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Trustees developing university-wide compliance department

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The Audit and Compliance Committee plans on developing a university-wide compliance program by early next year, one that will cover all aspects of compliance on campus.

Trustee Robert Schottenstein said that the board had appointed a small committee, led by trustee Geoff Chatas, Chief financial officer of the university, and trustee Christopher Culley, senior vice president and general counsel in the Office of Legal Affairs, to implement a university-wide compliance plan by Jan. 1, 2012.

Chatas and Culley outlined their goals in the meeting and their tentative deadline. Schottenstein said the committee should have a full inventory and evaluation of the current state of university compliance by Sept. 1.

Schottenstein said the chance they had to get better in the area of compliance was triggered by problems within the athletic compliance program.

“This process, which we fully embrace as an opportunity to get better, was actually triggered by the problems in our football program that first surfaced late last year,” Schottenstein said.

Schottenstein said that he thought the current compliance in place was good, but there is always room to improve.

“The group also determined that our compliance structure, protocols and practices within the athletic department are good, in may cases, are very good,” Schottenstein said.

Schottenstein said that, as a part of that process, the committee will hire an independent consultant to assist their efforts in creating the best compliance department they can.

Schottenstein stressed that this consultant would serve as a project manager for the task, and that they would be knowledgeable in both higher education compliance and corporate compliance.

Chatas informed Schottenstein that five different individuals had contacted the committee with the interest of coordinating this compliance plan.

“We are determined to do all we can to assure that Ohio State’s programs and protocols are a model. In order to achieve this we believe it is necessary to approach compliance as a matter on institutional integrity,” Schottenstein said.

Schottenstein said that he and other members of the committee would not publicly comment on the progress of the project until it is completed.

OSU’s major compliance problems began late last year with the suspension of six football players for their dealings with local tattoo parlor owner. Several players were involved in the trade of memorabilia for cash and tattoos.

Former head coach Jim Tressel knew of the violations in April 2010, but did not disclose the information to university officials.

Tressel resigned from his position as head football coach on May 30.

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