Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University (commonly known as Penn State) is a state-related, land-grant, space grant public Research University located in State College, Pennsylvania, United States. The University has 24 campuses throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including a virtual World Campus, with University Park being its largest campus. Penn State University Park (commonly referred to as the "Main Campus") is ranked in the top 15 nationally for public universities and is regarded as a Public Ivy. The enrollment at the Penn State University Park campus is 43,252 with a total enrollment of over 84,000 across its 24 campuses, placing it among the ten largest public universities in the United States. Penn State offers more than 160 majors and administers a $1.6 billion (USD) endowment.
Penn State was founded as a degree-granting institution on February 22, 1855 by act P.L. 46, No. 50 of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania. Centre County became the home of the new school when James Irvin of Bellefonte donated 200 acres (0.8 km2) of land—the first of 10,101 acres (41 km2) the University would eventually acquire. In 1862, the school's name was changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act, Pennsylvania selected the school in 1863 to be the state's sole land grant college. In the following years, enrollment fell as the school tried to balance purely agricultural studies with a more classic education, falling to 64 undergraduates in 1875, a year after the school's name changed once again to the Pennsylvania State College. In the years that followed, Penn State grew significantly, becoming the state's largest grantor of baccalaureate degrees and reaching an enrollment of 5,000 in 1936. Around that time, a system of commonwealth campuses was started by President Ralph Dorn Hetzel to provide an alternative for Depression-era students who were economically unable to leave home to attend college. In 1953, President Milton S. Eisenhower, brother of former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, changed the school's name to The Pennsylvania State University, and the University developed rapidly under his successor Eric A. Walker. Under Walker's leadership (1956-1970,) the University acquired hundreds of acres of surrounding land, and enrollment nearly tripled. In addition, in 1967, the Hershey Medical Center, a college of medicine and hospital, was established with a US$50 million gift from the Hershey Trust Company. In the 1970s, The Pennsylvania State University became a state-related institution. As such, it now belongs to the Commonwealth System of Higher Education, and is not part of the fully public Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. In recent years, Penn State's role as a leader in education in Pennsylvania has become welldefined. In 1989, the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport joined ranks with the University, and in 1997, so did the Dickinson School of Law. The University is now the largest in Pennsylvania, and in 2003, it was credited with having the second-largest impact on the state economy of any organization, generating an economic effect of over $6 billion on a budget of US$2.5 billion. To offset the lack of funding due to the limited growth in state appropriations to Penn State, the University has concentrated its efforts on philanthropy
(2003 marked the end of the Grand Destiny campaign—a seven-year effort that raised over US$1.3 billion).
Campuses and colleges
The largest of Penn State's 24 campuses, University Park, is almost entirely within the boundaries of State College borough, a site chosen to be near the geographic center of the state. With an acceptance rate of 51 percent, it is the most selective campus in the Penn State system, due primarily to the fact that students select University Park as their first-choice campus at a far greater rate than Penn State's other undergraduate campuses. During the fall 2006 semester, 36,612 undergraduate students and 6,302 graduate students were enrolled at University Park. Of those, 45.2 percent were female and 25.5 percent were not Pennsylvania residents.
The University Park campus is organized into 13 distinct "colleges":
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
College of Agricultural Sciences College of Arts and Architecture Smeal College of Business College of Communications Penn State Dickinson School of Law College of Earth and Mineral Sciences College of Education College of Engineering College of Health and Human Development College of Information Sciences and Technology College of the Liberal Arts Eberly College of Science Graduate School Schreyer Honors College
In addition, the Penn State Board of Trustees voted in January 2007 to create a School of International Affairs, with the first classes admitted in the fall 2008 semester. The school is part of the Dickinson School of Law at its University Park campus location. As of 2008 the College of Nursing has been added to the list as a separate college.
