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Penn State Board of Trustees Committee Adopts Comprehensive Legal Compliance Plan

by on May 08, 2014 4:36 PM

The Penn State Board of Trustees legal and ethics committee approved a legal and ethical compliance plan Thursday establishing rules that in part are intended to help prevent and detect violations of the law.

Stephen Dunham, general counsel for Penn State, says the plan allows the board to exercise more oversight of its legal and compliance function. He says the plan is a positive statement by the university regarding its commitment to "comply with the law, promote ethics and act with integrity."

"I actually think this is a signal moment," Dunham says.

Dunham says the key is to promote the plan and ensure all within the university understand it.

The plan establishes guidelines, standards and requirements for conduct intended to support and enhance legal and ethical compliance; prevent, deter, and detect violations of law; uphold accreditation standards; and provide support, training, educational and enforcement resources in compliance with all applicable legal requirements and university policies.

Specifically, the plan highlights the university's ethics and compliance hotline where the university community can report concerns related to financial, human resources, athletics, research and affirmative action issues.

Reports can be filed anonymously either by phone or email. The committee says all reports are reviewed and investigated by appropriate personnel and in all cases a response is provided to the reporter. Reports can be made by calling

1-800-560-1637 or HERE

Meanwhile, the university continues to deal with a slew of legal obstacles connected to the Sandusky abuse case. The legal committee met in executive session to discuss victim lawsuits, NCAA-related cases, law enforcement investigations as well as roughly 20 legal cases concerning other issues.

The committee also noted the state legislature recently approved 17 new child abuse laws of which six apply directly to Penn State. The committee says the university is reviewing the legislation to ensure it is in compliance as the laws go into effect.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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