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Committee Talks Freeh Recommendations, Penn State Culture

At a joint meeting this morning between the Penn State Board of Trustees committees on Audit, and Risk and Legal and Compliance, Frank Guadagnino, an attorney retained by Penn State, said Penn State is well on its way to implementing all of the Freeh recommendations.

Guadagnino, a partner at Reed Smith LLP, said Penn State has implemented 116 out of the 119 recommendations made by Louis Freeh last summer. Freeh was hired by the board after the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case came to light.

Of the three that have no been implemented yet or have had significant strides made on them, one Penn State has decided not to implement, Guadagnino said. The recommendation had to do with organizational reporting relating to human resources and where that should fall in university organization, Guadagnino said.

“The recommendation was to make the human resources department separate from the Department of Business and Finance,” Guadagnino. “Right now it is part of the [Department of Business and Finance] but it already operates as a separate unit so we found no reason to change. The reporting structures are still the same.

Guadagnino said the reporting structure operates so the Vice President for Human Resources, Susan Basso, will report to the Senior Vice President of Finance and Business, David Gray.

Guadagnino said another that has yet to be fully put into practice is the implementation of a human resources information system. Guadagnino said it is a massive project that won’t be done until after this year.

Penn State Vice President and General Council Steve Dunham said Penn State will revise the matrix, which shows all the recommendations, to help untether the university from the Freeh recommendations. Dunham said this will allow Penn State to make all appropriate changes beyond those that Freeh recommended.

Regis Becker, director of university ethics and compliance, also gave a report on the a Penn State culture survey still in the process of being perfected.

Becker said the survey is not to show what the problems with Penn State culture are, but rather find out exactly what the culture is.

“We want to articulate what our values are,” Becker said. “We’ve never really articulated a university wide system of values before.”

The survey, when finished, will be distributed to 130,000 members of Penn State faculty and staff, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, as they are the people who are involved in university’s daily business.

“People have asked ‘why not include alumni.’ They are not actively involved in the daily culture of Penn State,” Becker said.

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