A new update on the university’s progress on the Freeh Report recommendations has just been released, the Administration Response Team said via email.
Marked as the third progress report, this update comes after the previously issued reports released on Oct. 10 and Nov. 27.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer David Gray, who is part of the Administration Response Team, wrote via email that this three-member team was charged with helping manage the implementation of the recommendations. Appointed by President Rodney Erickson, the team also consists of Vice President and General Counsel Stephen Dunham and Vice President for Administration Thomas Poole.
As specified on the Progress website, 17 additional recommendations from the 119 total have been fulfilled since the last update was issued, including recommendations marked as "Ongoing/Continuous."
As outlined in the progress report, 59 recommendations are currently considered “Complete or Substantially Complete,” 19 “Ongoing and Continuous" and 41 “In Progress and On Track.” Zero recommendations have been designated “Behind Schedule, Intervention Required.”
In the report, it notes that the university has made the decision to configure the ethics officer function and the chief compliance officer function into one position as director of university ethics and compliance. Labeled as “In Progress and On Track,” this action was taken in response to the recommendation to appoint a university ethics officer to provide advice to the Board of Trustees and president on topics of ethics.
Also, the recommendation to advance the level of transparency can be found. Efforts in this areas are said to be "Ongoing/Continuous," as it is noted that the Board has allowed for more public attendance during Board and committee meetings, in addition to instituting the public comment forum. More open discussion during President’s Council is being prompted, as well, the report notes.
The report further documents the development concerning the responsibilities and operations of the Board of Trustees. For the recommendation calling for a review and adoption of a “ethics/conflict interest policy” that will accommodate “conflict management and a commitement to transparency,” the university is “In Process and on Track." It reports that the General Counsel is working on a “comprehensive revision” of the Board’s conflict of interest policies. This is set to be addressed by the Governance and Long Range Planning Committee in March 2013.
Under compliance, the report denotes that the university is in process and on track to hire a chief compliance officer, as the search for this position continues.
The report, compiled by former FBI director Louis Freeh, also calls for a revision of the organizational structure of the athletic department “to clearly define lines of authority, responsibility and reporting relationships.” The university designates this recommendation as “complete/substantially complete." Suggestions for evaluating access protocols to athletics facilities and conducting national searches for head coaches and associate athletic director have been similarly marked.
Also falling into the complete/substantially complete category are the recommendations for external examination of the University Police department’s structure and organization, as well as establishing a policy to ensure that all police reports of criminal conduct made by Penn State students, faculty and staff are reported to the Office of Human Resources.
The recommendation to provide investigations in the area of sexual abuse of children “specialize training” has been satisfied, as well.
The university is further in process/on track concerning increasing the physical security and access procedures in areas frequently attended or used by children. The university reports the progress on mandatory reporter training that dictates that all university leaders be provided abuse awareness as ongoing/continuous.
Over 65 percent of the recommendations have been completed or designated as ongoing/continuous and the progress is currently considered on pace, the Gray wrote via email.
“We hope to have most completed by the summer with a final deadline of end of calendar year,” Gray wrote.
He also noted there will be a few recommendations marked “inappropriate to complete,” while others will require on-going work.
While former FBI director Louis Freeh does not expressly designate a point in time by which all recommendations should be complete, he suggests a review of progress after 12 and 24 months.