(Inside Higher Ed, February 18) Since the release of the (now rescinded) April 2011 Dear Colleague letter on sexual violence, hardly a week has passed without news of a campus sexual assault or a lawsuit or federal investigation about one. The historic problems at Penn State University, Michigan State University, Baylor University and others have illuminated persistent patterns of institutional neglect of or disregard for federal rules on campus safety. Title IX and the Clery Act are now familiar topics for anyone paying attention to higher education in the United States.
But another important federal law gets much less attention and has not made it into the vernacular of compliance discussions: the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (DFSCA). Institutions of higher education were warned via a lesser known 2011 letter to colleges and universities that the U.S. Department of Education would be enhancing their monitoring of DFSCA compliance, but it does not appear institutions have heeded this warning. Now, for the first time since the law went into effect in 1990, institutions are finally facing consequences for compliance violations. Read more.