Penn State is a brand?
On NPR this morning, I listened to a short report about a session University leaders had with Penn State students. Apparently, a large number of erstwhile Nittany Lions are concerned that the value of their degree is diminishing even as we speak in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. Using a handy online tuition calculator, and what I believe are the out of state costs per credit hour, I came up with a walloping $63,840 in tuition costs alone for a shiny Turf Grass Bachelor of Science degree. Interestingly, a run-of-the-mill BS in Business costs the same.
So I suppose it's not out of line for PSU students to be concerned that the value of their degrees - in whatever discipline - could be tarnished by recent developments.
What stunned me though, was the sense of selfishness that came out of the report. I'm not naive enough to think that there isn't competition between University graduates or that certain degrees aren't considered more prestigious than others. I get that.
But every comment I heard was something along the lines of, "What are potential employers going to think when I trot out my Penn State degree in the interview?"
With the answer to that rhetorical question being, "You went to Penn State? Well, thank you for coming in to speak with us...we'll be in touch." Followed by the sound of their resume hitting the bottom of the garbage can as they left the building.
There are hiring managers in the workplace that would seriously hold the sins of Jerry Sandusky and the rogue's gallery of enablers at Penn State over its graduates' future? That would be like me interviewing Florida State graduates in the wake of the Free Shoes University scandals or academic cheating scandals by football players and calling them Criminoles. Granted, what Sandusky is alleged to have perpetrated is so far beyond comparably petty events that sports fans like to trot out when their team is winning...
But still; I'm not going to hire you because of some completely unrelated event that happened before you even attended the university?
The first thing that Acting Penn State President Rodney Erickson should've said when fielding the first few comments about student's concerns over their diminishing returns?
It's not about you - it's about the kids.