In addition to the University Park campus, 19 campus locations throughout the state offer enrollment for undergraduate students. Over 60 percent of Penn State first-year students begin their education at a location other than University Park. All of these smaller campuses offer a limited number of degree programs, but any student in good academic standing is guaranteed a spot at University Park to finish his or her degree if required or desired. Most students do complete their degree program at University Park (known as "change of
assignment," since Penn State campuses are not independently operated and therefore "transferring" is an inaccurate term).
The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University was founded in 1834 and is the oldest law school in Pennsylvania. It merged with Penn State in 2000. Students now have the choice of studying in either Carlisle or University Park, with classes teleconferenced between the two locations using high-tech audiovisual equipment. The school is ranked among the top 100 law schools nationally, and has produced a number of governors, members of congress, and judges. A number of high profile attorneys comprise the faculty and lead several centers and institutes devoted to specific practice areas. The school's alternative dispute resolution program is ranked among the top 10 nationally. The law school also houses the School of International Affairs. Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies is a special mission campus offering master's degrees, master's certification, and continuing professional education. Located in Malvern, Pa., it also offers classes at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Penn State Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa., is Penn State's medical school and teaching hospital. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has become only the ninth hospital in the United States and 16th worldwide to implant the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart when a 60-year-old man suffering from endstage heart failure received the device in May, 2008. Pennsylvania College of Technology, in Williamsport, Pa., offers certificates as well as degrees in over 10 technical fields. In 1998, the University launched Penn State World Campus, or Penn State online, which offers over 50 online education programs, degrees, and certificates. Distance education has a long history at Penn State, which was one of the first universities in the country to offer a correspondence course for remote farmers in 1892. Examples of online programs include a master's in homeland security and public health preparedness, a bachelor of science in nursing, a master's in business administration, and certificates in applied statistics and economic and community development. Penn State's World Campus offers nine graduate degrees, 16 graduate certificates, 13 undergraduate degrees, and 16 undergraduate certificates. World Campus students come from 50 U.S. states, 43 countries, and seven continents.
Penn State is a "state-related" university, part of Pennsylvania's Commonwealth System of Higher Education. As such, although it receives funding from the Commonwealth and is connected to the state through its board of trustees, it is otherwise independent and not subject to the state's direct control. For the 2006-2007 fiscal year, Penn State received 9.7 percent of its budget from state appropriations, the lowest of the four state-related institutions in Pennsylvania. Initial reports concerning the 2007-2008 fiscal year indicate that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is recommending a 1.6 percent increase in state appropriations. Penn State's appropriation request, submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education in September, requested a 6.8 percent increase in funding.
Board of Trustees
The university is governed by the 32-member board of trustees. Its members include the president of the University, the Governor of the Commonwealth, and the state Secretaries of Agriculture, Education, and Conservation and natural resources. The other members include six trustees appointed by the Governor, nine elected by alumni, and six elected by Pennsylvania agricultural societies. Six additional trustees are elected by a board representing business and industry enterprises. The current chair of the board of trustees is James S. Broadhurst, a 1965 graduate of Penn State and CEO of Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, Inc. The main responsibilities of the board are to select the president of Penn State, to determine the goals and strategic direction of the University, and to approve the annual budget. Regular meetings of the board are held bi-monthly and take place primarily on the University Park campus, although on occasion meetings are held at other locations within the Commonwealth.
The president of the University is selected by the board and is given the authority for actual control of the university, including day-to-day management. In practice, this responsibility is delegated by the president to other departments of the administration, to the faculty, or to the student body. The current president of the university is Graham Spanier. The executive vice president and provost is the chief academic officer of the University. The current provost is Rodney Erickson. The Associate Vice President and Senior Associate Dean For Undergraduate Education is Jeremy Cohen.
According to a recent survey by USA Today, Penn State's "flagship" campus, University Park, has the highest in-state tuition rates among comparable institutions nationwide. While a task force formed in 2001 to study options for tuition projections determined that the University's operating efficiency is among the highest in postsecondary education, it found that tuition increases at Penn State still consistently outpaced increases at other Big Ten Conference institutions. Student leaders of The Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG) have led annual rallies to lower rate hikes at each of the 19 commonwealth campuses and at the Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg. In 2005, the board of trustees proposed a tuition freeze at the undergraduate campus locations (except University Park) as part of its state appropriation request.
