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PSU redesigns misconduct reporting website

Plus: Pa. leads the nation for Lyme disease cases, and development in forests boosts the risk

This is Talk of the Town, a free weekly newsletter delivering top news from State College and the surrounding region.

November 16, 2023
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Inside this edition: Penn State redesigned its misconduct reporting website, how forest fragmentation affects Lyme disease cases, and a free Spotlight PA event on the election results and what they mean for the future of the state.
Screenshot via Penn State website

Penn State redesigned its internal misconduct reporting website this summer in an effort to ease the process and encourage people to speak up about potential issues, a university spokesperson wrote in an email to Spotlight PA.

“The new design, which coincides with a more streamlined email message on resources for reporting, which goes out to everyone at Penn State at the beginning of each semester, more clearly assists and directs community members in how, where and to report,” the spokesperson wrote.

Spotlight PA asked to interview a Penn State employee about the updated webpage, but the university declined the request.

The spokesperson told Spotlight PA the redesign began in mid-May and was launched July 19.

Penn State’s timeline mirrors that of an investigation by Spotlight PA and the Centre Daily Times into the university’s system of compliance offices and reforms implemented in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. 

The newsrooms engaged with Penn State’s communications office about the story from April to June, then published the project July 19.

The investigation detailed rampant distrust in the university’s internal reporting systems and revealed how the unit Penn State created to hold itself to the highest ethical standards struggled to handle behavior it was designed to prevent for nearly two years.

The report also noted that the public has limited insight into how Penn State’s ethics office functions. Information about the unit’s effectiveness has previously been delivered to university trustees behind closed doors, as previously reported by Spotlight PA.

That could change. In August, the university announced that Tabitha Oman, Penn State’s chief ethics and compliance officer, as well as general counsel, was creating a process to share outcomes from the ethics office with the university community. A news release from that time said the project would be finished in early 2024.

The university spokesperson told Spotlight PA the project remains on schedule, and that there are no additional updates at this time.

Wyatt Massey, Penn State investigative reporter

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» Companies behind Mariner East II pipeline paid $42 million in pollution fines to Pennsylvania

» Spending on Pa. Supreme Court race broke records, set precedent for outside influence

» Democrats continue advancing gun control as advocates call for Pa. Senate to take up bills

» As partisan tensions thaw in Harrisburg, Pa. lawmakers eye unfunded housing, school priorities

» Pa. leads the nation for Lyme disease cases. Development in forests boosts the risk

» ‘Hectic from the get-go’: How a new polling place chief in Pennsylvania navigated his first election


» RESULTS REVIEW: Join us, the New Pennsylvania Project, and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts TONIGHT from 6-7 p.m. ET for a Q&A on the election results and what they mean for the future of the state. Register for the event here and submit your questions to
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November in Tioga State Forest, photographed by Mike Glass.

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» Sun-Gazette: Muncy council debates borough manager vacancy
» CE: DuBois to pay legal fees of employees testifying in Suplizio case

» Mirror: Pa. left Blair Co. to cover almost $500K in court costs
» WPSU: Plaza Azteca violated federal labor law
» SC: No tax increase for Centre County
» CDT: Penn State fires football offensive coordinator
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» Nov. 16: Downtown State College, in Centre County, celebrates the start of the holiday season with Light Up Night.

» Nov. 16-19: The Altoona Community Theatre —which is celebrating its 75th season — performs Clue: On Stage at the historic Mishler Theatre in Blair County.

» Nov. 17-19: Victorian Christmas in Williamsport, Lycoming County, features an artisan market, home and historic building tour, and more.

» Nov. 18: Vendors sell their creations at Galeton’s 42nd annual Christmas Craft Bazaar in Potter County.

» Nov. 18: Twisted Vine Winery hosts Mom Prom to benefit the Kane Area Community Center in McKean County.

» Nov. 19: Lock Haven, in Clinton County, hosts its annual tree lighting ceremony.
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