Penn State Completes more than 70 Percent of Freeh Recommendations
UNIVERSITY PARK – At a meeting Thursday of the Penn State Board of Trustees’ Legal and Compliance Committee, it was reported that of the 119 recommendations made by the Freeh Group in July, the University has now implemented 70 percent of those recommendations. The recommendations are designed to strengthen University policies and performance in areas such as safety and governance.
Trustee Kenneth Frazier and David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business, led the discussion about Penn State’s progress, noting that a number of completed recommendations include several that are categorized as “Ongoing/Continuous,” signifying that the University’s response to such recommendations will be ongoing. The University will issue a full update to its recommendation status matrix in the coming days.
Frazier emphasized that the purpose of the Freeh investigation was to uncover facts and identify where failures occurred in the University’s governance and compliance structure — and to make recommendations to help ensure that such failures never happen again. “It is time to set the record straight on the intent and utilization of the Freeh investigation and report. The truth is, this great University has made significant progress in implementing real changes in the way we govern, and we have increased the safety and security of our campuses. The changes we have made based on Judge Freeh’s recommendations are helping to make our University stronger, safer and more accountable,” Frazier said.
During the meeting, Frazier and Gray were joined by Susan Basso, associate vice president for human resources, Gabriel Gates, Clery compliance manager, and Mark Bodenschatz, associate athletic director for facilities and operations, who spoke about how the changes Penn State has made are reinforcing a culture of accountability, removing obstacles and engaging more individuals in key areas.
“Not only are we a better institution today as a result of these changes,” Frazier added, “but Penn State is also becoming recognized as a leader in transparency and governance, and is serving as a model for others. Other universities are watching Penn State to learn how they can strengthen their policies and make their campuses safer.”
Frazier thanked Basso, Gates and Bodenschatz for their work driving the reforms: “We all owe a great deal to the three individuals here — and to their colleagues across all 24 campuses — who have put such urgency, focus and energy into these initiatives. It is very easy to say that an institution of more than 100,000 people should make these kinds of changes; it’s an entirely different thing to actually do it. Susan, Gabe, Mark and countless others have actually done it.”