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Statement by University of Minnesota President Eric W. Kaler about NCAA sanctions imposed on Penn State

Monday, July 23, 2012

University of Minnesota President Eric W. Kaler released the following statement today in response to NCAA sanctions against Penn State.

“First and foremost, we express our sincere sorrow for the individuals and their families who have been harmed in unimaginable ways, and our thoughts are with them.

Second, we support the sanctions imposed on Penn State today by the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors.

Penn State’s situation is a cautionary tale for all of us: the culture of big-time college sports must never supersede a culture of safety, compliance, transparency and accountability on our campuses.

At the University of Minnesota, we are committed to a culture of compliance in our athletics department, and we will continue to monitor and improve our processes.

I remind the University of Minnesota community that any university employee who witnesses a sexual assault on campus, or a sexual assault involving employees on or off campus, is expected to immediately report the assault to law enforcement. 

No university program or official is more important than the safety of individuals on our campuses, especially children. The U will support any employee who reports a suspected crime in good faith."

Background
During the past decade, the University of Minnesota has implemented the following structure to ensure compliance and direct lines of independent oversight for Gopher Athletics: Athletics academic advisers report to the Provost’s Office – the U’s chief academic office. The athletics compliance officer reports to the Office of the General Counsel. And the athletics director reports directly to President Kaler.

Also, the university has an associate vice president for internal audit, who reports to the Board of Regents and president, and is the watchdog on all university matters. In addition, the university has two faculty oversight boards monitoring academic and athletics compliance.

 

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