Rescission and Replacement of 2016 Clery Act Handbook

(Excerpts from NACCOP News Release)

  • This afternoon, the Department of Education released an Electronic Announcement detailing the rescission of the 2016 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting and replacing it with a new Appendix to the Federal Student Aid Handbook (“FSA Handbook”). The rescission follows the Department’s internal review of guidance documents under the auspices of Executive Order 13891, “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents.”
  • As the Department explained in the Electronic Announcement, “The Department has made the determination that the 2016 edition did not achieve the Department’s goal of ensuring that adequate information is available to the public to foster improved campus safety and security.” It further noted that “Despite the fact that the guidance found in the 2016 edition did not have the force of law or regulations, some institutions may have felt pressured to satisfy the non-regulatory or non-statutory based aspects of the guidance, calculating that the financial and reputational consequences of non-compliance were too great.”
  • The new sub-regulatory guidance provisions contained in the FSA Handbook “…do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public. The document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the applicable statutory and regulatory provisions.”
  • NACCOP recommends that all institutions of higher education continue to operate in accordance with the guidance contained in the 2016 Handbook, especially as it relates to the statements of policy and crimes and fires that will be included in the 2020 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Given the pending Presidential election, the outcome of which could affect the shelf life of this Electronic Announcement, we encourage institutions to continue to heed relevant guidance in the 2016 Handbook until early 2021 when the potential effect of these changes comes into clearer focus for the regulated community