ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

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

November 20, 2015 by ACTA

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.