George Washington University: Secret Informer Line


George Washington University

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In February 2002, George Washington University established a “Compliance Line” policy that invited secret allegations and investigations. The hotline, administered off campus by Pinkerton Security, allowed charges of any nature to be made anonymously. The administration could then launch investigations and create secret dossiers, without even notifying the target or providing them with the means for immediate rebuttal of — possibly malicious — charges. Students and faculty only learned of this informer line after it had been instituted. When media attention was first brought to bear on this scandalous policy, GWU President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg issued a public statement in which he called the policy “a little aggressive” and repudiated the actions of Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz, who apparently instituted the policy unilaterally, but did not immediately discontinue the program.