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Texas State University
Institutional Compliance and Ethics

Clery Act Compliance Updates

Clery Act Compliance Updates

Texas State University has made tremendous strides towards building and sustaining a world-class Clery Act Compliance Program. The following summarizes our efforts during the 2019-2020 academic year and provides an update on the U. S. Department of Education’s campus crime program review.

Department of Education Review

In November 2019, the U. S. Department of Education’s Clery Compliance Division opened an off-site program review to evaluate the university’s compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) and the Department’s regulations.

 

The university worked diligently between November 2019 and March 2020 to provide the Department with information about the university’s crime statistics, campus safety and security policies and practices, and the comprehensive efforts we have engaged in to further develop our Clery Act Compliance Program. All materials requested by the Department of Education have been submitted; and the review is ongoing.

Clery Act Compliance Program Development

In fall 2019, Texas State retained Margolis Healy and Associates (MHA), a nationally renowned campus safety and security firm, to assist with strengthening our Clery Act compliance program. Between December 2019 and March 2020, with the assistance of MHA, we conducted a comprehensive data audit of all available university records containing reports of Clery Act crimes for calendar years 2016, 2017, and 2018. Collectively, 19 subject matter experts reviewed approximately 120,000 records from: Texas State University Police Department (UPD), Title IX, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, the Ombudsperson in the Dean of Students’ Office, the Texas State University System Audit Office, the Department of Housing and Residential Life, the Athletics Department, and the Offices of the University Ombudsman. The review resulted in additional Clery Act crime disclosures for calendar years 2016, 2017, and 2018. These revised statistics were included in the revised Annual Security and Fire Safety Report 2019, which was distributed to all current students, faculty, and staff on April 29, 2020.

 

MHA gained extensive knowledge from this review, and during the summer months, they worked with us to ensure that future documentation and recordkeeping systems are robust enough to produce accurate and detailed audit trails. Through October 2020, MHA will continue to assist the university with building the university’s Clery Act Compliance Program. Specific steps at Texas State include developing systems for university-wide coordination and collaboration, and sustainability. To that end, we have created a dedicated webpage at clery.txstate.edu that centralizes and provides information about the Clery Act and the university’s Clery Act Compliance Program.

Dedicated Personnel

The university created two new compliance positions. On February 17, 2020, Ms. Kristina Morales took the role of Clery Act Compliance Coordinator. Ms. Morales previously served as the University Police Clery Compliance Officer at Texas A&M International University, a position she held for almost four years. Ms. Morales is in charge of coordinating Texas State’s Clery Act Compliance Program to ensure the university is implementing all aspects of the Clery Act.  Core to her role is ensuring consistent processes and collaboration throughout the various departments within the university.

 

On May 4, 2020, the university welcomed Assistant Vice President for Institutional Compliance and Chief Compliance Officer Mr. Bobby Mason to oversee all of the university’s compliance obligations under federal and state laws and regulations. Mr. Bobby Mason previously served as the Chief Compliance Officer and Institutional Equity Officer, Title IX Coordinator, and Equal Opportunity Officer at the University of Oklahoma.

Enhanced Policies, Procedures, and Practices

Clery Act Compliance Committee. In March 2019, University Police Chief Laurie Clouse formed the first Clery Act Compliance Committee, a permanent committee comprised of an interdisciplinary team of stakeholders from offices and departments across the university, who were instrumental in initiating the rebuilding of our Clery Act compliance program. 

 

Texas State expanded the Clery Act Compliance Committee in May 2020 and appointed Ms. Kristina Morales as chair and Chief Clouse as co-chair.

 

The Committee meets regularly to provide valuable and varied compliance perspectives:

  • attending to Clery Act requirements that are aligned with their current job duties;
  • supporting the university and each other with operationalizing and carrying out Clery Act compliance efforts;
  • identifying campus security authorities; and
  • reviewing the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report to ensure the content is consistent with Texas State’s policies and procedures and that the report accurately depicts the practices of the university.

The Clery Act Compliance Committee has strengthened the university’s collaboration among diverse units and departments, which promotes more complete and accurate statistical reporting.

 

Clery Act Liaisons. In May 2020, Clery Act Liaisons, which include representatives from the University Police Department, Title IX, Department of Housing and Residential Life, Student Conduct and Community Standards, and Student Involvement, were identified. They make up the Clery Act Data Integrity Subcommittee and have been assigned additional responsibilities that have been folded into their job requirements and become part of their annual evaluation. This Subcommittee meets regularly to review and reconcile crime reports to enhance the accuracy of the university’s Clery Act crime data.

 

During the summer, the Subcommittee met with MHA consultants to review Clery Act statistical data for the 2019 calendar year. MHA has trained the Subcommittee on how to review, identify, classify, and count Clery Act crime data collected within their respective units.