As of February 2007, only 23 Pennsylvania colleges and universities held AACSB accreditation in business and accounting. The Smeal College of Business, The Sam and Irene Black School of Business, Penn State Harrisburg, and Penn State Great Valley were among the institutions accredited.
Penn State offers an accelerated Premedical-Medical Program in cooperation with Jefferson Medical College. Students in the program spend two or three years at Penn State before attending medical school at Jefferson. Over 10,000 students are enrolled in the University's graduate school, and over 70,000 degrees have been awarded since the school was founded in 1922.
During the 2006 fiscal year, Penn State's research budget totaled US$638 million, 56 percent of which was funded by federal agencies including the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. National Science Foundation reports indicate that in 2004 (the latest year that figures were available), Penn State ranked ninth in the country in terms of research expenditures. The University is also supported by private industry, ranking second nationwide in terms of research funding from that sector. The Applied Research Lab (ARL), located near the University Park campus, has been a research partner with the United States Department of Defense since 1945 and conducts research primarily in support of the United States Navy. It is the largest component of Penn State's research efforts statewide, with over 1,000 researchers and other staff members. The Materials Research Institute was created to coordinate the highly diverse and growing materials activities across Penn State’s sprawling main campus. With more than 200 faculty in 15 departments, 4 colleges, and 2 Department of Defense research laboratories, MRI was designed to break down the academic walls that traditionally divide disciplines and thereby enable faculty to collaborate across departmental and even college boundaries. MRI has become a model for this interdisciplinary approach to research, both within and outside the university. Penn State was one of the founding members of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), a partnership that includes 17 research-led universities in the United States, Asia and Europe. The network provides funding, facilitates collaboration between universities, and coordinates exchanges of faculty members and graduate students among institutions. Penn State president Graham Spanier is a former vice-chair of the WUN. The Pennsylvania State University Libraries were ranked 14th among research libraries in North America in the most recent annual survey released by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The University's library system began with a 1,500-book library in Old Main, which has grown to 4.8 million volumes, in addition to 500,000 maps, five million microforms, and 160,000 films and videos. The campus is also host to a Radiation Science & Engineering Center, which houses the oldest operating university research reactor.
Penn State's mascot is the Nittany Lion. The school's official colors were originally black and pink. Penn State participates in the NCAA Division I-A and in the Big Ten Conference for 5
most sports. A few sports participate in different conferences: men's volleyball in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA); men's lacrosse in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC); women's lacrosse in American Lacrosse conference; and hockey (American Collegiate Hockey Association). The fencing teams operate as independents. In 2010, the men's lacrosse team will join the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Athletic teams at Penn State have won 64 national collegiate team championships (36 NCAA, 2 consensus Division I football titles, 6 AIAW, 3 USWLA, 1 WIBC, and 4 national titles in boxing, 11 in men's soccer and one in wrestling in years prior to NCAA sponsorship). There have been another 53 national collegiate championships, by either individuals or club teams. The 36 NCAA Championships ranks eighth all time in NCAA Division I, and is the most of any Big Ten school. The most recent championships were when Women's Rugby, Men's Gymnastics, Men's/Women's Fencing, Women's Volleyball in 2007, Men's Volleyball, and Women's Volleyball in 2008 and Men's/Women's Fencing in 2009 won their respective national titles. Since joining the Big Ten in 1991, Penn State teams have won 48 regular season conference titles and 11 tournament titles, including eleven consecutive titles in women's soccer (second longest streak in Big Ten athletic history), and six straight in women's volleyball (the longest streak in Big Ten volleyball history). Penn State has one of the most successful overall athletic programs in the country, as evidenced by the University's top 25 finish in the NACDA Director's Cup every year since the ranking's inception 15 years ago. The Director's Cup is a list compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics that charts institutions' overall success in college sports. In the history of the Directors’ Cup, the Nittany Lions have finished in the top 10 eight times and the top five four times. In 1999, Sporting News named Penn State as the country's best overall athletic program, citing its consistent and wide-ranging athletic successes along with its athletes' long-standing tradition of excelling in the classroom. Penn State placed 6th in Sports Illustrated's top 25 rankings