Pennsylvania State University could be in danger of losing its accreditation in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education warned Penn State last week on August 8th that it does not believe the university is complying with some of its accreditation standards. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, the commission has requested a monitoring report from Penn State and will visit the school sometime this year. The school has until September 30th to provide its report. The commission told the Chicago Tribune that it issues these warnings when a university has the chance to bring itself back into compliance.
The commission has stated that Penn State may have violated government regulations and therefore the commission’s standards of “leadership, governance, and integrity.” The Middle States Commission of Higher Education is one of many private regional education associations that set accreditation criteria and audit institutions for compliance. According to the Chicago Tribune, if the university were to lose its accreditation, it would also lose its federal funding for research and student loans.
As much of a wake-up call as this may be for the Penn State administration, it is unlikely that it will lose its accreditation.
Last month Penn State was fined $60 million by the NCAA and its football program will lose ten scholarships and be ineligible for bowl games over the next four years, due to its cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of minors. The program is also on probation for five years, and has vacated all of former coach Joe Paterno’s victories from 1998-2001.
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