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STATE COLLEGE, Pa.—Pennsylvania State University did not have a process or structure to regularly receive reports on potential risks and failed in its duty to make inquiries into the child sexual abuse by former assistant football coach Gerald A. Sandusky, according to an independent report released Thursday after an investigation of facts surrounding the Penn State scandal.
The special investigations task force of Penn State's board of trustees in November commissioned former federal judge and former director of the FBI Louis Freeh and his law firm to conduct the investigation.
Some of the reporting failures at Penn State during the period of abuse by Mr. Sandusky resulted from a lack of regular reporting procedures or structures to make sure major risks facing the school could be disclosed, according to the report.
“Because the board did not demand regular reporting of such risks, the president and senior university officials in this period did not bring major risks facing the university to the board,” the report said.
No risk management review
The report suggests that if emails sent and received among senior leaders regarding Mr. Sandusky's conduct were reviewed by Penn State's risk management department, it may have mitigated Mr. Sandusky's conduct.
“A risk management review might have resulted in the university providing contractual notice to its insurers about the incident, imposition of a general ban on the presence of children in the Lasch Building, or other limitations on Sandusky's activities,” investigators wrote in the report.
Mr. Freeh's investigation found that Graham Spanier, former Penn State president; Tim Curly, Penn State's former athletic director; Gary Schultz, Penn State's former senior vp of finance and business; and the late Joe Paterno, former Penn State football coach, failed to take any actions into the allegations against Mr. Sandusky.
“In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity,” Mr. Freeh said in a Thursday statement.
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State,” he said in the statement. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
Clery Act compliance not audited
The 267-page report also detailed that while Penn State administrators identified compliance with laws and regulations as among the top 10 risks facing the university, compliance with The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990 was never audited.
Incomplete implementation of the Clery Act, which requires universities and colleges to collect and report crimes on campus, “was a contributing factor in the failure to report the 2001 child sexual abuse committed by Sandusky,” the report said.
The report recommended Penn State's board of trustees implement a “regularized risk identification and management system” and create a stringent compliance program headed by a chief compliance officer.
Search for chief compliance officer
Penn State is conducting a national search for the chief compliance officer position and has implemented many of the recommendations listed in the report, according to Mr. Freeh's statement.
The report comes as the embattled university faces complex civil lawsuits after Mr. Sandusky's conviction on child sexual abuse charges.