PATTY KIRSCHNER: The Freeh report has been widely criticized by faculty, students, lawyers and journalists, they claim it's faulty in its process, facts and conclusions. Since this report has wrought such devastating harm on Penn State has the board engaged in a detailed review of the report? If not, why not?
Why are you moving forward implementing its recommendations without determining its validity? Several detailed independent reviews of the Freeh report, have been provided to you or will be provided to you. Do you plan to review these and undertake an objective review? Thank you.
KAREN PEETZ: Okay. Thank you. Let me just take a little bit of that and then because Keith Masser, is running the Freeh implementation, I will ask him to comment as well. We have definitely been focusing on Section 10 of the Freeh report that's where all the recommendations for good governance are held. That's what the focus of the board has been. We have not, nor do we actually plan to do a detailed review of the rest of the Freeh report. We believe that will take its course. That will take its course. There will be trials. There will be various legal activities that will happen. So with that, I will ask Keith to go ahead. I think actually, we'll have the response.
KEITH MASSER: We have a university structure for the Freeh report response, which includes the trustee response team which we identified. It includes an administration response team, and those two groups will be meeting tomorrow jointly and discussing the completion of filling out an advisory council and that advisory council will have a purpose of maintaining open communication seeking input and feedback, providing wider transparency to the university community. It will include students, faculty, senate members, ALC members, PCAR and other representatives to this advisory council.We will also have an external project management team that we're actually doing some due diligence to select the proper team to provide oversight in managing the project and also providing a seal of approval for the governance changes that will be taking place.
|Corbett & Peetz|
KAREN PEETZ: Is the time up?
PATTY KIRSCHNER: I'm addressing the validity of the report, not the recommendations.
KAREN PEETZ: Well, I think I answered both parts of that.
PATTY KIRSCHNER: So you do not plan to do an independent review? Can you explain why not?
KAREN PEETZ: We do not intend to do an independent review?
PATTY KIRSCHNER: Explain why you don't think that's important?
KAREN PEETZ: That's actually not part of what we commissioned the report for.* We commissioned the report so that we could have a set of recommendations for how we could improve our governance and --
*Note: The report was two fold: to determine responsibilities of PSU officials in the Sandusky child abuse case and to improve governance, thus Peetz's response mistated the purpose of the report.
PATTY KIRSCHNER: Based on false information?
KAREN PEETZ: I think the time is up. TIMEKEEPER: The time is up.
Indeed it is - The Time is UP for this Board of Trustees and their chairman.
Excellent work by Ms Kirschner on the question and holding Peetz feet to the fire.
According to Chairman Peetz the accuracy of the Freeh Report will not be questioned and the "recommendations for good governance" by a group that has no expertise in running a university are to be implemented regardless of the validity of the report. Peetz's answer "That's actually not what we commissioned the report for" is absolutely false. Governance recommendations were the secondary purpose of the report, with the primary reason to investigate was to determine how the alleged failure of PSU officials to report Sandusky's sexual abuse of children and to investigate how Sandusky's abuse could occur on University facilities. Ms. Peetz and the board are now trying to distance themselves from the primary purpose of the Freeh Report and continue to promote a "Moving Forward" strategy in order to provide a reason for not performing a critical review of the report.
Others who appear to not want a revisit of the Freeh Report includes: a media that failed to read it: many child abuse victim's advocates (who appear more concerned with punishing people than with actually protecting children); and the general public who take their cues from media reporting.
Negative Reviews Of Freeh Report GrowingThe Board is likely aware of the growing list of serious negative reviews of Freeh by attorneys, faculty, alumni and professional reports analysts - who are largely graduates of the University the board represents. A serious search reveals not a single serious analysis that offers support for the Freeh report and its conclusions. These include:
2) PS4RS - Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship - led by Attorneys with PSU degrees
3) Judge Timothy Lewis's blistering critique on behalf of former PSU President Spanier.
4) Ray Blehar - Penn State SMEAL MBA Honors Graduate, former Examiner for the U.S. Senate, and a senior intelligence analyst with 27 years experience in the U.S. intelligence community in Washington DC has written several evidentiary and legal analyses of the Freeh Report:
5) Barry Bozeman, University of Tennessee Graduate with no connection to Penn State or Joe Paterno has written these critiques:
6) The Penn State Faculty has "flunked" the Freeh Report
7) 29 past chairs of the Faculty Senate issued a condemnation of the Freeh Fiction.
