The latest update on the university’s progress on the Freeh Report recommendations was released Thursday on the Penn State Progress website, announcing that more than 65 percent of the recommendations have been fulfilled.
This marks the third progress report, following 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, said via email that this three-member team was charged with helping to 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.
Seventeen 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 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.”
The report 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.
For the near term, university spokesman David La Torre said that landing a hire for this position is a primary focus.
Another area of central focus, La Torre said, is the online training modules. These modules will focus on the areas of campus security authorities and Clery Act university-wide training.
It further documents that the general counsel is working on a “comprehensive revision” of the board’s conflict of interest policies, set to be addressed by the Governance and Long Range Planning Committee in March 2013.
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 is 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 investigators in the area of sexual abuse of children “specialize training” has been documented as “Complete/Substantially Complete,” 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 are provided abuse awareness as “Ongoing/Continuous.”
More than 65 percent of the recommendations have been completed or designated as ongoing/continuous and the progress is currently considered on pace, Gray said via email.
“We hope to have most completed by the summer with a final deadline of end of calendar year,” Gray said, also noting there will be a few recommendations marked “inappropriate to complete,” while others will require ongoing work.
La Torre said via email that he estimates that the next report will be issued at the end of February or the first week of March.
“The university is pleased to continue to make steady progress,” he said.