PS4RS Statement to Penn State Culture Survey

In today’s joint meeting of the Audit and Risk and Legal Compliance committees of the Penn State Board of Trustees, Regis Becker, director of university ethics and compliance explained that alumni won’t be included in the University’s new culture survey because “they are not actively involved in the daily culture of Penn State.” Members of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship feel differently, and further believe that the alumni are being intentionally excluded from the survey because of their critical views regarding the University’s handling of the Sandusky scandal.

“Do you want to see Penn State culture?” asked PS4RS spokesperson Maribeth Roman Schmidt. “Look no further than the tens of thousands of alumni who have risen up to defend and protect Penn State in the aftermath of the Trustees’ colossal mishandling of the Sandusky tragedy. We are the front line definition of Penn State culture.” Schmidt continued, “The alumni are so in tune to the culture of Penn State that we wouldn’t need to conduct a survey to figure out what it is. Generations of Penn State alumni have been molded by a world-class collegiate experience that’s always emphasized academics over athletics; integrity; the rare bonds of the largest, most tightly-knit alumni community, and of course, ‘success with honor’. We’ve never apologized for our culture before, and we’re not about to start just to comply with the Trustees’ desire to move on,” said Schmidt. “It is insulting to hear that we viewed as ‘not actively involved in the daily culture’ when many of us actively sign tuition checks for our children to follow in our footsteps; actively sign annual fundraising checks to Penn State; and actively mentor prospective students on their paths to Penn State as well as grads seeking employment. How much more ‘active’ can we get?”

This survey is just the latest example of the Board of Trustees insular and out-of-touch mentality. “While they carry degrees from Penn State University, they are not in the least, Penn Staters,” concluded Schmidt. “They can’t exclude the largest group of university stakeholders. That level of fiduciary irresponsibility is grounds for termination. They simply don’t represent the best interests of Penn State “

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