Warning Unlikely To Threaten Penn State’s Accreditation

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Even though Pennsylvania State University got yet another stern warning Monday, it is highly unlikely that the university will lose its accreditation as a result of the child sex-abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach, national experts said.

"Unthinkable. Unimaginable," said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, which represents presidents of colleges and universities and leaders of other higher education-related organizations. "It's a great university. Its academic quality is superb. . . . If I were a mother of a youngster who had been accepted to Penn State, there is nothing in this set of events that would cause me to have second thoughts about the choice of school."

The action by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which issued the warning, is "standard protocol" for an accreditation agency, she said.

In addition to academic quality, the agency also requires universities to meet standards regarding financial health, adequate board governance, and institutional integrity, and Penn State will have to address such issues in answering the commission's warning.

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