A message from President Rodney Erickson to Penn State parents
Penn State President Rodney Erickson sent a message today (July 19) to address questions from Penn State parents and family members. The content of his note follows:
Dear Penn State parents,
It is almost without question that the last eight months have been the most difficult time in Penn State's history. The recent investigation conducted by Judge Louis Freeh -- commissioned by the Board of Trustees and released last week -- will help the current administration fully understand the leadership failures that took place at our University. The report is a sobering reminder that we must constantly align our policies, and actions, with the values of honesty and integrity. Though this report provides a level of clarity for our University, it does not undo the pain caused to the victims of Jerry Sandusky, and our hearts go out to them and their families.
The report lists 119 recommendations to ensure that we provide a safe community for living, learning and working. Penn State has already begun implementing many of the recommendations and will continue to do so. We will keep you updated on these actions at www.progress.psu.edu.
As the media and public continue to focus on Jerry Sandusky's acts and the circumstances that allowed them to continue, many Penn State parents are understandably concerned about the University's identity and how this past year's proceedings will affect their children. I would like to assure you that every faculty and staff member on campus is committed to ensuring that Penn State remains an exceptional institution of learning and an incredible place to spend one's formative college years.
This crisis has not and will not detract from the quality of education and research for which Penn State is known. There has been no faculty attrition as a result of the scandal. Applications are at an all-time high, and admissions numbers remain remarkably strong. The current fundraising campaign is running ahead of schedule, and this past year's contributions were the second-highest they've ever been. In meetings with top recruiters in the months after the scandal broke, company executives universally reiterated their strong support for Penn State grads and their understanding that certain disgraceful acts were not reflective of the quality of students. By bringing together outstanding professors and the best and brightest students, Penn State will continue to be a world-class academic institution.
I also want you to know that the University is doing all it can to help the Penn State students who have been strongly impacted on a personal level by these events. There are a number of resources available should your student need additional support at this time. Prior to, and since this tragedy unfolded, Student Affairs has offered support options through contacts in residence halls, professional counseling, and by facilitating individual conversations. In addition, the Counseling and Psychological Center on campus is open and available, including a 24-hour crisis hotline (1-800-643-5432). You can visit http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/counseling/ to learn more about the resources available for our students.
I sincerely thank you for your support and for the support of your students as we continue to navigate this challenging time. You have my full commitment -- as well as that of our faculty, staff, and board -- that Penn State will do everything in its power to continue to be one of the nation's great universities. I hope that you will remain supportive, encouraging, and confident, as I am.
President Rodney Erickson