for athletic success for the 2007-08 academic year, the highest of any Big Ten school. Penn State student-athletes receive academic honors that often far exceed those awarded to other Division 1-A schools. In the 2007-08 academic year, a school record 261 Penn State Student-Athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. Penn State leads the Big Ten with 3,069 selections. Despite widespread success in the overall athletic program, however, the school is best known for its football team, which draws a very large following. Penn State's Beaver Stadium has the largest seating capacity (over 107,282) of any stadium in the nation, slightly ahead of Michigan Stadium, whose seating capacity was reduced following litigation regarding the number of handicapped seats in the stadium. The football team is led by legendary coach Joe Paterno, who at 81 is in his 43rd year as head coach (as of the 2008 season). Joe Paterno is in a constant race with Bobby Bowden, the head coach for Florida State, for the most wins ever in Division I-A (now the FBS) history. Currently, Paterno has 383 total career wins. He was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The University opened a new Penn State All-Sports Museum in February 2002. This twolevel 10,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) museum is located inside Beaver Stadium. During Penn
State home football games, State College becomes the third most populous city in Pennsylvania, surpassed only by Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. In addition to the school funded athletics, club sports also play a major role in the University, with over 64 club sport organizations meeting regularly to date. One such team is the Penn State Ski Team, which competes as part of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) in the Allegheny Conference. Some other clubs include baseball, squash, karate, crew and sailing. Penn State's most well-known athletic cheer is "We are...Penn State." Typically, the students and cheerleaders shout "We are," followed by a response of "Penn State" from the rest of the fans. This is typically done three or four times, and followed by "Thank you..." "... you're welcome!" when completed. The cheer is by no means restricted to sporting events, as prospective students touring the campus (with the aid of either the Lion Scouts or Lion Ambassadors) will hear plenty of these chants from current students.
As of May 15, 2007, 667 student organizations were recognized at the University Park campus. In addition, Penn State has one of the largest Greek systems in the country, with approximately 12 percent of the University Park population affiliated. While each individual residence area at the University Park campus holds its own Student Government, the official on-campus residence Student Governnment is The Association of Residence Hall Students (ARHS). In additional to several ad-hoc committees, students serve as chairs and directors for many campus-wide functions, such as Channel 72, ARHS Cinemas, and Movin' On. ARHS's National Communications Chair (NCC), in conjunction with the National Residence Hall Honorary - Nittany Chapter (NRHH-Nittany), coordinates Penn State's representation at the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) and Central Atlantic Association of College and University Residence Halls (CAACURH) events every year. The official Commonwealth Campus Student Government of The Pennsylvania State University is the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG). CCSG meets typically 3 times a semester at University Park, with two representatives from each commonwealth campus. The executive board of CCSG is made up of University Park students dedicated to the commonwealth ideal of "One university, geographically dispersed." CCSG represents all students enrolled through Penn State. The official student advocacy group of Penn State-University Park is University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA). The UPUA has 35 elected representatives from every academic college council, on campus, off campus, Greek council, as well at large students. In addition it holds an Assembly, Executive branch, and a Board of Arbitration. Though not a governing body, UPUA holds a voice for the 40,000 students at University Park. The Penn State Glee Club, founded in 1888, is the oldest student organization on campus, and has reached a broad audience with their annual spring break tour, which has led them to many destinations around the globe. Another organization rich in history is the Penn State Thespians, who have performed theatre at University Park since 1898, and are the oldest continuously-active student-run organization on campus (the Glee Club having been 7
temporarily suspended during the Second World War). Additionally, the Penn State Blue Band, founded in 1899, performs during halftime at football games and at other university functions, and was honored with the Sudler Trophy in 2005. The Trophy, which has been presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation since 1982, is regarded as the nation's highest accolade for collegiate bands. Penn State is also home to the Paranormal Research Society (PRS), which has earned national media attention over the past few years. The A&E Network recently announced that it is developing a national reality series with the group and University, entitled Paranormal State. Parts of the series will be filmed on campus.
