Chairman Karen Peetz delivered the following remarks during a special meeting of Penn State's Board of Trustees on Aug. 25.
University Trustees are participating in a series of special meetings this weekend at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel on the University Park campus; public sessions are being streamed live online. For more information about the meetings, visit http://live.psu.edu/story/60837.
We Are Penn State.
Four words synonymous with heritage, achievement, leadership and responsibility.
Four words we live by. Four words that are special and carry meaning for each of us.
Benjamin H. Levi, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of pediatrics and humanities at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, has assumed the directorship of the Center for the Protection of Children at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Dr. Levi, a practicing pediatrician and highly published expert in the area of mandated reporting of suspected child abuse, recently returned from a year-long sabbatical overseas examining how other countries protect children from abuse, including how abuse and neglect are reported to law enforcement.
Levi succeeds center inaugural director Andrea Taroli, M.D., who will focus on development of the Children’s Hospital’s clinical program for child protection—along with Kate Crowell, M.D., and Laura Duda, M.D., who are the founding members of this clinical team—a program integral to the center’s overall mission to improve the detection, treatment, and prevention of child abuse.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Aug. 15, 2012 – This fall, Penn State will convene some of the nation’s top experts in child sexual abuse and child trauma research, prevention, and treatment for a public forum on this nationwide problem. The Child Sexual Abuse Conference: Traumatic Impact, Prevention, and Intervention will take place at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on Oct. 29-30, 2012.
The two-day conference will feature discussions with Sugar Ray Leonard and Elizabeth Smart, both of whom suffered sexual abuse as children. Leonard, an American boxing icon and Olympic gold medalist, will deliver a keynote address and participate in a Q&A with attendees, while Smart will serve as the conference’s closing speaker. The event will also include nationally recognized experts in the field of child sexual abuse and child trauma from across academia, including:
A recent warning from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education related to Penn State's accreditation does not involve the academic quality of Penn State or its programs. The University's accreditation remains intact and its leaders are confident they will satisfy the commission's concerns.
"This warning has no bearing on our educational programs or the integrity of those programs," said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. "What's being looked at are issues of governance, integrity and institutional resources related to the fallout from the child sexual abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky."
The following remarks were made by BOT Chairman Karen Peetz during today's (Aug. 12) special meeting regarding the NCAA consent decree:
Over the last few days, questions have been raised about the process in which the NCAA crafted and imposed, and the University accepted, what are unquestionably harsh sanctions that will have a significant impact on the University and its students, student-athletes, alumni, faculty, staff and other constituencies. Questions have also been raised about the Freeh Report and how that report was used by the NCAA as the basis for its action.
I had intended to call for a vote this evening to ratify the Consent Decree. Not because ratification is legally required. It is not. But, rather, because President Erickson's authority had been challenged publicly by some of our own trustees, the leadership of the Board wanted to publicly demonstrate the Board's support of President Erickson and the University's commitment to fully perform and comply with the Consent Decree. We had hoped to clear up any lingering misunderstanding with respect to the Board's and the University's position on this matter. Given that Trustee McCombie yesterday indicated publicly that he has instructed his lawyer to refrain from taking any further action, a formal vote may not be as necessary as we had initially anticipated.