State Audit Encourages Reduced-Size Board Of Trustees, Right-To-Know Compliance

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released the results today of an audit he announced last summer to evaluate Penn State’s overall performance and  implementation of recommendations following the Sandusky scandal. While DePasquale admits the university has adopted significant change since an original set of recommendations released from the office in 2012, he reported the change is not enough, recommending Penn State take 23 additional actions.

The original 2012 recommendations suggested limiting the size of Penn State’s Board of Trustees, a body heavily criticized for its handling of the Sandusky scandal and its subsequent fallout. Since 2012, the Board has actually expanded, contrary to this recommendation. However, it’s worth nothing that the president is no longer a voting member, which falls in line with another recommendation from the auditor general’s office.

“While Penn State has undertaken significant reforms since the Sandusky scandal, it is disappointing that some of the recommendations for improvement have been ignored or contrary action was taken,” DePasquale said. “Specifically, the General Assembly should cut the size of the board of trustees – not only for Penn State, but for all state-related institutions of higher education.” He added higher-education experts recommend no more than 12 to 15 members on a college board.

Penn State is not currently subject to Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, which would make a grand amount of institutional information available to the public. DePasquale said this is also the case as Penn State relates to the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act, but he believes Pennsylvania’s General Assembly should make Penn State subject to both of these provisions “as a recipient of a significant amount of taxpayer dollars.”

DePasquale hopes these measures will help Penn State increase its transparency and accountability, especially within university governance.

You can read the full audit report here.

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Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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