Feds: UNC Chapel Hill violated law designed to keep students, staff safe on campus

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- A federal investigation has determined UNC Chapel Hill violated federal law designed to keep students and staff safe on campus.

The U.S. Department of Education found nine serious violations of the Clery Act, a law that requires colleges to disclose public safety issues.

Federal investigators said the violations "resulted in the University's systemic failure to provide students and employees with important campus crime information and services that are essential to their safety and security."

Some of the more serious violations include:

  • Failure to issue timely warnings for certain ongoing threats

  • Failure to accurately compile and disclose crime statistics

  • Failure to comply with sexual assault prevention, response and disciplinary requirements

  • Failure to comply with fire safety requirements

  • Interim UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said the university has made many safety improvements and staffing changes, and said the university will continue pursuing improvements.

    "The shortcomings noted in the review are extremely concerning, disappointing, and do not meet the University's high standards," said Guskiewicz in a letter to the campus community. "We can and must do more."

    Guskiewicz said a consulting firm will be in Chapel Hill the rest of this week talking to members of the campus community and will recommend how the university better comply with federal crime reporting and fire safety rules.

    The university has also hired Charlotte attorney George Battle III as the new vice chancellor for institutional integrity and risk management.

    "My entire leadership team and I are deeply committed to ensuring that our campus, as well as the surrounding areas, are safe for our students, faculty, staff and visitors," said Guskiewicz."We will continue to invest in resources and training to ensure the University has the right tools and procedures to accurately prevent, respond to and report crimes, and issue timely notice of any known safety threats to the campus community."
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