Penn State University’s credit rating through Standard & Poor’s remains AA. S&P noted the University’s strong performance track record indicating that “Penn State’s current credit metrics remain consistent within the rating category.” As such, the University remains among the top 40 public rated institutions in the country and maintains the same rating as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The University’s S&P outlook will be assessed again within the next two years.
The University is moving forward quickly to fulfill the requirements of the Athletics Integrity Agreement entered into in August among the NCAA, the Big Ten and the University. The agreement contains a number of prescriptive measures designed to ensure Penn State continues to meet all applicable NCAA and Big Ten rules and standards of integrity.
As part of the agreement, Penn State is currently searching for an athletics integrity officer to develop, implement and oversee policies and practices within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics that ensure compliance and ethical conduct. This new position will be in addition to the compliance officer already working within Intercollegiate Athletics. The integrity officer position will oversee compliance with obligations of integrity, civility, ethics and institutional control, according to Penn State President Rodney Erickson. The position is expected to report to the University-wide chief compliance officer, a position currently being filled by the University.
Penn State officials today provided an update on the 119 recommendations made to the University in a report by the Freeh Group, noting that more than one-third of the recommendations have been completed to date.
"There has been great collaboration and cooperation across all of our departments and organizations in addressing these recommendations," said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. "I'm very proud of our faculty, staff and students and look forward to continued progress. I am fully confident that Penn State will emerge stronger and serve as a model of compliance for universities across the nation."
Each of the recommendations has been assigned to one or more individuals within the University administration for review, analysis and possible implementation, and each area will receive oversight and progress monitoring by one of the standing committees of the Board of Trustees. University officials have said that as they implement the Freeh recommendations, in instances where implementation is not appropriate, they will provide reasons for non-implementation. In addition, an Administrative Response Team comprising the senior vice president for Finance and Business; vice president and general counsel; and the senior vice president for administration will review any analysis, action plans and progress submitted. These same metrics will be reviewed by an advisory council that consists of a cross section of the University community, including students, faculty, administrators, deans, chancellors and staff. The council is overseen by Keith Masser, vice chair of Board.
The following statement was released today by Penn State President Rodney Erickson regarding the Jerry Sandusky sentencing
"Our thoughts today, as they have been for the last year, go out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse. While today’s sentence cannot erase what has happened, hopefully it will provide comfort to those affected by these horrible events and help them continue down the road to recovery."
Penn State’s first national conference on the topic of child sexual abuse has sold out in record time. “Child Sexual Abuse Conference: Traumatic Impact, Prevention and Intervention” is scheduled for Oct. 29-30 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.
In response to the overwhelming interest, several sessions will be live-streamed on the conference’s website, http://protectchildren.psu.edu. Audience members are being encouraged to submit questions in advance.
“We have been thrilled by the positive reaction to the conference, including offers of assistance from numerous individuals and nearly 70 outside organizations wanting to be involved,” said Kate Staley, conference co-organizer and research scientist in Penn State’s Justice Center for Research. "Live streaming some sessions will allow for even greater participation."
The conference reached its 500-attendee capacity within a month of opening registration. Those registered for the conference represent a diverse group of individuals from across the country, including medical, legal and therapeutic practitioners; researchers and scholars; several Penn State faculty and staff; and members of the general public. The conference also will feature displays from 27 exhibitors.