Lessons for Penn State: Cover-Ups Cost Money, Student Lives

Brett Sokolow, a managing partner at National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, who has worked with hundreds of colleges to enhance student safety, was critical of EMU and Penn State, though he said they are “an anomaly not the rule.”

“At Penn State loyalties were at play, like big-time football at the expense of other members of the community,” said Sokolow.

“Sometimes it’s based on fear that the information coming out will harm their reputation or hurt their endowment or recruitment,” he said. “College admissions are keen to make sure their campuses don’t get a reputation for being unsafe.”

Campuses are required under Title IX to investigate all complaints and to provide “prompt and equitable remedies,” according to Sokolow. “Colleges work hard to get a good internal resolution. But rape is not the same thing as pulling a fire alarm in a residence hall and some colleges do it better than others.”

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