Board receives update on response to Freeh recommendations

September 14, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- 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.

“The trustees have set the tone for an energetic and thorough response to the Freeh report,” said Gray, who, along with Vice President for Administration Tom Poole and General Counsel Steve Dunham, is leading a task force charged with coordinating the University administration’s response to the Freeh report. “We are working diligently to carefully consider each recommendation. Significant progress already has been made and we anticipate that the vast majority of the recommendations will be implemented over the course of the next year.”

Each of the recommendations has been assigned to one or more individuals in the University administration, and each will receive oversight and progress monitoring by one of the standing committees of the Board of Trustees. In addition, the University expects to retain an external firm that specializes in project management services to assist in the tracking and benchmarking of progress.

Also, the Freeh Report Advisory Council, established by Board Chairman Karen Peetz and Penn State President Rodney Erickson, will hold its inaugural meeting next week. Composed of representatives from the student body, the Faculty Senate, the Academic Leadership Council (deans and campus chancellors), staff, Intercollegiate Athletics and Penn State Hershey Medical Center, the council will meet on an ongoing basis to provide additional feedback and guidance as recommendations are considered and implemented.

“It is crucial that voices from all corners of the University community be heard throughout this process, and the Freeh Report Advisory Council will play an important role in that conversation,” said Gray. He said the administrative task force will continue to work in close coordination with the board and the advisory council.

In addition to steps outlined in the Freeh report, the University and the Board of Trustees previously have implemented interim recommendations delivered by Freeh in January. These actions have included strengthening policies and programs involving minors, including education of University employees on the recognition and reporting of child abuse; establishing a position of, and commencing a national search for, a director of University compliance; and improving and clarifying policies related to background checks for employees, among others.

Last Updated May 24, 2019