STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State trustees plan to weigh proposals that leaders of the embattled board say may alleviate concerns about a perceived lack of transparency.
Trustees chair Karen Peetz said the board at its meeting Friday in Hershey could vote on changes that would include adding a committee to focus on outreach, and adding more faculty, staff and students to advisory roles. Appearing before the University Faculty Senate this week, Peetz said the board under her watch would focus "transparency, change and reform."
"We're interested in opening up debate," Peetz said, "of what is the best practice that Penn State can have in terms of how to govern ourselves and how to move forward."
How the school moves forward from scandal that erupted from child sex abuse charges against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is just one of the contentious issues facing trustees, especially from vocal groups of alumni seeking a housecleaning on the 32-member board.
Critics are also angry that the board earlier this week released another statement explaining its rationale for ousting president Graham Spanier and the late head coach Joe Paterno on Nov. 9, four days after Sandusky was first charged. Trustees cited a "failure of leadership" for its actions.
"The board, relying on non-factual evidence, jumped to erroneous conclusions and rushed to judgment, without offering any form of due process for Joe Paterno or Graham Spanier," said a statement this week from the group Penn Staters Reforming the Board of Trustees. "Their lack of leadership, combined with their media silence, is arguably the reason why the 'Sandusky Scandal' turned into the 'Penn State Scandal.'"
Rodney Erickson, who replaced Spanier, is also expected to give an update at Friday's meeting on the progress in implementing preliminary recommendations by former FBI Director Louis Freeh. He is heading the trustees' internal investigation into the Sandusky case and related issues.
Freeh's recommendations included strengthening policies for programs involving minors; and the prompt reporting of incidents of alleged abuse or sexual misconduct.