BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– While lawmakers discuss a plan of action to address the LSU Husch and Blackwell investigation findings, another separate Department of Education federal investigation into the university is underway.
The DOE will investigate beyond Title IX and sexual violence. They will focus on potential violations of the Clery Act which aims to ensure transparency in campus crimes policy.
“The Husch Blackwell report only reflects the tip of the iceberg due to the fact they only asked for a limited amount to review,” Daniel Carter with Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses said. Carter has dedicated his life to studying federal campus safety investigations. Carter says the extent of the accusations made against LSU in the Husch and Blackwell report is something he hasn’t seen in more than 10 years.
Carter expects the DOE investigation will take a deep dive into more than seven years of campus crime reports. If violations are found, the University could faces serious financial consequences.
Carter says fines for violations are usually around five to $6,000 per violation. “Most schools [who are investigated by the Department of Education for Clery Act violations] are facing $500,000 to multi-million dollar fines.
The Department of Education can also limit and suspend eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs.
During Wednesday’s Senate Committee hearing, Sen. Karen Carter Peterson called to the attention of Winston Decuir Jr., LSU’s Vice President of Legal Affairs that the state and students will pay the price for legal consequences.
“So ultimately it could be that the state legislature through the appropriations process or the same parents and students that are on the short end of this stick that would have to pay the cost of the egregious acts of liars?” Sen. Peterson questioned.
Decuir responded “yes.”
Carter says no matter if the Title IX policy was correctly instated or not, Administrators should know the reasonable difference between wrong and right when helping a student through a traumatic situation. “There’s just no excuse,” Carter said of the allegations against LSU.
Interim President Tom Galligan says the federal investigation is expected to wrap up by the end of the year.