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Eastern Michigan university Case Study

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Sacrificing Student Safety for a Sharper Image. Eastern Michigan university Case Study. Eastern Michigan University. Public University founded in 1849 Average student population: 23,000 Annual Michigan economy impact $3.7 billion A $42 dollar return for every dollar received from the state

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eastern michigan university
Eastern Michigan University
  • Public University founded in 1849
  • Average student population: 23,000
  • Annual Michigan economy impact $3.7 billion
    • A $42 dollar return for every dollar received from the state
  • Top Producer of health care professionals and K-12 Teachers
who are the stakeholders
Who are the Stakeholders?
  • Students
  • Faculty/ Staff
  • Local Community
  • State
  • Government
  • Students’ Families
  • Department of Education
december 12 2006
December 12, 2006
  • Laura Dickinson attended Rowing team Christmas party
  • Dickinson returned to her Hill Hall dorm room with gift bag
december 15 2006
December 15, 2006
  • Dickinson’s father called university
    • No contact for two days
    • University noted she had missed final exams
  • Custodian unlocked door and found her lifeless body
  • EMU police were alerted and family was notified
december 16 2006
December 16, 2006
  • Michigan State police were called to further investigate death
  • EMU released first statement:

“At this point there is no reason to suspect foul play. We are fully confident in the safety and security of our campus environment, and our campus officials will remain vigilant in ensuring safety for all members of our campus community.”

february 27 2007
February 27, 2007
  • Orange Taylor, III was arrested for the rape and murder of Laura Dickinson
february 27 20078
February 27, 2007
  • Details of crime scene released: body found with pillow over head
  • Medical examiner releases statement to media:

“This death was immediately suspicious. Dickinson’s death was caused by probable asphyxiation.”

emu president responds
EMU President Responds:

“It was reported early on that foul play was not suspected. As the investigation developed, there were serious, strong, and abiding concerns about the raising of information that would prejudice the case. It affected the nature and focus and specificity of the information.”

u s department of education investigation
U.S. Department of Education Investigation

“EMU failed to disclose information that would enable the campus community to make informed decisions and take necessary precautions to protect themselves, and issued misleading statements from the outset, providing false reassurance that foul play was not suspected.”

u s department of education investigation findings
U.S. Department of Education Investigation Findings
  • EMU silently engaged in a homicide investigation
  • Potential suspect an EMU student attending classes on campus
  • Potential suspect in possession of victim’s dorm room keys
  • No information disclosed to community regarding possible safety threat
clery act
Clery Act

Requires universities issue timely warning of potential security threats, including:

  • Arson
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Burglary
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Theft from a Vehicle
emu clery act violations
EMU Clery Act Violations

13 violations including:

  • Failure to issue a timely warning
  • Lack of a timely warning policy for the campus
  • Lack of capability to provide campus security
october 15 2007
October 15, 2007
  • Taylor stands trial for rape and murder
    • Lawyer admits Taylor was in search of marijuana the night of murder
      • Denied seeing Ms. Dickinson
    • DNA matched semen found on leg
  • Mistrial declared October 24, 2007
    • Jury deadlocked
december 18 2007
December 18 ,2007
  • EMU fined $357,000 by U.S. Department of Education

“Our goal now is the same as it was before: to honor and remember her and to try to create an environment on campus where such an incident will never occur again.”

- EMU Regent Jim Stapleton

march 31 2008
March 31, 2008
  • Taylor’s second trial
  • Concluded April 7, 2008
  • Found guilty
    • First degree felony murder
    • Assault with intent to commit sexual penetration
    • Home invasion
    • Larceny
public response
Public Response
  • Angered students, parents and faculty spoke out to the media about their frustrations
  • Students held public forums
national response
National Response
  • EMU gained national media attention for the cover-up
emu takes action
EMU Takes Action
  • Increased police foot patrols
  • Private security service
  • Text messaging alert system
  • On-Campus student security “SEEUS” program
  • Computerized visitor check-in for dormitories
  • Widespread recruiting campaign
problems
Problems
  • Students and parents fear safety and

distrust university

  • Alumni disappointed in university response
  • Laws were broken
  • Family of victim further devastated
  • National media coverage
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