Several key points related to university administration were discussed Thursday during the Board of Trustees standing committee meetings — Penn State is still accredited, it continues to implement Freeh Report recommendations and it’s laid the framework for finding the next president.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson wrote in an email Thursday evening that he received notification from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education affirming the university's accreditation and lifting its accreditation warning that had been issued earlier this year.
The warning — which was received in August — was related to findings of the investigative report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh indicating that Penn State potentially violated the standards of leadership and governance, integrity and institutional resources.
MSCHE Director for Communications and Public Relations, Richard Pokrass, could not be reached as of press time Thursday.
University Park Undergraduate Association President Courtney Lennartz said the board also discussed the search for Erickson’s successor on Thursday during committee meetings. She said she believed the board will not officially release the members of the search committee until the January board meeting, but said UPUA Vice President Katelyn Mullen will be the only undergraduate student on the committee.
Erickson is set to end his Penn State presidency in 2014.
Lennartz also said the meetings on Thursday included a joint committee meeting of the Freeh Advisory Council and the board's response team, both of which were developed to oversee the recommendations in Freeh’s report.
There have been four meetings of the Freeh Advisory Council before Thursday's first joint meeting with the board, Lennartz said. Most of the discussion revolved around the recommendation on fixing the Penn State culture, she said.
The advisory council and the response team looked over an updated matrix of Freeh's 119 recommendations, which should be released to the public on Friday or during the weekend, Lennartz said. The updated progress report will show 46 items as “Complete or Substantially Complete” compared to 40 when the first progress report was released in October. The number of “Ongoing” recommendations will rise from 4 to 13, and the number of recommendations “In Progress and On Track” will decrease from 75 in October to 62, she said.
She also said the number of recommendations noted “Behind Schedule” has not changed from zero. There will also be no recommendations noted as not being followed, though Lennartz said some of them will not be fully followed after the review by the university.