March 31, 2023
Dear Board Members,
I joined Patricia Juarez Hill ’98 for a meeting with President Oubre, Jessica Cobb ’05 and Cynthia Joseph on Thursday.
Most of what transpired in that meeting I could have just lifted from her two poorly executed town halls and the lackluster State of the College–she told us she wanted to listen and then spent 45 minutes talking about how hard her job was and how great her plans are. So I won’t belabor what you have already heard from me and many other alumni so far about the complete lack of leadership you have allowed.
However, you DO have a problem and it could cost you access to ALL federal funds, particularly those that students receive in the form of financial aid. When the “threats” to the president and other members of the Board and leadership team were brought up in our meeting, I asked why it was not on the campus crime log. Both Linda and Cynthia adamantly said that it didn’t have to be because there was an investigation ongoing and privacy needed to be maintained. Having spent 2 years at Occidental dealing directly with Clery Act issues and several LATimes articles, it didn’t sound right to me but I let it go. After the meeting I checked and if there were actual threats, then they would have to be reported in the crime log within two business days as a hate crime. No latitude is given in the law.
So you have one of two problems–either you are not following Federal laws or you have direct lies being told by your president and COO to alumni and the public–perhaps both.
Either way, you as a board have to deal with this, because as far as the public knows, threats have been made and Whittier has not complied with the law. I would think the last thing you would want is a Clery investigation on top of all of the other issues you are trying to deal with as part of a depleted board.
You need to put a stop to the lies and you need to follow the law. That is VERY clear in your role as board members. Please take it seriously.
Brett Schraeder ’95
Editor’s Note: Below is a link to additional information on the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), a federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to disseminate a public annual security report (ASR) to employees and students every October 1st. This ASR must include statistics of campus crime for the preceding 3 calendar years, plus details about efforts taken to improve campus safety. The U.S. Department of Education conducts reviews to evaluate an institution’s compliance with the Clery Act requirements which may also result in fine actions taken by the Department against an institution for violations of the Clery Act. As of April 2022, the per violation penalty is $62,689. Penn State was fined $2.4 million for violating the Clery Act. Whitier College last published an ASR in 2021.