Penn State University's trustees are wrapping up two days of meetings Friday, after which we'll have a better idea of how committed they are to repairing the school's battered reputation.

State Auditor General Jack Wagner released a report Wednesday that recommended ways to make the university more accountable in the wake of a child sexual abuse scandal.

The school has no shortage of advice these days, whether from independent investigator Louis Freeh or the NCAA.

But the auditor general's is fairly simple by comparison; the board could implement the changes today.

Among Wagner's suggestions are removing the university president as a voting member of the board of trustees, decreasing the size of the board and fully extending the Right-to-Know law to Penn State.

Trustee Carl Shaffer said some of Wagner's advice "may not fit us.

"We have everyone in the world telling us what to do, but this is our university," he said. "I think it's up to this board to decide how to take this university forward."

First, a reminder why "everyone in the world" is suggesting changes: Something went horribly wrong at Penn State.

Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

Three high-ranking Penn State officials, including former university president Graham Spanier, are accused of covering up the abuse to protect the school's reputation. They're charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy for his actions in response to complaints.


So yes, the board that was supposed to be governing the school during the abuse is going to get some advice, whether they like it or not.

The members would be wise to implement the simple changes Wagner suggests.

The university president should work for the board, not the other way around, which is what seems to have happened in Spanier's case. Taking away his or her vote clarifies the relationship.

Also, the board is larger than those of comparable universities. Some trustees weren't even aware of the Sandusky case until his arrest. Streamlining the body from 32 to 21 makes sense.

And there is absolutely no reason the state's Right to Know Law shouldn't apply to Penn State -- or any university that receives public money.

One can only wonder how things might have turned out if more people were keeping on eye on Happy Valley.