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Penn State Campuses Lose University Recognition After Risk Analysis Review

Penn State’s 20 undergraduate campuses across the Commonwealth will no longer be recognized by the university after a Student Affairs review deemed that the score of physical locations across the state posed an unacceptable amount of risk to its students.

“Student Affairs made the decision to proactively evaluate its supported facilities, with the main goal being to keep student safety as the top priority for these activities,” Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers provided in a statement.

Following the review, the university recommended changes to a number of university activities, based on the criteria below:

  • Risk associated with various types of impact likely in an activity

The majority of Penn State students travel to and from campus in automobiles. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 37,450 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from calendar year 2015. This equates to more than 100 fatalities per day. Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for age 10 and every age 16 through 23 in 2015.

While some in State College argued that University Park should be exempt as it is a primarily residential campus, advocates from the Commonwealth Campus Student Government insisted that the policy be adjudicated in the same manner on every campus. Penn State University Park was first a campus in 1855 when the university was founded as Farmers’ High School as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts.

While these campuses are no longer maintained with the university, Penn State says it is meeting with students and local officials to discuss the transition and figure how the university can “still support its goals.” Long known to be the most profitable sector of the university, World Campus is expected to benefit most from these changes.

The University also noted that it will next be turning its eye to the athletics program, and notably the football program, which may be exposing its student-athletes to high risk of CTE.

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