Pa. auditor general calls for Penn State reform - abc27 WHTM

Pa. auditor general calls for Penn State reform

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Pennsylvania's auditor general is calling on state lawmakers and Governor Tom Corbett to take charge of reforming Penn State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

Auditor General Jack Wagner said Wednesday that the university's board of trustees has shown "little appetite" for putting in place the reforms necessary to improve governance and transparency and restore Penn State's reputation.

Wagner released a 124-page report that makes over two dozen recommendations. Among them are recommendations he made in July; that the university president be removed as a voting member of the board of trustees, that the governor of the state be a non-voting rather than voting trustee, and that the 32-member board be reduced to 21 voting members.

He said there is too much power concentrated in the president, who is also secretary to the board of trustees and serves on nearly every board committee, subcommittee and special committee.

Wagner said the president reports to the trustees and is subordinate to the board, but at the same time is board secretary and therefore controls the flow and content of information to other trustees, making him more powerful than the other trustees.

He also called Penn State's bylaws, statutes, and power structure "antiquated" and out of step with most other universities.

Wagner called on Penn State to refrain from hiring a new president until the reforms are implemented.

He also called for Penn State and three other state-related universities - Pitt, Temple and Lincoln - to be covered by Pennsylvania's open records law.

"The Governor is open to reviewing and debating these recommendations," spokesperson Kevin Harley said. "We are glad Auditor General Wagner has joined Governor Corbett in calling for a change in legislation (for state-related universities to be subject to the state open records law)."

In a statement to abc27 Wednesday, Penn State spokesperson David La Torre said, "Penn State welcomes input from Auditor General Wagner. The University only just received the report today but will conduct a thorough review."

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