They may not agree with it, but they’re going to dip into their financial coffers and pay it anyway.
The U.S. Department of Education announced earlier this month that it has fined the university $2.4 million. The fine was the culmination of a five-year investigation by the federal agency into the school’s actions — or non-action, as the case may be — that found they repeatedly violated campus crime reporting requirements, including the child sex-abuse scandal involving former Joe Paterno assistant Jerry Sandusky.
As the Philadelphia Inquirer noted, though, “many of the violations had nothing to do with Sandusky, sex crimes, or the athletic program.”
However, the university, after considering an appeal, has decided to accept the fine and pay it. The school had until today to file its appeal.
“We have accepted the fines and will continue to focus on our ongoing Clery compliance,” the university said in a statement. “It is Penn State’s goal to not only meet the standards articulated by the Department of Education, as we believe we currently do, but to set a new standard for Clery compliance in higher education.”
PSU stated it will pay the fine out of its general fund, although it won’t cause an increase in tuition.
The fine is the largest ever under the Clery Act, a statute, enacted in 1990, that requires colleges and universities that participate in federal student financial aid programs to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. According to the Associated Press, the previous record Clery Act fine was $357,500 against Eastern Michigan University in 2007, reduced to $350,000 in a settlement.