A survey conducted last year saw big changes in the number of people who say they've reported misconduct at Penn State.
Penn State released the findings of its 2017 values and culture survey, which includes input from 14,012 participants — a university-wide response rate of 12 percent.
In the 2017 survey, 9 percent of respondents experienced pressure to violate university policies or the law, compared to 10 percent in the 2013 survey.
Fifty-six percent of participants in 2017 said they'd observed misconduct, down from 58 percent in 2013.
Respondents reported misconduct at "substantially higher rates" in 2017 (40 percent) than in 2013 (26 percent).
The rate of retaliation against those who reported stayed the same, at 12 percent.
Among the areas the university says it intends to address in the future:
- Undergrads report seeing misconduct committed by their peers off campus.
- There's a reluctance to report misconduct due to possible retaliation. Penn State says it has developed and intends to share more broadly an anti-retaliation plan that's already been piloted in areas of the university.
- Graduate students are reluctant to report misconduct. The university notes that there are "many avenues" to report misconduct in the Graduate School and around the university.
In a press release, university President Eric Barron said the survey results also indicate that respondents' connection to Penn State "remains strong" and that awareness of Penn State's values (integrity, respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence and community) has grown.
"As we build upon our progress and continue to improve, I want to remind our students, faculty and staff that everyone has the power to foster a positive, safe and encouraging environment where we all can work, live and learn," Barron said in a press release.
All faculty, staff, administrators, technical service employees, undergrads and graduate students at all campuses, including World Campus, were invited to participate in the survey, according to Penn State.
The full report on the survey — conducted in October by the Ethics and Compliance Initiative, an independent, nonprofit organization, according to Penn State — can be viewed at www.psu.edu/ur/newsdocuments/2017_Values_and_Culture_Survey_Overall_Report.pdf.