The June 11 letter from Lee Samuel Finn expressed appreciation for David Gray’s acknowledgment of the issue, but indicated that fear of retaliation in the Penn State workplace is systemic.
We appreciate the concerns expressed, and we are doing much to address the issues uncovered through a 2013 survey, which was publicly shared with internal and external audiences. This includes a message from President Eric Barron, who views this as a top priority for his administration.
We have a team of individuals updating and improving policies. We are augmenting our training programs for academic and staff supervisors and leadership. We are providing more support resources to our university community, including developing ethics-awareness training and establishment of investigatory protocols and check-ins with self-disclosed reporters to prevent retaliation.
Next week— as we do at the start of every semester — we will send out an email to all faculty, staff and students explaining how to report wrongdoing and how to find resources to assist anyone who feels they may have been a victim of retaliation or wrongdoing. The message covers a wide swath of reportable behaviors with appropriate resources.
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I urge anyone who has witnessed or suspects illegal, unethical or unsafe conduct to report it promptly so that it may be addressed. The university will not tolerate wrongful conduct, including retaliatory behavior, by any member of the Penn State community.
The writer is Penn State’s chief ethics and compliance officer.