Penn State’s defense spending, education funding and jobs

By Matt Flegel-MuellerAssociated PressAssociated PressAUGUSTA, Ga.

(AP) The University of Pennsylvania has hired an outside law firm to examine whether its university’s law school is subject to state restrictions that prohibit colleges and universities from participating in a lawsuit over the death of a student.

The firm hired by the university on Monday, the University of Delaware, will review whether the law school’s board of trustees has met a deadline to issue new guidance that would require universities to provide students with a copy of a birth certificate, the university said in a statement.

The university also said it will conduct an analysis to determine whether the board of trustee is meeting its statutory obligation to provide the documents.

Penn State, which is a private university, has faced criticism over its handling of a report that found the university violated state law by failing to follow policies and procedures for handling reports of sexual assault and harassment.

The report, released in October, sparked a wave of criticism at Penn State and led to resignations of some university leaders.

It was the latest in a string of reports by outside groups to paint a grim picture of the state of university life at the nation’s premier public school.

A survey last month by the nonprofit advocacy group the Center for Public Integrity found that just 5% of college and university leaders said they have taken action to improve the campus climate.

Pennsylvania has been under intense pressure to address the crisis of sexual violence on campus since the release of a new report by the Pennsylvania Commission on Campus Safety and Equity in December.

A year after the commission released its report, it found that students and staff at the state’s four public colleges and more than 1,000 universities are more likely to be sexually assaulted or harassed on campus than any other state.