Penn State accreditation in jeopardy over sex abuse scandal
If Penn States loses accreditation, the school would face the loss of eligibility for federal student aid programs and federal research grants.
August 14th, 2012
04:30 PM ET

Penn State accreditation in jeopardy over sex abuse scandal

by Michael Pearson, CNN

(CNN) - The organization that grants academic accreditation to Penn State has warned the school that it is in danger of losing that crucial status in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, the university announced this week.

The move by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education is the latest blow for the beleaguered university, which has seen its reputation clobbered and its football program hobbled after investigators found school leaders did too little to stop the abuse.

Were the commission to pull Penn State's accreditation - which it has not done - the school would face the loss of eligibility for federal student aid programs, guaranteed student loans, federal research grants and could lose eligibility for state aid, commission spokesman Richard Pockrass said in July.

Paterno family wants to appeal Penn State sanctions

Penn State will resolve the commission's concerns, promised Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Blannie Bowen.

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soundoff (19 Responses)
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    August 16, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  3. Philip

    Excellent news!
    I interviewed a Penn State grad last year, and she was utterly worthless, but kept yammering about how "I'm a Penn Stater!" as though that actually meant something significant. Pretty much everyone I have met who is or was associated with that school seems to have drunk the same kool aid.

    August 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  4. Jon Garvey

    Unfortunately in war there is collateral damage. We are at war against child rape. Is the cost of having a few thousand Pennsylvania college students transfer to another school worth it if it prevents child rape? Every school in the nation will be forced to put the safety of children ahead of sports if we make an example out of Penn State.

    Shut it down, sell off all the assets, and use the money to create a safe haven for abused children.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Jason Steinman

      It's not just a few thousand students Mr. Garvey, it's people from all around the world, and from all walks of life. While I am as outraged over the abuses as anyone, and want to see the administrators who are responsible punished (and they are being punished), I applied to this school before any knowledge of this came to the surface, and I have done my time in the military just to earn the money for my education. Do I deserve to be punished just the same as these criminals, when I am but one semester away from graduating? Transferring with 12 credits left would not be practical for me, and I would implore you as well as the others who share your views to consider who really gets punished by this action. The wealthy administrators will be just fine after their school loses accreditation. They will find new jobs, they more than likely have a nice savings put away, and they are not at the same stage of life as young students who have not completed their degrees. We should all be appalled by what happened at this university, but it should not be an excuse to inflict punishment blindly on students such as myself who have lived their lives in the right side of the law, and sought nothing but the best education available to them.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • frankbwalsh

      You're out of your mind Jon Garvey. You clearly do not understand the magnitude of good your suggesting be destroyed in response to the crimes of a small group.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Steve Palmer

      WHAT ?? I am already living with the stain of this scandal, even though I did nothing wrong, yet when I wore my Penn State t-shirt (not football jersey, mind you) I overhead some very nasty comments. I wasn't involved in the abuse, I didn't hide abusers, I didn't cover it up, you won't find my name in the Freeh report. Now, I could very well have to transfer to another school, though I am just two semesters short of my B.S. degree. You're suggestion of schmitt-canning the University goes way too far, and hurts way too many people. Let's convict those who are guilty, instead of smearing everyone with your very self-righteous paintbrush. I'm fairly certain that you'd feel differently if you were in my shoes.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  5. JM

    Presumably since none of us know exactly why their accreditation is in jeopardy, I wonder how any of y'all can a basis for popping off about it. If nothing else, management was not running the school responsibly, covering over atttrosities and bringing disgrace not only to the school but the accreditation body. Suggest you find out the details before forming an opinion. Unfortunately, the customers (the students) are affected as well. Could be that they are being uses as an example as a warning to the other major universities that may be covering up bad and illegal behavior

    August 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  6. B Drake

    Sounds like someone on the commission has an agenda against Penn State in general and the scandal is a good excuse to wreck Penn State, everyone involved with Penn State past and present, not to mention the town that depends on the university...The people in power who participated in the cover up should be ousted and jailed; the end.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  7. Fred

    You are missing the point. The school was aware of Sandusky's behavior and did nothing to stop it. Unfortunately, I agree the students will be penalized but a message has to be sent to the other universities of this stature that this behavior will not be tolerated. It is a no win situation for evryone, And do not forget there are the actual children who were victimized by Sandusky repeatedly while the school did nothing.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Steve Palmer

      How about we let the victims decide whether or not to shut down the University - and to be so flip to say, "Oh, the students will have to be affected, no way around that" is a bunch of hooey. How would you feel if you were in my shoes? Geez, calm down. Punish the guilty - which DOESN'T include the student body, mind you.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  8. george penick

    II agree with the others, piling on sounds like a good description. The disgrace will not go away quickly, so lets get the healing started now.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  9. Vale

    And the scapegoating continues. Instead of punishing the deviant who molested the children, they are now punishing the students who had nothing to do with it.


    August 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  10. Chocobo

    This seems to be just piling on. The Sandusky scandal had nothing to do with academics or research and I have never heard it suggested that Penn State has any problems in those areas, even if the "Success with Honor" football program was rightfully knocked from its pedestal.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • remembervic

      Well, you never having heard of it doesn't make it so. Penn State is also going through an academic scandal. Their research scientists have been proven to have falsified the results of their studies. BTW Ped State is only ranked 184th in the nation.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
      • mel5335

        Actually, we're 43rth in the world

        August 18, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  11. summit1986

    This is going too far. This is now penalizing the students and faculty that had absolutely zero involvement in the scandal.

    August 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |