State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Audit urges Penn State to improve background checks, lower costs

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jun 22, 2017 3:44 PM

Penn State has weathered several years of scandal in the wake of revelations that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused children on school grounds. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) - The office of the state auditor general has released a report reviewing Penn State's rising tuition costs, background check practices and transparency in the wake of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse conviction.

Penn State is an important asset to Pennsylvania, and in his presentation of the report, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale repeatedly stressed the necessity of keeping its reputation intact.

In order to do that, he said PSU still has to improve its background checks in the post-Sandusky era--particularly for employees who have contact with kids.

"For academic and sports-related camps held on Penn State campuses, 57 of 732 camps had at least one person missing the required clearances," he said, adding that "It certainly would have been expected that Penn State would be hyper-vigilant about completing all required background checks. But that is not the case."

The report recommends the university be included under the commonwealth's Right to Know Law and Public Official Employee Ethics Act as well.

DePasquale also noted, Penn State's tuition has risen more than 500 percent over the last three decades, which coincides with a dramatic increase in the number of acceptances of non-Pennsylvania residents

"In March of 2016, Penn State ranked third on the list of most expensive public colleges for in-state students," he said.

He recommended a task force be drafted to develop a plan to cut costs.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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