There is no doubt that the Penn State community continues to face challenging times. As we move forward and address the crisis, we are committed to supporting the prevention and treatment of child abuse, while also focusing on the future of this great university to ensure Penn State’s standing as a world-class academic and research institution.
Addressing the Crisis – The University is dedicated to addressing the crisis and its related issues. In November 2011, the Penn State Board of Trustees’ Special Investigations Task Force appointed former FBI director and federal Judge Louis Freeh to conduct an independent investigation of the University's response to the allegations of sexual abuse committed by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The Freeh Group released its comprehensive report on July 12, 2012, which can be found at http://progress.psu.edu/the-freeh-report.
We recognize and embrace the need to create a more transparent, accountable and effective approach to governance, safety and compliance—using Judge Freeh’s 119 recommendations as an important guide in this process. To date, Penn state has implemented a majority of the recommendations, which are helping to make the University stronger and more accountable.
Supporting the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse – We maintain a commitment going forward to remember the children who may have been victims of sexual abuse on or near the University Park campus and to support their healing process as best we can. The University has also made it a priority to support victims of child abuse across the state, and we’re making significant progress.
World-class Academic and Research Institution – It is the actions of the many – not the few – that make up Penn State. We look ahead to a renewed focus on educating more than 96,000 students, to continuing to lead the nation with breakthrough research, and to further expand our commitment to service – the foundations of our University for the past 157 years.
Addressing the Crisis
- The Board of Trustees’ Special Investigations Task Force appointed Louis Freeh to conduct an independent investigation of the University’s response to the allegations of sexual abuse committed by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The report was released online at http://progress.psu.edu/the-freeh-report, on July 12, 2012 simultaneously to the University community, Board of Trustees, the media and the general public. http://progress.psu.edu/resource-library/story/penn-state-issues-statement-on-freeh-report
- We hired a full-time compliance officer to support the Clery Act, a federal crime-reporting law for schools. http://live.psu.edu/story/58968
- We are in the process of conducting a sustainable professional training program for employees to recognize and report child abuse. All University employees will be required to complete this training each year. http://live.psu.edu/story/59111
- We enacted a significant revision to our policy (AD39), overseeing the supervision and treatment of minors involved in University-sponsored programs or programs housed or held at any Penn State campus. http://live.psu.edu/story/59211
- The Board of Trustees changed its governance structure in order to improve oversight of the University and accessibility to the Board. http://www.psu.edu/trustees/committee-structure.html
- A complete update of status and actions Penn State has taken based on the Freeh report recommendations is available here and is updated regularly.
Supporting the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse
- We partnered with Praesidium Inc. to arrange counseling services for those who may have suffered abuse from Jerry Sandusky. Praesidium is the national leader in abuse risk management with more than two decades of experience and more than 4,000 clients. http://live.psu.edu/story/58590
- We convened a national conference on October 29-30, 2012 with top experts to focus on educating the public about the signs of, response to and prevention of child sexual abuse. http://live.psu.edu/story/62350 (go to http://protectchildren.psu.edu for the conference website)
- We created a Presidential Task Force on Child Maltreatment to bring together a broad spectrum of faculty from across the University to coordinate and develop research, clinical practice, outreach and education on child maltreatment.
Penn State donated more than $2.6 million to abuse prevention efforts.
- $1.1 million to the University’s newly established Center for the Protection of Children, based at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. http://live.psu.edu/story/56738
- $1.5 million to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR). We formed a partnership with the PCAR and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center to extend the collective reach of their programs in preventing and treating sexual abuse and violence throughout the state and nation. http://live.psu.edu/story/56612
- Penn State students and faculty recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month in April through a variety of activities at University campuses across the Commonwealth.
World-class Academic and Research Institution
Penn State’s longstanding tradition of excellence is based, first and foremost, on our commitment to strong academics and world-class research.
- Penn State was ranked first among 100 colleges – including several Ivy League schools – in a September 2010 survey of nearly 500 recruiters from companies across the United States. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704358904575477643369663352.html
- Penn State is the top producer of Fulbright Scholars among all U.S. institutions, and ranks second in student applications for the Teach for America program. http://admissions.psu.edu/facts/rankings/
- We are ranked among the nation's top universities in industry-sponsored research. We typically partner with more than 400 companies each year, and our total research dollars increased from $507 million to $805 million over the past nine years – with funding from the government, industry and other sources. http://www.psu.edu/ur/research.html