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Nearly 8,000 Penn State employees and volunteers have now attended the University's professional training program designed to help employees recognize and report suspected child abuse.
"As of Oct. 15, we have trained 7,963 employees and volunteers, including the University's Board of Trustees and senior leadership," said Susan Cromwell, director of workplace learning and performance in Penn State's Office of Human Resources. "We have 23 sessions on the calendar through December, and additional sessions still can be scheduled by units as needed."
Face-to-face training sessions began in April so the University could address an immediate need to train employees, also identified as "authorized adults," who would be working with children at numerous summer camps and workshops at University Park and other Penn State campuses across the commonwealth.
Penn State's Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Friday, Oct. 26, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel to consider a resolution to authorize a subcommittee of the Board to approve possible settlements of claims made against the University related to the crimes of Jerry Sandusky.
The special board meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. in room 108, will be preceded earlier in the day by an executive session at 4 p.m. Trustees can participate by phone or in person.
At the full board meeting, trustees will discuss giving the Subcommittee on Legal -- an arm of the board’s Committee on Legal and Compliance -- the authority to approve settlements that may be reached related to claims against the University by individuals alleging that Penn State is liable for injuries suffered in connection with sexual abuse by Sandusky. The former assistant coach was convicted on June 22 of the abuse of 10 boys and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
Penn State University’s credit rating through Standard & Poor’s remains AA. S&P noted the University’s strong performance track record indicating that “Penn State’s current credit metrics remain consistent within the rating category.” As such, the University remains among the top 40 public rated institutions in the country and maintains the same rating as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The University’s S&P outlook will be assessed again within the next two years.
The University is moving forward quickly to fulfill the requirements of the Athletics Integrity Agreement entered into in August among the NCAA, the Big Ten and the University. The agreement 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.
As part of the agreement, Penn State is currently searching for an athletics integrity officer to develop, implement and oversee policies and practices within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics that ensure compliance and ethical conduct. This new position will be in addition to the compliance officer already working within Intercollegiate Athletics. The integrity officer position will oversee compliance with obligations of integrity, civility, ethics and institutional control, according to Penn State President Rodney Erickson. The position is expected to report to the University-wide chief compliance officer, a position currently being filled by the University.
Penn State officials today provided an update on the 119 recommendations made to the University in a report by the Freeh Group, noting that more than one-third of the recommendations have been completed to date.
"There has been great collaboration and cooperation across all of our departments and organizations in addressing these recommendations," said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. "I'm very proud of our faculty, staff and students and look forward to continued progress. I am fully confident that Penn State will emerge stronger and serve as a model of compliance for universities across the nation."
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 that as they implement the Freeh recommendations, in instances where implementation is not appropriate, they will provide reasons for non-implementation. In addition, an Administrative Response Team comprising the senior vice president for Finance and Business; vice president and general counsel; and the senior vice president for administration will review any analysis, action plans and progress submitted. These same metrics will be reviewed by an advisory council that consists of a cross section of the University community, including students, faculty, administrators, deans, chancellors and staff. The council is overseen by Keith Masser, vice chair of Board.