Penn State’s Board of Trustees today (Sept. 14) received an update on the ongoing work to review and implement the recommendations set forth in Judge Louis Freeh’s July report. The board and University leadership are considering each of the report’s 119 recommendations, designed to strengthen policies and performance in areas such as safety; the identification and reporting of misconduct at Penn State; and University governance.
David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business/treasurer, said more than a dozen of the report's recommendations have been substantially addressed and efforts on many more are well under way. Changes already implemented by University leadership include hiring a full-time Clery compliance coordinator and providing Clery Act training for employees; instituting a new policy to limit access to athletic facilities; providing additional resources for the University's Athletic Compliance Office; and restructuring the Board of Trustees to ensure stronger governance of the University and more communication with constituencies, among other actions.
Monthly status reports on the implementation of the recommendations will be posted on the University’s Progress website at http://progress.psu.edu/. The first report will be available before the end of September.
Penn State Board of Trustees Chairman Karen Peetz made the following remarks during the Board's regular meeting on Friday, Sept. 14, at the Nittany Lion Inn.
Good afternoon everyone.
It is good to see our campuses, here in State College and throughout the Commonwealth, are once again abuzz with the activity we are all dedicated to: educating students.
As I noted in my report at the last Trustees’ meeting, much enthusiasm, optimism and pride are in evidence.
Our common theme, our rallying cry, “We Are Penn State,” is in the hearts and minds of our students once again as they focus on their university life.
One instance of such pride and enthusiasm is especially worth noting. It illustrates what is meant, when we all say, “We Are Penn State.”
A University campaign is shining a light on the countless outstanding and exceptional individuals that comprise the Penn State community.
To highlight and celebrate their stories, Faces of Penn State aims to showcase the personal accomplishments, public contributions and pioneering spirit resulting from the Penn State experience, education and community.
The people chosen for Faces of Penn State embody Penn State's values of teaching, research and service and may have achieved significant personal or professional achievements. They are students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and local community members whose accomplishments and achievements leave their communities and the world at large a better place.
Penn State University announced today that it reached agreement with the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference on the terms of the Athletics Integrity Agreement required under the Consent Decree. The Athletics Integrity Agreement (AIA) provides for the establishment of a program by the University that includes: the adoption of the recommendations contained in the Freeh Report; appointment of an Athletics Integrity Officer and Athletics Integrity Council. The AIA also includes internal and external accountability measures and certifications; implementation or updating of the University's Code of Conduct ; training and education and a disclosure program.
The AIA, which goes into effect immediately, can be found here.
The AIA provides for the appointment of an independent third party monitor to oversee the University's compliance and the systems, processes and procedures in place to comply with the NCAA constitution, bylaws, rules and regulations, as well as the Big Ten's rules and regulations. Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell will serve as the independent monitor.
“Penn State is a world-class institution that prides itself on excellence in academics and athletics,” said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. “We pledge to work with Senator Mitchell to meet the terms of the Agreement and emerge from this process as a model for compliance.”
On the final day of a two-day retreat (Aug. 26), Penn State trustees discussed the pending search for a new University president to replace Rodney Erickson when he retires in less than two years. The search is expected to start in earnest in early 2013.
Erickson, who took over in November as Penn State’s 17th president, is expected to retire on or before June 30 2014, as was announced previously. Since the search for a university president is generally a lengthy process, plans for naming several special committees to outline procedures and establish criteria and qualifications of candidates will begin soon, according to Trustee James Broadhurst, chairman of the board’s Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning.