Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

Pennsylvania State University

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

The Pennsylvania State University is seeking an outstanding individual with exceptional strategic, operational, and interpersonal capabilities to join the University's leadership team as the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (CECO). The CECO reports to the Vice President and General Counsel and to the Legal and Compliance Committee of the Board of Trustees. The CECO is responsible for the day-to-day coordination of the University's compliance efforts and serves as a consultative collaborator across the institution.

Penn State's Office of Ethics and Compliance provides support, coordination, and assistance to University-wide compliance efforts regarding all federal, state, and local laws as well as internal policies and external organization policies, while encouraging the highest ethical standards of conduct for those who represent the University and act on its behalf. While the primary responsibility for compliance outside those managed directly by the Office of Ethics and Compliance remains in the individual units of the University, the CECO works closely and collaboratively with each unit to build on existing compliance practices, such as reporting, the establishment of policies and procedures, training, and taking corrective actions as necessary. In addition, the CECO directly manages the compliance functions housed within the Office of Ethics and Compliance, namely Title IX, export control, youth programs, data privacy, hotline operations, NCAA compliance, athletics integrity, and University values and ethics programming. The CECO works in close coordination and consultation with other areas of the University units with compliance responsibility, such as the College of Medicine; Commonwealth Campuses; Internal Audit; Police and Public Safety; Human Resources; Risk Management; Student Affairs; Enrollment Management; Information Technology; Research; General Counsel; Physical Plant; and Intercollegiate Athletics.

The CECO will be responsible for institutional compliance including:

  • Coordinating University-wide compliance activities within a highly decentralized environment, including the sponsorship of three Centers of Excellence to drive progress on Issues Response and Investigations, Regulatory Management and Risk Mitigation and Penn State Values.
  • Monitoring the performance of compliance efforts and related activities on a continuing basis, taking appropriate steps to improve its effectiveness.
  • Developing, reviewing, updating, and communicating institutional compliance efforts to ensure continuing currency and relevance in providing guidance to management, employees, and other key stakeholders.
  • Collaborating with key constituents on directing compliance issues to appropriate existing channels for investigation and resolution.
  • Consulting with the Office of General Counsel as needed to resolve difficult legal compliance issues.
  • Responding to alleged violations of rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and standards of conduct by evaluating or recommending the initiation of investigative procedures.
  • Providing an independent review and evaluation to ensure that compliance issues or concerns within the colleges, campuses, or units are being appropriately evaluated, investigated, and resolved.
  • Identifying potential areas of compliance vulnerability and risk; developing and implementing corrective action plans for resolution of problematic issues and providing general guidance on how to avoid or address similar situations in the future.
  • Providing reports on a regular basis, and as directed or requested, to keep the Board of Trustees and senior leadership informed of the operation and progress of compliance efforts.
  • Ensuring proper reporting of violations or potential violations to duly authorized enforcement agencies as appropriate and/or required.
  • Working with relevant departments and others as appropriate to develop an effective compliance training program, including appropriate introductory training for new employees as well as ongoing training for all employees and managers.
  • Establishing and providing direction and management of the University Hotline.

The new CECO will have many of the following experiences and qualities:

  • Successful experience leading and managing day-to-day operations in a large, complex, and highly decentralized setting;
  • Experience in supporting governing boards, and in working with committees or subgroups on matters of compliance;
  • Extraordinary ability to work on a senior team as a listener, contributor, collaborator, mediator, and change agent interacting with all constituencies in a higher education research institution;
  • Experience as a decisive leader who exercises good judgment under pressure;
  • Deep knowledge of higher education practices, regulations, compliance, and accrediting agencies;
  • Understanding the importance of commitment to and fostering of strong relationships with all University and external constituents;
  • Ability to work cooperatively with accreditation boards, related organizations, and other departments;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Respect for and understanding of mission-driven institutions;
  • A person of honesty and integrity;
  • A motivator with high energy, empathy and courage;
  • Strong creative, innovative, strategic, and visionary qualities;
  • Ability to diffuse and resolve conflict;
  • Strong commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging;
  • Ten to fifteen years experience working in education, government, or corporate compliance role, and;
  • A J.D. is preferred and a baccalaureate degree is required

Final candidate(s) for the position will be required to complete a full background check process including criminal, child abuse, credit, education, employment, and motor vehicle records check, as appropriate.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

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CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.


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