The Department of Education has fined Yale University a total of $165,000 for various violations of the Clery Act. The fines are the total sum from multiple violations in the early 2000s when the university did not report four separate sexual assaults and did not include the Yale-New Haven Hospital as part of the campus thus omitting from their self-reported crime statistics any events that took place there.
The news of the fines comes at a time when college students across the country are accusing their respective administrators of similar violations. (See our previous posts about Occidental, Swarthmore, Amherst, and Dartmouth.)
The fines are the maximum allotted under the law, but they are not the equivalent of some of the large jury awards we have seen in the past decade from Title IX cases. And so it remains to be seen whether this will deter other institutions from similar misreporting.
Yale has apparently asked for a reconsideration of the fines. Not because they cannot pay them, I suspect, but rather because there is a certain admission of guilt in doing so. When the university entered into a voluntary resolution agreement last year with OCR over Title IX complaints related to the hostile sexual climate at Yale and the policies and procedures in place to address incidents of sexual violence and harassment, it meant there was no finding of wrongdoing. I assume that Yale wants to keep its official record clean.