Kaler Asks University Faculty To Help Avoid Penn State Scandal

Nick Sudheimer

In the wake of the sex abuse scandal that has rocked Penn State University in recent weeks, University President Eric Kaler released a directive Tuesday clearly stating his expectations of faculty and staff, according to the Star Tribune.

“I write to remind you, emphatically, that any University of Minnesota employee who witnesses a sexual assault on campus, or a sexual assault involving our employees on or off campus, is expected to report the assault to law enforcement immediately. … Reporting to a University supervisor is not enough,” Kaler stated in the directive.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a highly prominent figure in NCAA football, is charged with abusing eight boys over a 15-year span.  According to the charges, several high ranking Penn State officials were aware of the abuse but didn’t inform the proper legal authorities.  The scandal led to the firing of legendary head coach Joe Paterno as well as Penn State University President Graham Spanier.

Kaler wrote that the “deeply disturbing” sex abuse scandal is a reminder to everyone in higher education to “stop and think about our actions if confronted by similar circumstances.” Kaler reminded faculty that all three of the University campuses – Twin Cities, Duluth, and Morris – have high quality police departments available to them. 

“It should go without saying that no University program or official is more important than the safety of individuals on our campuses, especially children,” Kaler wrote.