The Penn State topic is way too complicated to sort out in a short email. (It may never be fully understood).
At one time I worked for a large construction company that had a good safety culture, yet when there was an issue of challenging a client on unsafe procedures the construction company always backed down. Folks had to scramble to generate workarounds to keep the folks healthy.
Is this an issue of culture? Certainly an issue of not wanting to upset the cash flow. In retrospect that would seem to be a culture also.
I would suspect that every safety professional at some time in their career has been asked to turn a blind eye to a practice or procedure that we knew was unsafe.
I know several that did.
Sadly I see one in the mirror every day.
I thought it was prudent to stay employed and I also thought I could save the day with some superhuman effort. Today I would not do it, but it is a different time and place.
A local charity that administers to battered spouses and children tells us that the general public is more prone to report animal abuse than human abuse.
Maybe the culture is much bigger than PSU.