Update from Chairman Peetz - July 1, 2012
On June 22, the Board of Trustees learned along with the rest of the nation that Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 of the 48 charges filed against him. Our hope is that this decision by the jury brings a measure of justice to the victims and their families.
Justice, however, will not fully be served until all the facts related to the crimes that occurred on Penn State’s campus are brought to light. The bravery shown by the victims should serve as motivation for all of us to seek the truth and work to ensure that our institution acts with the highest level of ethics, integrity and care.
To that end, we eagerly await the completion of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s independent internal review, the findings of which will be released to the University, Board of Trustees and the public all at the same time, and are expected later this summer.
The University has already begun acting on the preliminary recommendations Judge Freeh provided to the public in January, including the hiring of Gabriel Gates as our Clery Act compliance coordinator and the development of a sustainable professional training program for employees to recognize and report child abuse. In addition, the Board of Trustees has been actively conducting an internal and external “best practices” review of our overall governance of the University. This includes Risk, Legal, Audit and Compliance management practices and a complete review of our Human Resources functions and structure.
Later this month, we will present plans for several additional governance changes at our public Board meeting at Penn State’s Worthington Scranton campus. At this meeting we will also officially welcome our four new members: Donald G. Cotner, Anthony P. Lubrano, Ryan J. McCombie and Adam J. Taliaferro. The rest of the Board and I look forward to working with our new colleagues, who will help us ensure the Board reflects the diversity of thought and perspectives within our University community.
These and other steps forward are helping to build a stronger, more accountable Penn State community. At the same time, the progress we have made to date is just the beginning. The release of Judge Freeh’s report later this summer will allow us to take even more important steps towards accountability, healing and making our campuses as safe as possible. Our work continues.
Karen B. Peetz ’77
Chairman, Penn State Board of Trustees