Liberty University Criticizes Biden Administration Following Imposition of $14 Million Fine

Liberty University, a private evangelical school, claims that it has been subjected to selective and unfair treatment by the federal government. The university received hefty fines for its failure to comply with student safety guidelines.

Liberty University, which was co-founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr. in 1971, is located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The university has often been associated with right-wing politics. However, in 2021, the institution faced a lawsuit filed by more than 20 students and faculty members. They claimed that the university had discouraged victims of sexual assault from reporting their cases.

In 2022, the U.S. Department of Education conducted an investigation into the practices of Liberty school as a result of a lawsuit filed against the institution. Although the school reached settlements with several co-defendants, the investigation found that Liberty had failed to meet crime-reporting standards and had discouraged students from speaking out. As a result, the school was found to be in violation of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

The DOE imposed a record-breaking $14 million fine on the school on Tuesday, making it the largest penalty ever issued for Clery Act violations.

“We want students, faculty, and staff to feel safe and secure in their school communities,” stated Richard Cordray, Chief Operating Officer of the DOE’s Federal Student Aid Office. “We take complaints about campus safety and security seriously and respond with urgency.”

He emphasized that schools have a responsibility to create safe and secure campus communities, investigate complaints, and disclose information about crimes and safety concerns in accordance with the Clery Act. He further stated that schools failing to fulfill these obligations will be held accountable.

Read More:  last of three adults convicted of fentanyl-related death of a 16-year-old in Colorado is now jailed

The DOE was contacted by Newsweek for additional comments through email.

Liberty University acknowledged the “numerous deficiencies” in its practices in the past in response to the fine. However, it criticized the DOE for singling it out, claiming that other universities had received different treatment in similar situations.

“In their statement, school spokesperson Ryan Helfenbein pointed out that the Department’s report presented a significant departure from their usual approach in terms of methodologies, findings, and calculations when compared to how they have historically treated other universities.”

According to him, Liberty does not agree with this approach and claims that the Department has consistently subjected them to selective and unfair treatment. The University agrees that there were several shortcomings in the past, such as inaccurate statistical reports and failure to provide timely warnings and emergency notifications.

“We accept and deeply apologize for the shortcomings in our previous program and have since rectified these mistakes with utmost diligence and empathy,” expressed Helfenbein.

Leave a Comment