Penn State Funds Child Abuse Research Endowment With Sanction Fine

Penn State created an endowment to support child maltreatment research with the $12 million it received from the $60 million fine the NCAA required it to pay as part of its sanctions against the university.

The NCAA’s settlement in the Corman lawsuit in January dictated that the $60 million would be divided between the university and child abuse prevention programs throughout the state of Pennsylvania.  The settlement decided that Penn State would receive $12 million to help advance its child sexual abuse research programs.

The $12 million investment will “advance the University’s academic mission of research, education and service” regarding child maltreatment, according to a press release from the university. Specifically, the endowment will be put toward Penn State’s Network on Child Protection and Well-Being that was created in 2012.

According to the press release, the network is directed by Jennie Noll, professor of Human Development and Family Studies and an “internationally renowned expert on child sexual abuse and its long-term health impacts.”

“This endowment sets the stage for Penn State’s future interdisciplinary research partnerships, educational initiatives and delivery of evidence-based prevention and treatment programs for at-risk and abused children,” Noll said. “Working together and with community partners across the Commonwealth, we will make a sustained difference in the lives of these children and their families.”

The network has co-sponsored three national conferences about the topic, and its fourth is slated for this September.

Through the network, the $12 million will be allocated to many different areas at the university including promoting research in this area and paying for an annual series of conferences. It will also help fund other events focused on fighting child maltreatment, creating interdisciplinary education programs in the field, and helping the network function as “Penn State’s clearinghouse for information, awareness, and communication” for child abuse.

Though the network generally focuses on child maltreatment, the funds will be used specifically to focus on child sexual abuse as well as neglect, emotional, and physical abuse.