Erickson: Penn State to Create Center for Child Protection
December 07, 2011 8:46 AM
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Penn State will launch a number of initiatives to combat sexual abuse, including a national Center for the Protection of Children, university President Rodney Erickson announced Tuesday.

Meeting briefly with reporters after a Faculty Senate meeting, Erickson said the efforts will reach across the university and focus on research, treatment and prevention. He said the national center will be based largely at the university College of Medicine, in Hershey, where much of Penn State's faculty expertise in the field is located.

The center, to be shaped by the faculty, should be up and running within months, Erickson said. He said it will be started in part with at least $500,000 in revenue from the TicketCity Bowl, in which the Penn State football team will play Jan. 2.

Penn State expects to receive at least $2 million in revenue from the bowl game, according to Erickson. It has already committed $1.5 million of the bowl revenue to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

The measures are among the steps Penn State is taking in response to child-sexual-abuse and cover-up allegations that emerged last month.

Speaking Tuesday before the Faculty Senate, Erickson said that "we're not going to run away from this issue (sexual abuse)."

"It's an issue that, in many ways, has been thrust upon us," he said. "Our responsibility now is to be a national leader in helping individuals and families to recover and prevent those kinds of situations from happening." More Penn State initiatives have yet to be announced, Erickson added.

"We believe we can be a national leader in this area and hopefully create some good from something that has been a terrible tragedy," he said.

USA Today interviewed Erickson recently and posted this report Tuesday.

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