
The Department of Education’s Administrative Actions and AppealsDivision will determine whether to fine Eastern Michigan.
S. Daniel Carter, the Vice President of Security on Campus, said the schoolcould be fined up to $27,500 for each violation.
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