The U.S. Department of Education is launching its investigation into the Penn State scandal.
The federal inquiry will look into Penn State’s compliance with the Clery Act, which requires colleges participating in federal aid programs to report on-campus crimes and issue a warning if a crime poses a threat in the campus community.
Investigators will begin by examining on-campus criminal statistics dating back to 2001, with the possibility that earlier stats could be scrutinized.
In addition, the Department of Education is asking Penn State police for crime reports and records of crime warnings dating back to 1998.
In a written release from Penn State, the university maintains it discloses on-campus crimes online and with a publication sent every fall to members of the Penn State community.
The investigation could result in a fine by the Department of Education.
The probe was announced just days after the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office charged Penn State former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky with molesting young boys, and two university administrators with knowing about the allegations and doing nothing to stop the behavior.
The Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act gets its name from Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University student murdered on campus by another student in 1986. The law was signed in 1990.