The Ohio State Board of Trustees are now in the second part of developing a university-wide compliance department at OSU.
The project, which stemmed from an investigation of the football program, athletic department and athletic compliance division, will attempt to centralize compliance in three areas of the university: athletics, research and the medical center.
Audit and Compliance Chair Robert Schottenstein said he knows where the project stems from and where the university must go from here.
“This grew out of a crisis that sprung within our athletic department that raised questions about the university’s approach to compliance,” Schottenstein said. “It made us take a hard look into ways we can improve. We can use this as an opportunity to get better.”
Thursday, the Audit and Compliance Committee met to discuss and move forward with the next step of creating this centralized office. The purpose of the committee is to review university-wide protocols in order to establish that the best practices are happening at the university.
In July, the committee met to set an action-plan for this transition. In September, all departments of the university were asked to provide charts, reports and training materials for review by the committee. Every department across the university will be evaluated in order to establish that each is working in order of compliance.
Schottenstein commended the university for their quick reaction to the committee’s request.
“The university should hold their head up high. We’re proud of their cooperation. How they have responded and what they have done,” Schottenstein said.
The university-wide compliance project consists of three phases.
Phase one, now complete, involved interviewing personnel within departments and reviewing the documents and research gathered in the inventory. Once the information is finalized, a benchmark will be drafted to show where the university stands. Chief Financial Officer and chairman of the project, Geoff Chatas, acknowledged that the committee has a good stance of where OSU stands stating they are on “the leading edge when it comes to other universities.”
The next phase will evaluate the benchmarks proposed in phase one and propose a new model for the university to follow. The committee will also develop recommendations and an implementation of the model by year’s end. During this phase, the committee will decide whether the current model can be improved, expanded on or changed to a single university-side department.
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.