Accreditation probe a mistake
The latest official inquiry at Penn State University looks like piling on.
Bad news from the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal just keeps falling on increasingly unhappy Happy Valley, Pa., but the latest turn of events doesn't make much sense.
Penn State University has been informed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that its accreditation is in jeopardy and that it must demonstrate that it's ship-shape in a variety of fields (governance, finances and integrity) if it is to avoid further sanctions.
Some may think that whatever bad happens at Penn State is poetic justice, given how badly a handful of school officials handled their response to reports of sexual misconduct by the school's former defensive coordinator.
There is no question that Penn State, as an institution, was derelict. But there also is no dispute that the handful of individuals responsible for the dereliction of duty have paid a huge price. They have been or will be prosecuted, fired and/or disgraced. As for the institution, the NCAA's penalties will horribly damage, perhaps even destroy, the school's football program.
Considered in that light, putting the school's accreditation in jeopardy is over the top.
Penn State is responding in a cooperative manner, and there can be no real doubt that its accreditation will be retained. It is, after all, an outstanding institution, with 99.99 percent of students, faculty and staff members having nothing whatsoever to do with the Sandusky scandal. The decision by the accreditation agency to drag them into the Sandusky mess is simply wrong.