The Master’s University, Sexual Assault, Accreditation Probation
Sandy asked a very good question on the last post regarding John MacArthur’s resignation as President of The Master’s University (TMU):
It doesn’t address their sexual assault cover ups, right?
As a reminder, Julie Anne covered Jane’s account of sexual assault at The Master’s University last year: Jane’s Account of Rape, Response of Master’s University to Her Claims, and a Breaking Development Confirming Details #
While the 2017 WASC Commission letter does not directly speak to specific sexual assault incidents, it does address two important areas that reference sexual assault:
Additionally, as a result of inquiry by the visiting team and panel prompted by Third Party Complaints to the Commission, the Commission is concerned about the institution’s attention to the requirements of the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA). The Commission is concerned about the capacity of the institution’s leadership to operate with integrity, high performance, appropriate responsibility, and accountability. (CFRs 3.6, 3.7)
For those who are unaware of the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA), here is a brief summary with links for further follow-up:
The Clery Act “is a federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The U.S. Department of Education conducts reviews to evaluate an institution’s compliance with the Clery Act requirements.”
VAWA: “The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments to the Clery Act expand the rights afforded to campus survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.”
Crime Awareness Requirements Not Met
This is not the first time the Clery Act and VAWA has been an issue for TMU. In 2015 The Department of Education cited TMU for violating compliance regulations around several areas, including the Clery Act and VAWA for calendar year 2012. TMU was fined $29,000 in 2017 for its non-compliance.
The 2017 WASC Commission letter addressed this problem of non-compliance.
The Commission is extremely concerned that the institution may be in violation of
required reporting responsibilities under the Clery Act, VAWA, and FERPA and that the COO, who has been assigned to handle these responsibilities, is unaware of the
requirements and processes mandated by these statutes. The institution should take
immediate steps to assure that it understands and is in compliance with the federal
requirements. (CFR 3.6, 3.8)
It is difficult to know if the Commission is raising concern due to the 2017 Department of Education letter or if there are on-going issues with the TMU staff understanding and maintaining compliance. Are the “Third Party Complaints” from the Department of Education? A review of the 2018 Student Handbook shows up-to-date information regarding the Clery Act reporting and VAWA information. Reporting policies are also included in the handbook.
A November 2, 2018 WASC visit update on TMU’s website notes that their accreditation remains in good standing. There is no mention of addressing the Commission’s concerns regarding the Clery Act and VAWA regulation compliance. WASC has yet to publish findings from the fall visit.