Senator George J. Mitchell and his law firm, DLA Piper LLP (US), announced that today he has delivered his first quarterly report as the independent athletics integrity monitor under the athletics integrity agreement dated August 28, 2012 among The Pennsylvania State University, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the Big Ten Conference.
The first report describes Penn State’s progress during the initial 90-day period under the AIA in implementing both the integrity program required by the AIA and recommendations for reform that were set forth in the July 2012 report by Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP. The Freeh report concerned allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Gerald A. Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State. The monitor’s report concludes that Penn State has made significant progress in implementing the required reforms during this initial period while also recognizing that much work remains to be done.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State today (Nov. 28) released details of former President Graham Spanier’s compensation for calendar year 2011, including a severance package established in his earlier employment agreement and triggered by his removal from office on Nov. 9, 2011.
The University reported total taxable income for Spanier of $3,255,762 in 2011. This includes his $700,000 annual salary; and $82,557 of taxable benefits, as well as non-recurring compensation of $2,473,205 that Spanier was contractually entitled to under the terms of his 2010 employment agreement. Such non-recurring compensation includes contractually entitled severance payments of $1,225,000 and $1,248,205 of deferred compensation earned over Spanier's 16-plus years as University president. Actual payment of the net amount of the deferred compensation after required tax withholdings ($860,637) will be deferred until June 2017.
The severance package also will be included in information provided in the University’s Right to Know form to be filed with the state in May 2013.
Penn State officials today provided the second update on the 119 recommendations made to the University in a report by the Freeh Group, noting that more than one-half of the recommendations have been completed to date. The number of completed recommendations includes several that are categorized as “Ongoing/Continuous,” signifying that by their nature, the University’s response to such recommendations will be ongoing.
“We continue to make great progress in assessing and implementing the Freeh report recommendations,” said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. “I’m pleased with the strong collaboration that has been demonstrated across all of our departments and proud that in just four months, we have been able to complete half of the recommendations.”
The 119 Freeh recommendations were made as a result of an independent internal investigation performed by Louis Freeh in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal of former retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The recommendations are intended to strengthen University policies and performance in areas such as safety and governance. As officials have previously noted, each of the recommendations has been assigned to one or more individuals within the University administration for review, analysis and possible implementation, and each area will receive oversight and progress monitoring by one of the standing committees of the Board of Trustees. University officials have said they intend to implement the Freeh recommendations by the end of 2013.
A complete update of status and actions Penn State has taken based on the recommendations is available here and will be updated monthly.
Penn State’s Clery compliance coordinator, Gabriel Gates, said the University “strives to exceed the requirements of the Clery Act,” a federal law related to campus safety, during a presentation today (Nov. 16) to the Board of Trustees.
“We aim to build a higher education community standard of excellence,” Gates said about his work providing administrative and advisory support to senior management and the University-wide community. “We attempt to create an open and proactive forum that will raise awareness of campus safety initiatives and crime prevention techniques.”
The Clery Act requires all higher education institutions in the country to disclose certain information about campus crime and security policies. This includes issuing campus alerts, publishing annual security reports, disclosing missing student protocols, maintaining a daily crime log and a daily fire log, and publishing an annual fire report, Gates said.
Penn State’s Board of Trustees today (Nov. 16) approved a code of conduct for intercollegiate athletics, as required by the Athletics Integrity Agreement entered into by the University, the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference as part of the consent decree imposed by the NCAA and accepted by the University. The code brings together policies and procedures that already in place at the University.
The code of conduct applies to all coaches, managers and student-athletes of NCAA-sanctioned Division I intercollegiate athletics teams; University employees directly involved with intercollegiate athletics teams; the University Board of Trustees; the President of the University; and all members of the athletic director’s executive committee.
The purpose of the code “is to serve as a guidepost to direct the ethical bearing of the athletics department.” It was drafted to reflect the athletics department’s mission, vision and core values of integrity, respect and honor, as well as the Penn State Principles, a document shared with the entire University community that spells out the values that Penn State embraces.
All covered individuals under the code must comply with University policies and procedures; the Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Manual; applicable NCAA constitution and bylaws and Big Ten Handbook; and all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Additionally, all those covered by the code must report through designated methods suspected violations of policies and rules.