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According to a New York Times report, Penn State, its administrators and staff could potentially be the targets of civil lawsuits seeking $100 million in damages. In addition, investigators have visited the Penn State campus for a Clery Act investigation. Named for a raped and murdered Lehigh University student, this act requires colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to record and disclose information about crime that occurs on and near campus.

We consider the situation at Penn State to be in its own category. Even in light of subsequent allegations at Syracuse University, scandals of equal magnitude are the exception rather than the rule. Yet many universities are potentially at risk on an everyday basis through actions of negligence and benign neglect. Regarding the Clery Act, they may also be at risk of a failure to document and report criminal acts. 

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