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State To Probe PSU Discrimination Complaints January 24, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, minority, Racism.
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A state civil rights commission will review discrimination complaints against Penn State University to see if there is a pattern of bias on its campuses.

Human Relations Commission executive director Homer Floyd said Wednesday that he was directed to look into the complaints during an agency meeting on Monday in Harrisburg.

Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said that about 100 complaints have been filed to the commission against the school in the last five years, with three cases having “adverse rulings” against the university. The commission gets about 40,000 complaints a year.

“Three adverse rulings over five years before an agency that says it is getting over 40,000 complaints a year … does not represent a pattern to this university,” Mahon said Wednesday.

Commission chairman Stephen Glassman told the Centre Daily Times, which first reported the internal review, that the number of complaints against Penn State was “significant.” Complaints came from several minority and protected groups, and from multiple Penn State locations, he said.

Glassman has traveled to State College several times in recent months for meetings of a county advisory board to the state commission. “Through that process, he has gathered additional information that led him to believe there might be an issue,” Floyd said.

Floyd said such commission reviews were not uncommon, and that his review was due in March.

“I don’t know if the number in and of itself creates a problem for us,” he said. “Let’s also recognize that a lot of issues come up on a college campus – freedom of speech, freedom of religion – that creates controversy. When there’s a free expression of ideas, there can be some tension.”

Penn State has more than 80,000 students and employs about 39,000 full- or part-time workers across its roughly two dozen campuses.

Separately, the university has been the subject of several discrimination lawsuits over the last 18 months.

Four academic employees and one former staff member have filed federal discrimination cases against the university in the last 18 months, according to the Centre Daily Times. One case was settled out of the court, while the rest are pending.

Also, former women’s basketball player Jennifer Harris has filed a federal discrimination suit against coach Rene Portland. That case is scheduled for trial this summer.

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: Kdka.com

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