Dear Carolina Community,
The University has received the full results of the U.S. Department of Education’s six-year review of compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which requires campuses to publish and distribute an annual security and fire safety report that accurately discloses campus crime statistics and other information.
This review was prompted by two complaints filed in early 2013 and looked at crime and safety reporting issues between 2009 and 2016. The University first announced the U.S. Department of Education was conducting this review in 2013. We have been cooperating fully with the department and are awaiting a determination on the final disposition of this matter. Understanding that the process is still ongoing, we wanted to communicate the findings of the report and our next steps.
The review cited violations in several areas including collecting, compiling and reporting crime statistics; defining campus geography to meet Clery Act criteria; issuing timely warnings; and including required information in annual security and fire safety reports.
While we have made many safety improvements and staffing changes since 2013, the shortcomings noted in the review are extremely concerning, disappointing, and do not meet the University’s high standards. Chief Perry and I agree we can and must do more.
Over the past three months, we have been in touch with officials from the U.S. Department of Education to discuss these findings and how best to move forward. We have also taken the following actions to make our campus safer for students, faculty, staff and visitors:
- Engaging Margolis Healy, a nationally recognized consulting firm for Clery Act compliance matters. Reviewers will be on campus tomorrow and through the rest of the week meeting with stakeholders to assess and recommend how the University can more fully comply with federal crime reporting and fire safety rules with improved policies and procedures that better incorporate national best practices.
- Developing an enhanced training schedule for UNC Police, including continued training with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Chief Perry has already developed a strong relationship with Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue and I have no doubt UNC Police and CHPD will continue to enjoy a close, collaborative relationship.
- Establishing a new vice chancellor for institutional integrity and risk management to coordinate critical functions that have historically been decentralized, including: central compliance; risk management and enterprise risk management; public safety; environment, health and safety; emergency management, protection of minors; and ethics education and policy management. Noted Charlotte attorney George Battle III ’95, ’99 (JD) will join Carolina in January to commence this important work.
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. 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.
I want to extend my thanks to everyone who works to make Carolina safer each day, including UNC Police, the Equal Opportunity and Compliance office and our Clery compliance specialist. I also want to thank the students, faculty, staff and local community members on the Campus Safety Commission, who continue to look broadly at all aspects of campus safety. I will continue to keep you updated on our comprehensive efforts to improve campus safety and security at Carolina.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz