OSU To Develop New ‘Compliance’ and ‘Crisis Management’ Protocol

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The NCAA's on-going investigation into Ohio State's football program has caused some university board members to review what's being called the school's "integrity program."(Photo: Indiana Public Media (flickr))
The NCAA's on-going investigation into Ohio State's football program has caused some university board members to review what's being called the school's "integrity program."(Photo: Indiana Public Media (flickr))

The NCAA’s ongoing investigation into Ohio State’s football program has caused some university board members to review what’s being called the school’s “integrity program.” A trustees committee plans to develop university-wide compliance rules and create a new crisis management protocol.

The Ohio State Board of Trustees Audit and Compliance Committee said it will conduct a full review of all of the university’s compliance policies by September First. And by Jan. 1, 2012, it hopes to implement a new set of standards for the university.

Robert Schottenstein chairs the Audit and Compliance Committee. He said the university has many areas in which potentially serious conflicts of interest and ethical issues could arise.

“Compliance, it’s in many areas of the university: student life, research, medicine, you know the research protocols, animal testing,” Schottenstein said.

The committee expects to hire an independent consultant to help develop the compliance policy which will be modeled after other universities and financial institutions. The committee also will seek the advice of Ohio State alumnus Jeff Reitman, who served as the chief compliance officer for JP Morgan Chase in New York.

In addition to compliance, Schottenstein said the committee will look at a new set of rules for crisis management. The sports network ESPN is suing OSU over a public records dispute related to the NCAA investigation that led to the resignation of head football coach Jim Tressel on Memorial Day. Schottenstein would not say if university communications handled the events surrounding the school’s violations poorly.

“Crises come in all … you know, we’ve seen one in our athletic program, I mean, we had a tornado at Wooster, we had to shut down the facility there and how did we react and how did we deal … and so there’s a lot of areas where this sort of pops up,” he said. “And so we want to use this as an opportunity to see how we dealt with each of these and try to understand what we might or could do better.”

The Audit and Compliance Committee reported it found no new violations from the university’s athletic department that has left several players benched from some games in the upcoming season. Schottenstein said OSU officials, including athletic director Gene Smith, notified the NCAA of the violations in a timely manner.

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