Purdue officials respond to Penn State sanctions

Jul 23, 2012

Purdue continues to remind its employees about their responsibility to report child abuse.

Acting President Tim Sands says that can be done by calling 911 in an emergency situation, or in a non-emergency, alerting a senior staff member and police or Child Protective Services.

Sands and other administrators held a news conference Monday, following the announced sanctions against Penn State for the child sexual abuse scandal there.

Sands says they’re using the report on the situation as a way to improve their procedures and planning.

"See what we can do at Purdue to enhance the clarity of our activities in this regard. To make sure that we have a balance of power that is appropriate for a university."

Athletics Director Morgan Burke says some precautions his department has taken began this summer with the sports camps.

"Outside teachers or even our existing staff and  student athletes went through two background checks. The second thing actually pre-dates this whole circumstance by well over a year. As we were completing [renovations at] Mackey, we put a process in place that said it was for student athletes and staff only."

Burke thinks the sanctions on Penn State’s program are punitive, but should do little harm to those not directly related to the scandal, such as student athletes.

Another response is more recent and involves all Purdue volunteers undergoing a background check in the future. The university has an interim policy in place now.

It's meant to keep safe the students of all ages who come to campus for school or camp activities.

Vice President for Ethics and Compliance Alysa Rollock says the university offers an online training module to identify, prevent and respond to sexual misconduct.

"The training is not mandatory. We're in the early stages of the online training and getting feedback on that. Then we anticipate that in the next few months or so, we would have a decision on whether or not that training would be made mandatory."

The training is available online to all employees HERE.

Purdue also has a Whistleblower hotline through which anyone can call in a report or submit it online anonymously.