The University today (March 26) provided another update on the progress being made in meeting most of the 119 recommendations spelled out in a report by the Freeh Group, a consultant group hired in November 2011 to conduct an independent investigation of the University's response to allegations of sexual abuse committed by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Led by former FBI director and federal Judge Louis Freeh, the investigation identified 119 recommendations to improve Penn State's responses in the areas of safety and governance. To date, the University has implemented a majority of those recommendations, with a substantial portion being completed or in the works. The University intends to have all appropriate Freeh recommendations completed by the end of 2013.
Penn State officials have posted a complete status update here that provides changes and steps forward through March 21, 2013. Currently, 70.5 percent of the recommendations made by Judge Freeh have been accomplished. This includes recommendations that are categorized as “Ongoing/Continuous,” indicating that the University’s response and management of such matters will be ongoing.
The NBC TODAY show Monday (March 25) aired portions of a telephone interview from prison with former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted in June 2012 on 45 counts of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in solitary confinement. The University has issued the following statement in reaction to the Today show segment:
"Jerry Sandusky's statements today continue to open wounds for his victims, and the victims of child sexual abuse everywhere. We have tremendous respect for the men who came forward to tell their stories publicly. Penn State continues to take important steps, including the training of over 11,000 employees and volunteers on how to recognize and report suspected child abuse."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Following a national search, Penn State has named Regis W. Becker as its first director of University ethics and compliance. In this role, he will oversee all compliance issues throughout the University and develop Penn State's first comprehensive program of institutional ethics.
Becker will report to the Legal and Compliance Committee of the Board of Trustees and to David Gray, senior vice president for finance and business.
"Regis Becker's range of distinguished experience in corporate compliance, security and law enforcement makes him the ideal person to implement and oversee clear, comprehensive and exemplary principles and procedures for the University," Penn State President Rod Erickson said. "As I noted when announcing this position, Regis will have oversight of compliance with all federal, state and local laws, as well as internal policies and external organization policies, while encouraging the highest ethical standards of conduct for those who represent the University and act on its behalf."
"I believe my capabilities will serve Penn State well as it works to strengthen its overall institutional commitment to integrity and transparency," Becker said. "The experience I have gained throughout my career provides me with a broad practical perspective and an in-depth understanding of the critical role that a robust ethics and compliance program can play in bolstering and sustaining an organization’s culture and values. I look forward to continuing my work as a compliance leader in service to this great institution."
Becker is currently chief compliance officer for PPG Industries, a global Fortune 250 company with headquarters in Pittsburgh. After joining PPG in 1992, Becker advanced through a series of corporate security and risk management roles to earn oversight of all global compliance efforts in 2009. He heads the company’s global ethics and compliance program, with responsibility for developing and updating a global code of ethics, oversight of related training and certification for the company’s nearly 40,000 employees, and supervision of compliance auditing and monitoring efforts. He also manages the company’s crisis response unit, which ensures PPG sets appropriate protocols and follows them to quickly mitigate external and internal threats and events.
His prior experience includes work as an FBI special agent, as a detective in the Allegheny County, Pa., district attorney's white-collar crime unit and as a corporate security director with Union Carbide Corp. and Praxair. A 1978 Penn State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, Becker earned his juris doctorate from the Duquesne University School of Law in 1983.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Sen. George Mitchell, the independent third-party athletics integrity monitor for Penn State, today (March 1) issued his second quarterly report regarding the University's performance under the Athletics Integrity Agreement, which was entered into in August by the University, the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference as part of the consent decree imposed by the NCAA.
“This report continues to evidence Penn State’s ongoing commitment to integrity, responsibility and ethical conduct, as well as the significant progress that Penn State has made and continues to make since July,” said University President Rodney Erickson. “We still have more to do, but we’re gratified that Sen. Mitchell and his team recognize all that we have done and that we are committed to continuing these efforts, in full compliance with the consent decree and the Athletics Integrity Agreement.”
Mitchell's position as athletics integrity monitor was established by the Athletics Integrity Agreement, a document that contains a number of prescriptive measures designed to ensure Penn State continues to meet all applicable NCAA and Big Ten rules and standards of integrity.Part of these measures called for the recent hire of Julie Del Giorno as Penn State's athletics integrity officer. On an ongoing basis, Del Giorno will be responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of policies and practices within Penn State's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics that ensure compliance and ethical conduct.
Sen. Mitchell's team will continue its independent evaluation of Penn State's activities and efforts under the Athletics Integrity Agreement and the NCAA consent decree. Mitchell's five-year appointment as the University's monitor began in August, and a report outlining actions taken is produced on a quarterly basis. Mitchell's previous update was issued on Nov. 30.
The complete text of the report and information about actions Penn State has taken is available at www.dlapiper.com.
In November 2011, the Penn State Board of Trustees appointed former FBI director and federal Judge Louis Freeh to conduct an independent investigation of the University's response to the allegations of sexual abuse committed by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The goal of this investigation was to uncover facts and identify where failures occurred in the University's governance and compliance structure and to make recommendations to help ensure that such failures never happen again. This was an internal investigation into Penn State's response to the allegations.
It was not within the scope of Judge Freeh's engagement to review the actions, motives or functions of entities outside of our University community. This was an internal investigation into Penn State's response to the allegations, and that is how the University has utilized the report.
As a result of the investigation, 119 recommendations were made to Penn State in areas such as safety and governance. To date, the University has implemented a majority of those recommendations, which are helping to make the University stronger and more accountable. The University intends to implement substantially all of the Freeh recommendations by the end of 2013.
It is understandable and appreciated that people will draw their own conclusions and opinions from the facts uncovered in the Freeh report.