The student-run newspaper is The Daily Collegian. It is published every weekday while classes are in session. Since the summer of 1996, the traditional paper publication has been supplemented by an online edition, known as The Digital Collegian. In addition, Penn State's newspaper readership program provides free copies of USA Today, The New York Times and as of fall 2009, The Wall Street Journal, as well as local and regional newspapers depending on the campus location (for example, the Centre Daily Times in University Park). This program, initiated by President Graham Spanier in 1997, has since been modeled by nearly 400 other universities across the country. The student-run organization for yearbooks is named La Vie. La Vie 1987 won the highest recognition given by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association to a student print or online medium for overall excellence, the Gold Crown Award. The La Vie 1987 editor-in-chief was David Beagin. The student-run radio station is The LION 90.7 fm (WKPS-FM). Founded in 1995 as a replacement for Penn State's original student radio station WDFM, The LION broadcasts from the ground floor of the HUB-Robeson Center, serving the Penn State and State College communities with alternative music and talk programming, including live coverage of home Penn State football games. The LION's signal can be heard in the greater State College area at 90.7 FM and anywhere in the world via its live 24/7 webstream at www.theLION.fm. The LION's programming grid can be found at www.thelion.fm/shows/. Among the station's most popular shows is its long-running public affairs program, Radio Free Penn State, hosted by Andy Nagypal, which airs weekdays from 5-6pm Eastern. In addition, the Penn State College of Communications operates ComRadio. It was founded in the spring of 2003 as an internet-based audio laboratory and co-curricular training environment for aspiring student broadcasters. ComRadio is most well known for its coverage of most major Penn State sporting events. ComRadio also airs student-produced Penn State news. Other programming includes student talk shows, political coverage, AP syndicated news and soft rock music. The student-run humor magazine is Phroth, which publishes two to four issues each year. Phroth's roots date back to 1909 when it was called Froth. Several Froth writers and editors have gone on to win fame: Julius J. Epstein wrote the screenplay for Casablanca and won three Academy Awards; Jimmy Dugan wrote for the Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic and The New York Times; and Rondald Bonn was a producer with NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News. Kalliope is an undergraduate literary magazine produced by 8
students and sponsored by the Penn State English Department. Kalliope includes works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art. 'The student-run life and style magazine is Valley.
Alumni and notable people
Established in 1870, nine years after Penn State's first commencement exercises, the Penn State Alumni Association has the stated mission "to connect alumni to the University and to each other, provide valuable benefits to members and support the University's mission of teaching, research and service." The Alumni Association supports a number of educational and extracurricular missions of Penn State through financial support and is the network that connects alumni through over 280 "alumni groups," many of which are designated based on geographical, academic, or professional affiliation. As of 2006, the Alumni Association counts 453,346 members within the United States, with an additional 6,277 in countries around the globe. About half the United States alumni reside in Pennsylvania, primarily in the urban areas of Philadelphia (and the surrounding counties), the Pittsburgh Area and in the Centre County region surrounding State College, although alumni can be found in almost every region of the country and abroad. About 34 percent of United States alumni and 21 percent of international alumni are members of the Alumni Association. With membership totaling 154,688, the Penn State Alumni Association is the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world, a distinction it has held since 1995. Since 2001, Penn State, along with all schools in the Big Ten, has participated in the "Big Ten Challenge" website, which is a "competitive" clearinghouse of alumni donation statistics for member schools. Results are tracked to determine a percentage of each school's alumni from the previous decade who gave to their alma mater each calendar year (for example, during the 2005-2006 year, alumni donations from 1996 to 2005 were tallied). With the exception of 2005-2006, when Penn State fell to second behind Northwestern University, Penn State has won the challenge each year since its inception.