Penn State launches survey to gauge employees’, students’ values

mdawson@centredaily.comOctober 31, 2013 


The Penn State University Old Main building, October 28, 2013.



    The skinny on the survey:

    The survey to measure what’s important to people at Penn State is being sent to 130,000 active students and employees in the university community.

    The survey will come from the Ethics Resource Center and the subject of the email will be “Penn State Values & Culture Survey.”

    If any employees or students do not receive a link to the survey by early next week, they can contact Ethics Resource Center at 1-800-777-1285 or

The survey that will measure what is important to the people who work and learn at Penn State has been rolled out.

The survey, first sent to email inboxes on Tuesday, is the way Penn State is addressing one of the core recommendations of the report from former FBI director Louis Freeh, which said the university must examine its culture. Freeh had said the reverence for football at Penn State is what was responsible for children being abused on campus by former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky.

Officials will use the feedback to draft a statement of values found to be important at the university. The university said the survey will give officials a better understanding of how much employees and students know about the standards of conduct and their inclination to report something wrong without fearing retaliation.

The results are expected in the spring.

In a mass email to the university community on Monday, President Rodney Erickson said he wants all employees and students to have their voices heard by completing the survey, which is being facilitated by Arlington, Va.-based Ethics Resource Center.

“The participation of the entire university community in this survey is extremely important, as it will help us to strengthen our understanding of our culture and clarify the values that are most important to us as a university,” he said.

The information provided will be kept confidential, Erickson said. He expected the survey to take 20 minutes to finish and employees can fill it out on while they work.

More than 1,000 people participated on Tuesday, said Patricia Harned, the president of Ethics Resource Center.

The survey is being sent out to 130,000 people among the university community, including faculty, staff, administrators and students. Part-time students, adjunct faculty and other seasonal or temporary employees are expected to be sent a link to complete the survey, too.

The survey will come from the Ethics Resource Center and the subject of the email will be “Penn State Values & Culture Survey.”

Alumni who don’t work or take classes at the university will not receive the survey.

Penn State has not said how much the survey will cost, citing a non-disclosure clause in the contract with the firm.

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