Press Releases | Trusteeship

ACTA’s Statement on Penn State Trustees’ Access to Freeh Report

November 20, 2015

Obtaining information for appropriate oversight is indeed a trustee right. At the same time, handling sensitive information in a responsible manner is essential to maintaining the public trust, especially urgent in this case, given the pledges made by Freeh Report investigators that anonymity would be maintained. It is incumbent upon the trustees to enter into signed confidentiality agreements with the university to manifest their good faith. In this context, we cite “Inside the Nonprofit Boardroom,” which we distribute widely to higher education governing boards. It reads, “Board members must make it their business to see that the nonprofit corporation they serve performs at the highest ethical and moral level. …The conduct of all activities by all persons representing the corporation in any way, at any time, must be right and proper. The actions must beand must be viewed asethical.” As Penn State trustees engage in the review of information regarding the horrific Sandusky case, it is our hope, too, that they model another central premise of responsible governance: that they act not as representatives of a single constituency or a single point of view, but as independent arbiters of the overall welfare of the institution and guard the public interest.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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