Middle States Commission Announcement

Chancellor Hillkirk’s Response

Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk

I am writing in regard to the questions, which have been raised, about Penn State University?s accreditation status with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The recent announcement by the Commission regarding Penn State may cause some misconceptions about the status of the University?s accreditation.

Penn State?s accreditation status remains intact with the Commission. The questions raised by the Commission have nothing to do with the academic quality of Penn State?s academic programs, which define the core mission of the University. The action taken by the Commission requires Penn State to provide information regarding a very limited number of its operations. These areas include leadership and finances as they relate to the implications of the tragic situation surrounding Jerry Sandusky and his relationship to the University. Penn State is working with representatives of the Commission and will provide a complete response to the Commission?s request in September.

Molly Corbett Broad, President of the American Council on Education, which represents presidents of colleges and universities and leaders of other higher education-related organizations, put the Commission?s announcement regarding Penn State into context in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's a great university. Its academic quality is superb . . .  If I were a mother of a youngster who had been accepted to Penn State, there is nothing in this set of events that would cause me to have second thoughts about the choice of school."

For more than half a century, Penn State Berks has and will continue to offer an outstanding array and quality of student experiences within a nationally accredited University. I am fully confident that the University response to the Commission?s inquiry will address its concerns.

Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk, Chancellor, Penn State Berks