UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State is continuing to successfully carry forward initiatives launched in response to the recommendations of the Freeh Report, according to the ninth quarterly report tracking Penn State's progress in meeting the goals of the Athletics Integrity Agreement (AIA) signed by Penn State, the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference. The complete text of the report, including information about actions Penn State has taken, is available at https://www.dlapiper.com/~/media/Files/Insights/Publications/2014/12/NCAAMonitorsNinthQuarterlyReport.pdf.
U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who was named by the NCAA as the independent monitor for Penn State to oversee the AIA, has provided quarterly updates to the University and general public on the University’s compliance with the agreement. In the most recent report, Mitchell said, "Penn State's administration has remained fully cooperative (with the monitoring process) throughout this time."
During the past quarter, Mitchell’s team made multiple visits to Penn State’s University Park campus to meet with a wide array of university administrators and other leaders, and several councils and working groups.
Among activities reviewed by Mitchell during this reporting quarter:
-- Penn State released the results of the Penn State Values and Culture Survey, conducted to better understand the University’s core values and culture.
-- The University released a draft statement of values, generated as part of the Values and Culture Survey process. The report cited continuing efforts in this area to socialize the draft statement of values.
-- The Office of Ethics and Compliance continued to work with stakeholders across the university to address new legislation passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly that will affect multiple Penn State policies and procedures and to deliver training on the protection of minors on campus.
-- Penn State continued to implement the remaining outstanding long-term Freeh Report recommendations, including the adoption of a Human Resources Information System (“HRIS”), and the institution of physical security measures at athletic and recreational facilities.
-- The Office of Ethics and Compliance also continued in its work to develop and publish a code of responsible conduct, and to adopt a new policy on gifts and entertainment, and hired a specialist who will coordinate and oversee applicable training programs across the University.
-- Athletics Integrity Officer Julie Del Giorno conducted quarterly meetings of the Athletics Integrity Council and with the Big Ten Conference as required by the AIA, with a continued focus on developing and delivering training and education to student-athletes concerning ethics and integrity.
-- Adoption of governance changes by the Penn State Board of Trustees on Nov. 14.
Members of Mitchell’s teams also attended meetings of the Board of Trustees in September, October and November; met with members of the Advisory Council for Continued Excellence; met with the president’s Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Task Force; and participated in meetings related to the continued implementation of security measures at athletic and recreational facilities.
“This reporting period, we observed progress in effecting governance reform, promulgation of Penn State’s new values statement and Code of Responsible Conduct, implementation of facilities security projects, attention and adherence to the AIA, the continued expansion of the Office of Ethics and Compliance, and efforts to bring Penn State’s child abuse policies into conformity with new Pennsylvania laws taking effect on Dec. 31, 2014,” Mitchell said.
In the coming quarter, Mitchell’s team will monitor the implementation of required changes to policies, procedures and trainings related to child abuse and background check obligations. Among other areas of focus will be ongoing efforts to develop an ethical decision-making model and to socialize the new Penn State values; implement the forthcoming recommendations of the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Task Force; and further develop the University’s compliance office.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State officials reported today (July 17) on the rapid implementation of all but one of the 119 changes recommended in a report compiled by independent investigator and federal Judge Louis Freeh in the aftermath of the child sexual abuse committed by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
The Board of Trustees commissioned Freeh to look into the situation and identify ways to improve Penn State’s responses in the areas of safety and governance and to ensure the highest moral standards and integrity in academics and athletics. The Freeh Report, issued on July 12, 2012 , has resulted in 118 changes ranging from restructuring the governance of its Board of Trustees to expanding the University's Office of Human Resources, while expanding legal and risk reporting protocols.
While 115 of the recommendations are listed as complete, by their nature these changes are actually ongoing and continuous. For example, one recommendation asks that the University continue to benchmark its practices and policies with other similarly situated institutions and to focus on continuous improvement. Initial actions have been taken and these recommendations will continue to receive attention from the Administration Response Team, the Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees.
A complete status update on actions taken is available here.
The Freeh Report was produced by independent law firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan, which was hired in November 2011 and investigated the University's response to the allegations against Sandusky.
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.
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.
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.