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Task force sets timeline for endowment fund

By Michelle Brutlag Hosick

A task force created to set up the structure and policies for the endowment formed out of the $60 million NCAA-imposed fine against Penn State has begun formulating how the funds will be used.

The Child Sexual Abuse Endowment Task Force discussed the structure of the endowment, allocation philosophies and requirements for the planned third-party administrator at its in-person meeting on Dec. 3. Timothy P. White, chair of the task force and chancellor of UC Riverside, praised the task force for a productive session.

“Though the meeting was unavoidably delayed by weather, we made excellent progress. The group expects to have the endowment structured as soon as prudently possible,” White said. The initial in-person meeting of the group was scheduled for Oct. 29 but was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.

At the NCAA’s request, Penn State will set aside the first $12 million installment of the fine on Dec. 20 in a money market account to allow sufficient time for the task force to develop policy recommendations that will govern the endowment’s structure and operational philosophies. 

White said the task force members believe constructing the endowment in a thoughtful, careful and thorough way is necessary to properly invest the resources. 

“Creating an endowment is more complicated than opening up a bank account,” White said. “The task force must decide how the endowment will be structured and develop philosophies for allocation of funds, as well as create policies for investment and distribution of benefits. We also must consider reporting and accountability standards and choose a third-party administrator.” 

The organization chosen as the third-party administrator will be responsible for the long-term management of the endowment, including the awarding of dollars to programs through the life of the endowment.

The task force will make recommendations for the structure, philosophies and policies for the endowment to the NCAA Executive Committee in early 2013. Once the Executive Committee approves the policies, the task force will send a request for proposals from possible third-party endowment administrators. An administrator will be chosen by spring.

After the third-party administrator is selected, the NCAA Executive Committee’s involvement will be minimal. The task force’s work will end after the third-party administrator is identified.

The university has been exceedingly cooperative and understanding, White said.

“Penn State officials have handled this situation with the utmost professionalism and consideration,” he said. “We all want to work together to ensure the funds from this endowment will be used as they are intended, which is to assist programs designed to prevent child sexual abuse and help the victims of child sexual abuse nationwide.”