 

Campus Security Authorities. Texas State now has an effective protocol in place to promptly receive, track, and assess Clery-reportable crimes. We have also identified, notified, and trained nearly 1,000 Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) via in-person and online training modules. CSAs are required to forward any reports of crimes that they receive to UPD by submitting an online Clery Act Incident Report form.

 

Timely Warnings and Emergency Notifications. Texas State has also enhanced its timely warning and emergency notification procedures and processes for maintaining the daily crime log. The UPD revised its timely warning and emergency notification general order in fall 2019, and its timely warning and emergency notification assessment form in January 2020. The Clery Act requires a timely warning when the university determines that a reported Clery Act crime poses a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community.

Enhanced Policies, Procedures, and Practices

Clery Act Compliance Committee. In March 2019, University Police Chief Laurie Clouse formed the first Clery Act Compliance Committee, a permanent committee comprised of an interdisciplinary team of stakeholders from offices and departments across the university, who were instrumental in initiating the rebuilding of our Clery Act compliance program. 

 

Texas State expanded the Clery Act Compliance Committee in May 2020 and appointed Ms. Kristina Morales as chair and Chief Clouse as co-chair.

 

The Committee meets regularly to provide valuable and varied compliance perspectives:

  • attending to Clery Act requirements that are aligned with their current job duties;
  • supporting the university and each other with operationalizing and carrying out Clery Act compliance efforts;
  • identifying campus security authorities; and
  • reviewing the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report to ensure the content is consistent with Texas State’s policies and procedures and that the report accurately depicts the practices of the university.

The Clery Act Compliance Committee has strengthened the university’s collaboration among diverse units and departments, which promotes more complete and accurate statistical reporting.

 

Clery Act Liaisons. In May 2020, Clery Act Liaisons, which include representatives from the University Police Department, Title IX, Department of Housing and Residential Life, Student Conduct and Community Standards, and Student Involvement, were identified. They make up the Clery Act Data Integrity Subcommittee and have been assigned additional responsibilities that have been folded into their job requirements and become part of their annual evaluation. This Subcommittee meets regularly to review and reconcile crime reports to enhance the accuracy of the university’s Clery Act crime data.

 

During the summer, the Subcommittee met with MHA consultants to review Clery Act statistical data for the 2019 calendar year. MHA has trained the Subcommittee on how to review, identify, classify, and count Clery Act crime data collected within their respective units.

 

Campus Security Authorities. Texas State now has an effective protocol in place to promptly receive, track, and assess Clery-reportable crimes. We have also identified, notified, and trained nearly 1,000 Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) via in-person and online training modules. CSAs are required to forward any reports of crimes that they receive to UPD by submitting an online Clery Act Incident Report form.

 

Timely Warnings and Emergency Notifications. Texas State has also enhanced its timely warning and emergency notification procedures and processes for maintaining the daily crime log. The UPD revised its timely warning and emergency notification general order in fall 2019, and its timely warning and emergency notification assessment form in January 2020. The Clery Act requires a timely warning when the university determines that a reported Clery Act crime poses a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community.

Clery Act Training and Education

In addition to training nearly 1,000 CSAs, the university has provided Clery Act orientation and/or dedicated training sessions for The Texas State University System Board of Regents, senior leadership, UPD staff members, Department of Athletics coaching and compliance staff, Resident Advisors in the Department of Housing and Residential Life, the Council of Academic Deans, the Clery Act Compliance Committee, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of Equity and Inclusion. These educational sessions have included a review of Clery Act reporting responsibilities and the critical reporting elements needed for efficient and thorough Clery Act crime classification and counting. University Clery professionals have also sought and completed professional development training through the Clery Center and other national organizations.

 

2020 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Status

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), specifically the annual security report requirement (34 C.F.R. 668.41(e)(1)), the Department of Education (ED) requires an institution of higher education to distribute its Annual Security and Fire Safety Report to current students and employees by October 1 annually.

 

However, due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ED has extended the deadline from October 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, for institutions to distribute the report. ED provided this extension in an electronic announcement at https://ifap.ed.gov/electronic-announcements/071020AdditionalRegulatoryFlexRelatedCOVID.

 

To assist the university in strengthening its Clery Act compliance, MHA consultants needed to physically be on the San Marcos Campus to review and audit records. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel to San Marcos by MHA consultants was delayed. To complete this review and comply with the revised Department of Education deadline, Texas State will distribute the ASFSR prior to the deadline. The following actions will be completed before disseminating the report:

  • Texas State is awaiting the results of MHA's audit of the university's 2019 calendar year statistics.
  • Texas State will review data findings received from MHA for final approval of crime statistics.
  • The President’s Cabinet will review the report.
  • The report will be distributed to the campus community in advance of the ED deadline through email announcements of its availability and a link to the document's electronic address.
  • This report contains important safety information and we encourage you to review its contents.

Texas State is committed to Clery Act Compliance and to providing the university community with accurate statistical disclosures and policy statements that help maximize campus safety and security.