Integrity monitor cites Penn State's continued progress in new report

December 09, 2014

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.

Last Updated February 27, 2015