Thursday, July 12, 2012

Statement of the Penn State University Faculty Senate Chair and Chair-Elect on the Release of the Freeh Group Report

The Pennsylvania State University Faculty Senate again expresses its deep sorrow for the pain and suffering of the victims of sexual misconduct and again joins with the Penn State community, led by President Erickson and the Board of Trustees, in efforts to make right the injustices they have suffered.

The University Faculty Senate welcomes the release by the Freeh Group of its report. Like many of you, the members of the Senate will be reviewing the Report closely and in particular with respect to those matters that touch on the Senate’s role in University shared governance. That review will strive to be as transparent and inclusive as possible. The Senate's review will be especially mindful of the need to ensure that all Penn State faculty and staff are accorded fair treatment via a fair process that is consistently applied. The Senate also looks forward to working with the University administration and the Board of Trustees to ensure that proposals in the Report for changes to university operations and procedures are considered in the spirit of and continue to build on our strong traditions of shared governance.

For official information, please contact university spokesperson Dave La Torre, who can provide you additional details. (Dave La Torre -, mobile: (717) 608-6337).

Larry Catá Backer
2012-2013 Chair University Faculty Senate
W. Richard and Mary Eshelman Faculty Scholar & Professor of Law,
Professor of International Affairs

Brent Yarnal
Chair-Elect University Faculty Senate
E. Willard & Ruby S. Miller Professor of Physical Geography and Associate Head
Department of Geography


Download Freeh Group Report HERE

Download Freeh Group Press Release HERE.

1 comment:

  1. A search of the Freeh report suggests that it makes no substantive reference to the Faculty Senate, which probably reflects the fact that the Senate has no authority within the university administration.

    A serious matter for the Senate to consider is to what extent it ought to act proactively as a third branch of university governance to check and balance the executive branch of the administration and the Board of Trustees.

    One aspect of University governance that appears to be in need of consideration, as described in the Freeh report, is the prevalence of in-house hiring and promotion of senior and mid-rank administrators who form a closed autocratic group. This is an area where the Senate might productively investigate the current situation and the process where by we got to this situation.

    Prof. Steinn Sigurdsson (senator)