Freeh Report Task Force Looking for Lessons from Penn State

Associate Deans Toni Marsh and Doug Shaw are leading the task force examining GW’s policies and procedures.

January 16, 2013

GW is meeting or exceeding several recommendations made in last summer’s Freeh Report, according to a preliminary review conducted by the university’s Freeh Report Task Force.

Convened by President Steven Knapp, the task force is examining the university’s policies, guidelines, practices and procedures in light of the Freeh report. Released last July, the report detailed widespread weaknesses in leadership, compliance, governance and culture at Penn State.

“The goal is to use this as an opportunity to review our culture, examine our practices, improve our compliance, and reinforce a sense of ethics and responsibility in all members of our community,” said task force co-chair Toni Marsh, associate dean for new initiatives and associate professor of paralegal studies in the College of Professional Studies. “It’s been heartening to witness the depth and sincerity of commitment at the very highest levels of the university to doing that, and to see how much GW is already doing right.”

Doug Shaw, associate dean for planning, research and external relations and assistant professor of international affairs in the Elliott School of International Affairs, also serves as co-chair.  

The task force is working with senior administrators to review and assess the recommendations in the focus areas cited in the Freeh report: culture, administration and general counsel, compliance, Board of Trustees, athletic department, university police department, programs for non-student minors and access to facilities, and monitoring change and measuring improvement.

The preliminary review has revealed several areas in which GW is meeting or exceeding those recommendations, including risk management, reporting procedures, the structure and operations of the Board of Trustees and the dissemination of personnel policies to the university community, said Ms. Marsh.

Next steps include bringing together students, faculty, staff and others to study the Freeh report in more detail. The task force plans to make recommendations to the administration by the end of the semester.