Home / Education / Liberty University fined $14 million over campus safety info
falwell jr. coronavirus fined
Photo: Liberty.

Liberty University fined $14 million over campus safety info

Liberty University has been fined $14 million for failing to disclose campus crime data.

Liberty agreed to pay the fine after it was found to have violated the Clery Act, a federal statute that requires federally funded colleges and universities to report crime data on campus and notify students of threats. The unprecedented fine was a result of a Department of Education’s investigation that started in February 2022 after Title IX litigation was brought forward alleging Liberty discouraged female students from reporting sexual abuse.

While agreeing that “there were numerous deficiencies that existed in the past,” Liberty said it disagreed with the Department of Education’s biased approach in conducting the review.

“In the report, many of the department’s methodologies, findings and calculations were drastically different from their historic treatment of other universities,” the university said. “Liberty disagrees with this approach and maintains that we have repeatedly endured selective and unfair treatment by the department. We acknowledge and sincerely regret past program deficiencies and have since corrected these errors with great care and concern.”

The $14 million settlement is the largest fine ever imposed for Clery Act violations. As part of the settlement agreement, Liberty will pay an additional $2 million to improve campus safety through April 2026. The university noted the hefty fine comes after it had already invested more than $10 million in “significant advancements,” including enhanced security measures, since 2022, when the university settled a lawsuit brought by 12 women who claimed that the honor code made it “difficult or impossible” to report sexual assault.

Liberty has marketed itself for years as having one of the nation’s safest campuses, with more than 15,000 students enrolled at the school in Lynchburg, Va.

–Alan Goforth | MV

Leave a Reply