8) Former PSU football players say Freeh Report is flawed
9) An article in the Oct 12th issue of The Daily Collegian - PSU student newspaper - shows some student opposition to the report despite tight control exercised over that organ by the administration.
Despite this offering of serious and studied opposition to the Freeh Report, the Board of Trustees signed off on a complete capitulation to the NCAA giving that organization leave to use the Freeh findings instead of requiring that they conduct an investigation of their own. This excellent report by Don Van Natta Jr. details how this insane capitulation took place and put Penn State ON DEATH'S DOOR.
The Disastrous Choice of Hiring Louis FreehThe Board of Trustees *outside of a small minority of newer independent members commissioned the report by a disgraced former FBI director and paid him and his group $6.5 million dollars for a document so flawed in its statements and conclusions as to be obvious and laughable - if it wasn't so damaging. This is quite simply inexcusable. A 60 million dollar fine on top of the 6.5 million dollar cost of the report and we have yet to see the lost revenues when the penalties levied by the NCAA hit football attendance and the loss of income threatens the entire athletic department. Not to mention the settlements the board appears willing to make to anyone with the vaguest claim of being a Sandusky victim regardless of any association with Penn State.
Press reports stated the Governor was instrumental in choosing Louis Freeh. Louis Freeh was the man responsible for damaging failures in the cases of Robert Hanssen, Richard Jewel, Waco, Kenneth Michael Trentadue, Ruby Ridge, and most dramatic, was Freeh's error when FBI Director until 71 days prior to 9/11 and his refusal to look at the agents reports from Minnesota alerting the FBI to flight training activities of the 9/11 hijackers. Given the "quality" of his tenure at the FBI, one has to seriously question how the PSU BOT could make such a disastrous choice to conduct the Sandusky investigation. A serious conflict of interest in this choice is made clear in this information from Marc Rubin of Tom In Paine
Media Reports Are Questioning Parts of the Freeh Report
Signs of opposition to the Freeh Report in the media has begun. The first sizable crack in that monolithic facade came last week when Bob Costas voiced his concerns with the report. Both Deadspin.com (a harsh critic of PSU) and professor Michael Berube wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education that the 1998 investigation was botched by DPW. Their statements contradict the Freeh Report findings of fault for 1998 being levied strictly at PSU officials. More of that will be coming soon through various legal avenues and through media reporting.
We are witnessing the beginnings of one of the biggest turnarounds in sports and media history. When the Freeh Report's conclusions become the the target of pending lawsuits against the NCAA forcing the sanctions to be removed and the reality will finally start to set in with the public at large. But at this point the people who have taken the time to study the Report and the critiques are fully aware of the inevitable outcome of any careful analysis of the Freeh Report.
Are Conflict of Interests Driving PSU "Moving Forward" Campaign?In fact it seems that every segment associated with Penn State outside of the Board has significant numbers with serious questions about the Freeh findings. Any corporate board that ignored the questions and valid concerns of its key stakeholders would not last long. But, alas, this is not a corporate board that cares about its stakeholders -- it is a board that's only interest is to serve itself.
Members of the board had motives and conflicts we will reveal as we refuse to "Move Forward." We will look at individual members and their business connections leading to more information like The Surma Vendetta. This information will make up our Trustee Chronicles over the next few weeks.
The conflicts of interest issues we will expose will magnify the need for the very thing the BOT says they're most interested in -- implementing the Freeh Report recommendations. Specifically, the Freeh Report correctly recommends that all Board members should make financial disclosures and revise its confict-of-interest and ethics policies. It is notable that the Board has not yet implemented these rather simple recommendations in the eight weeks since receipt of the Freeh Report. Our review of the implementation plan revealed that the implementation of these critical recommendations are "in progress and on track" -- but no specific implementation dates or deadlines are given.
What did Ms. Peetz say about accountability? What good is an implementation plan that does not include due dates? The BOT has constructed a Potemkin Village around the Freeh Report implementation -- and we're not fooled by it.
UPDATE: Documents Reveal Secret BoT retreat and contact with Freeh in June