Discussions about changes in the governance of Penn State were part of both committee meetings and the regular meeting of the University’s Board of Trustees on Jan. 17 and 18 on the University Park campus. James Broadhurst, chairman of the Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning for the board, made the following statement in relation to recommendations for enhancing governance:
"As part of an ongoing effort to improve governance, the Board of Trustees has been considering reforms to strengthen its ability to act as stewards of the University. In addition to internal deliberations and review, the board has heard from several stakeholders and outside experts on best practices for governance. Trustees take all of these insights very seriously and appreciate a collaborative point of view.
As directed by the chairman of the Board, the Governance Committee is conducting a comprehensive review of these insights and then, over the course of the next two board meetings, will develop a specific set of reform recommendations to present to the Board of Trustees for action. These recommendations will be made public at that time.
The Governance Committee and the entire Board of Trustees recognize the need for meaningful reform and are committed to establishing a structure that addresses the needs of our students, faculty, staff and alumni."
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett today (Jan. 2) announced the filing of a federal lawsuit by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania against the NCAA over its sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Penn State is not a party to the lawsuit and has not been involved in its preparation or filing.
University officials said, "The University is committed to full compliance with the Consent Decree, the Athletics Integrity Agreement and, as appropriate, the implementation of the Freeh report recommendations. We look forward to continuing to work with Sen. George Mitchell as the athletic integrity monitor for complete fulfillment of the Athletics Integrity Agreement. We recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider University community. Penn State continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to excellence and integrity in all aspects of our University and continues to be a world-class educational institution of which our students, faculty, staff and alumni can be justifiably proud."
The University announced today, December 21, 2012, that the settlement process initiated by the University with the assistance of Kenneth R. Feinberg and Michael K. Rozen would continue into 2013. “This is a highly complex and sensitive matter that we are committed to completing in a fair, responsible and timely manner” said President Rodney A. Erickson. “We are pleased with the progress so far and remain hopeful that the process will result in settlement of many of the civil cases so that the victims will not have to be drawn through the legal process.”
“Michael and I are encouraged by the constructive dialogue that we have had with various Penn State representatives and lawyers involved in these cases,” said Feinberg. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to help the parties reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the claims.”
Further discussions among the parties and Feinberg Rozen are scheduled for January.
Today (Dec. 20), at the NCAA’s request, Penn State set aside the first $12 million installment of the $60 million fine imposed by the NCAA into a money market account. The deposit into the account will allow sufficient time for the NCAA’s Child Sexual Abuse Endowment Task Force to develop policy recommendations that will govern the structure and operational philosophies of the endowment to be created related to the Consent Decree. The Child Sexual Abuse Endowment Task Force, chaired by University of California-Riverside Chancellor Tim White, will choose a third-party administrator sometime this spring, which will be responsible for the long-term management of the endowment, including the awarding of dollars to programs through the life of the endowment.
This first payment was made by the Athletics Department through an internal loan from the University’s reserves and carries an interest rate of 4 percent for 30 years. Interest rates and loan durations for the future payments to the endowment will not be determined until each payment is made year-by-year, and will based on interest rates in effect at the time of disbursement and other conditions.
The University community is reminded that concerns related to financial, human resources, athletics, research and affirmative action issues can be filed anonymously 24 hours a day, seven days a week to Compliance Concepts Inc. (CCI) at 800-560-1637 or www.mycompliancereport.com/brand/psu.
Notifications of reports received by CCI are sent to the University's Office of Internal Audit for review. Financial matters are investigated by the Office of Internal Audit, and non-financial matters are directed to the appropriate University department for action. Included in the area of athletic issues are matters related to the Athletics Integrity Agreement and any of the areas listed in that agreement with respect to Athletic Department policies and procedure, NCAA constitution and bylaws, the Big Ten handbook, and matters related to the principles regarding institutional control, responsibility, ethical conduct and integrity. This system also allows for University personnel investigating the concern to ask questions of the person making the report. All reports are thoroughly investigated until there is a final resolution and resolutions are issued through CCI's secure online system.
The use of CCI's services allows for the anonymity of the individual reporting the concerns to maintain an ethical workplace without fear of retaliation. At the same time, it allows the pertinent details of the concern to be fully investigated by the University and corrective action to be taken if needed. Individuals are assigned a unique code that will allow them to follow up to determine the outcome of their concern or to provide additional information if they choose to do so.