You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

A group of House Republicans asked Friday for a briefing on the Education Department’s purported decision to fine Liberty University $37.5 million over alleged violations of federal campus crime–reporting requirements. 

A letter requesting the briefing was authored by North Carolina representative Virginia Foxx, the top Republican on the House education committee; Kentucky representative James Comer, who leads the House oversight committee; and Virginia representative Bob Good, also a Republican. They said they are concerned about the department’s ongoing review of the large evangelical university based in Lynchburg, Va.

“We write to express deep concern about how the U.S. Department of Education seems to be targeting religious institutions through program reviews and fines that greatly exceed established and documented precedent,” the letter says. 

The department has found that Liberty failed to follow the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act and discouraged victims from reporting crimes, according to an agency document obtained by The Washington Post. The document, which outlines the department’s preliminary findings, hasn’t been made public. 

The leaking of the preliminary report undermined Liberty’s due process, the representatives wrote. 

“It has become increasingly evident that the department is prepared to make an example of Liberty University by issuing an exorbitant and unprecedented fine,” they said, questioning the agency’s authority to impose the fine.

The lawmakers want a briefing from department staffers before a final decision on the program review and fine is issued.