The end of the consent decree with the NCAA took all Penn State’s post-Sandusky penalties off the table except for the $60 million fine.
The settlement of the lawsuit brought by state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, kept that money still in play, with $48 million going to a state-administered endowment that will distribute funds to organizations dealing with child abuse issues.
The additional $12 million would stay in the hands of Penn State but be dedicated to research into those same issues.
On Wednesday, Penn State announced plans for those funds.
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The money will go into another endowment, with the proceeds allocated to the Network on Child Protection and Well-Being.
Formed in 2012 after the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal brought huge attention to the university, which responded with a new focus on the topic, the network brings together faculty researchers, care providers and others dedicated to working to make an impact on children’s lives.
Director Jennie Noll said it is hard to say how much money has gone into the network’s programs to date, as much of the startup funding was in the form of shared staff.
“The bulk of the university’s commitment was in a cluster hire of co-funded faculty. It’s hard to say how much that is. The cluster hire was projected at 12 people ... but we’re not halfway done,” she said.
According to a university release, seven faculty members in five departments across three colleges have joined the network, with more searches underway.
Half of that money was to come from the university provost’s office. More was spent in seed funding for projects, conferences and the development of an undergraduate minor in child maltreatment and advocacy studies.
“That will be launched in the fall of 2015,” she said. “Some of these funds will go to sustain that minor. Some goes to fund new projects, to sustain cutting-edge research and education initiatives, none of which would be long-term sustained by the (network’s) original commitment.”
“Through conducting impactful research, we can champion evidence-based initiatives and change the way policy invests in the detection, prevention and treatment of abuse. Our work will maximize the probability that child abuse will occur less frequently and that its effects will be far less damaging,” said Neil Sharkey, vice president for research. “Combined with our education initiative, we can inspire young people to invest in professions that directly serve abused children and their families on a multitude of fronts.”