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Penn State Board of Trustees Committee Meetings: Freeh Recommendations and Campus Renovations

by on January 17, 2013 5:26 PM

More of Louis Freeh's recommendations for Penn State have been implemented since November, the Penn State Board of Trustees committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning announced during its public meeting on Thursday afternoon. 

Currently, 48 recommendations have been implemented, 18 of those maintaining 'continuous or substantial progress' and 53 more recommendations are 'in progress and on track.'

"Combining those, we're well past the halfway mark," said Trustee David Gray.

The process will continue until all of the recommendations made in the Freeh report are in place, Gray said, which the board hopes to see happen by the end of the calendar year. Aiding the effort will be the new director of compliance, once a candidate is selected and announced. 

"Another six recommendations will drop like dominoes after that," Gray said. 

The search for a Director of Compliance is down to three candidates, Penn State General Counsel Steve Dunham said at the committee meeting on Legal and Compliance.

Dunham said it was important to him to emphasize the fact that the administration is taking care of all facets of the university while dually focusing on being mindful of the recommendations coming in from Freeh, the Pennsylvania Auditor General and the Middle State Commission. 

"The recommendations, whatever the case ... they are intended to make us better," Dunham said. 

An integrity officer is also close to being announced, Dunham said. The position was recommended by Sen. George Mitchell, the university's integrity monitor and after capitalizing on a 60-day extension to hire someone, the university has "all but resolved it ... we've hired somebody," Dunham said. 

The integrity officer will be announced after all of the necessary protocols are complete. 

Meanwhile, the committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning discussed a project that will be presented to the board: the renovation of the IM Building. 

Since 1975, when the IM Building was built, University Park's student population has increased by 13,000 students per year and a recent study revealed that the university does not have enough fitness space. 

The plan for the IM Building, as described in the meeting, is to expand the space by putting a front on the building as it moves out toward Curtin Road and add amenities such as a climbing wall, more fitness space, and improved track and updated facilities. 

The project will be largely funded by the Student Activity Fee, but trustees said there is an additional $1 million of non-student funding that will be a part of the project. 

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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