Clery Audit 2015-17
Every U.S. college and university that participates in federal financial aid programs is required to publish annual data regarding the number of reported crimes that occurred on or near campus as a requirement of the Jeanne Clery Act. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) engages in random reviews of institutions’ Clery programs and information to ensure they are compliant with this law.
In the fall of 2019, the OIG initiated its audit of UTSA. In November 2020 the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released the results of an audit it conducted of UTSA’s campus crime reporting during calendar years 2015-2017. The OIG audit found that UTSA inadequately reported 55 criminal incidents between January 2015 and December 2017. The final report notes that these inaccuracies were a result of UTSA’s lack of effective processes during the three-year audit period to identify critical information sources, coordinate data collection and track the data. Contributing factors included a lack of management oversight, high staff turnover during the audit period, and misinterpretation of the reporting guidance provided in the Department of Education Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (2016 Edition).
On April 15, 2021, after reviewing the OIG’s 2020 report, the Federal Student Aid (FSA) office issued its final audit determination. The determination sustained the OIG’s finding that for the audited calendar years 2015-2017, UTSA did not have effective controls to ensure that it reported complete and accurate Clery Act Crime Statistics. The FSA’s own analysis stated that at least 30 incidents were improperly excluded from the university’s reporting responsibility.
In November 2021, UTSA reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education for the Clery Act violations as identified in the OIG's audit report. The university will pay a negotiated settlement amount of $670,000 as it continues to demonstrate corrective actions it is taking to ensure ongoing compliance with the act.
By way of perspective, several other universities have likewise undergone similar audits to evaluate their controls over their campus crime statistics. The Department of Education also engages in regular and comprehensive institutional reviews of Clery compliance matters.
Some of the initiatives and changes implemented at the university since 2017 include:
- Took aggressive and immediate steps to address campus sexual misconduct matters when they arose, in some cases launching thorough independent investigations to ensure all avenues were explored
- Revamped the Title IX Program Office and its alignment with Clery Act goals
- Established a Clery Compliance Committee to provide additional oversight, with representatives from Business Affairs, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Inclusive Excellence, the Equal Opportunity Services/Title IX Office, the President’s Office and Athletics
- Developed UTSA’s Safe Campus website to provide the campus community with clarity and awareness regarding the processes UTSA has in place to prevent and report sexual violence and misconduct
- Created a structure to identify, notify and certify training for UTSA’s Campus Security Authorities (CSAs)
- Implemented the ARMS Record Management System to enhance data management and automate UTSA’s daily crime log
- Implemented the Maxient records management system as an intake vehicle for Clery-related issues and to improve tracking and documentation of Title IX-related complaints of sexual violence or harassment
- Enhanced the UTSA Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) to address behavioral concerns related to faculty, students, and staff
- Created the Prevention Education Advocacy Consultation Empowerment (PEACE) Center which uses trauma-informed education programs and services that provide confidential advocacy support to students, faculty, and staff who have experienced issues related to sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, and/or stalking among other situations and crimes
- Adopted the UTSA Tracy Rule to codify our misconduct policy for student-athletes, the first university in the nation to take this step
- Implemented a more robust Timely Warning Decision Matrix to enable a timely analysis of a situation and prompt issuance of warnings
- Implemented a practice of regular updates to the campus community regarding our work to prevent sexual assault and misconduct on campus and to raise awareness regarding advocacy services and reporting options
In fall 2020, to further efforts to create a model Clery program, UTSA hired Margolis Healy and Associates LLC, a national consulting practice with vast Clery Act expertise. Margolis Healy performed a Clery Act Focused Compliance Assessment of past and current campus security functions, taking into account the remedies that have been developed.
In July 2021, UTSA issued a response to the Margolis Healy assessment to document the actions the university has taken to implement the recommendations provided in the report. These include improvements to the training for Campus Security Authorities and executive management; enhancements to the university’s Clery-related policies and procedures; establishment of a Clery Act Data Integrity Working Group that reports directly to UTSA’s newly formed Clery Compliance Committee; clarification of Clery Geography; creation of timely warnings and emergency notifications matrix; and modifications to the Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports.