When the interim president of Penn State University stated that, in the future, Penn State would “not only do what is required under the law, we will do what is right.” I believe he is saying that sometimes what is simply required to be done is not necessarily all that should be done. Often times individuals may find themselves caught in situations that could lead to significant repercussions or negative outcomes for their organizations or institutions. And although there might be a specific policy in place to handle or address a particular situation sometimes the policy might actually fall short of the intended resolution. As I have been reading the book Policy Studies for Educational Leaders I am made more aware of the significance and importance of policy making. It can be a daunting task to establish, and more importantly implement effective policies.
Although the president’s message sounds optimistic I truly feel that if Universities are going to expect to minimize problems such as what unfolded at PSU they are going to have to take a deep look at their current policies, or lack thereof as well as developing strategies for training staff on understanding them. Policies should be developed with clear expectations and consequences if not followed. There should not be any grey areas that would allow for misinterpretation or misuse. I know this is much easier said than done but putting a soft or unclear policy in place just to have a policy and then expecting or hoping that people go above and beyond what is required might be a recipe for trouble.