An Education Department inquiry found that Liberty University has failed for years to keep its campus safe and repeatedly violated a federal law, called the Clery Act, by discouraging people from reporting crimes, underreporting the claims it received, Susan Svrluga reports for the Washington Post. The Virginia university failed to warn the campus community about gas leaks, bomb threats and people credibly accused of repeated acts of sexual violence, all while marketing its campus as one of the safest in the country.
The inquiry also accuses officials at Liberty of destroying evidence once it began. The agency launched its review after receiving a complaint in May 2021, which included data from 2016 to 2022. Under the Clery Act, colleges that participate in federal financial aid programs must disclose crime statistics and other timely information about campus safety or face an investigation that can result in fines or even limits on financial-aid eligibility. Liberty received $874 million for this from the Education Department in 2020-2021.