March 26, 2015
Elizabeth City, NC – March 12, 2015
A single tragic event on the campus of Mid-Atlantic Christian University in 2010 precipitated a routine investigation by the Department of Education’s (DOE) Clery Act Compliance Team. The investigation focused upon Mid-Atlantic’s response to that incident, campus safety issues, as well as policies, procedures, and documents from 2009 and 2010. This comprehensive evaluation determined that Mid-Atlantic’s response to that incident, including our communication with students, staff and others was in full compliance with Clery Act requirements. While there were no findings of any campus safety issues, the DOE determined that there were 6 minor administrative and policy deficiencies of a technical nature that did not fully comply with DOE’s interpretation of certain Clery Act reporting and recordkeeping requirements. On January 30, 2014 the DOE released its Final Program Review Determination (FPRD) indicating that the university had satisfactorily addressed the issues identified by DOE.
As is often the case following tragedies of this nature, reviewers carefully scrutinized “the University’s adherence to its ‘Timely Warning’ policy in response to the shooting incident.” The review determined “that the University acted in a compliant manner in this instance.” It should be noted that none of these actions, policies, or procedures contributed to the tragedy on the college campus.
While Mid-Atlantic has made the necessary administrative corrections to comply with the Clery Act, the DOE notified Mid-Atlantic by letter on November 14, 2014 that they were levying a fine against the university for the 6 violations DOE alleged citing that “the revision of procedures after the Department alerted the University of its legal obligations does not excuse its earlier failure to comply with the law.”
On December 3, 2014, Mid-Atlantic appealed the proposed fine action and requested a hearing. Mid-Atlantic denied that it had violated the Clery Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. Mid-Atlantic and the Department of Education have now agreed to resolve the fine action without any further administrative procedures. The DOE fine to Mid-Atlantic could have been as much as $165,000. The fine as originally assessed by DOE was reduced for each of the 6 perceived violations to $90,000. After the appeal process began, the University and DOE entered negotiations and agreed that the University would pay a drastically reduced fine of $30,000. So, the University was able to avoid a fine that was already reduced by 82% from the potential fine that could have been imposed, and the University agreed to pay a fine of just 33% of the amount actually assessed. As part of the agreement the University agreed to withdraw its appeal of the proposed fine action. The Department and Mid-Atlantic agree that the administrative fine action is fully resolved.
Mid-Atlantic Christian University cooperated fully with the investigative team and took appropriate actions to ensure compliance with each area of safety and security addressed by the Clery Act standards. Student, staff, and community safety and security are a primary concern of the University.
Questions or comments may be directed to the Office of the President.
Mid-Atlantic Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Mid-Atlantic Christian University.
Mid-Atlantic Christian University, a private, faith based, four year college is committed to equality of educational opportunity and will not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, disability, or prior military service. Federal guidelines (Sections 702-703 of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act) clearly recognize the right of church related institutions to seek personnel who will support the goals of the institution. Being a student or employee at Mid-Atlantic Christian University requires a commitment and lifestyle consistent with the institution's mission and values.
John Maurice, VP for Institutional Advancement