First, let us congratulate the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees for its decision to hire former FBI Director Louis Freeh to lead an investigation into the child abuse scandal that rocked the university.
And, let us congratulate the board further for its commitment to make Freeh's report public without regard to its contents.
That openness speaks volumes about this great university's commitment to addressing the systemic failures that led to the conclusions in the troublesome report. It also is an indication that the process has already begun, since the crux of the report exposes a culture of secrecy and obfuscation.
The report's conclusion that four men, university president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, vice president Gary Schultz, and football coach Joe Paterno "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade" might have been considered simply a result of an administration so large that the problem fell through the cracks.
However, Freeh's team concluded that the years of child sexual abuse were allowed to continue because of the administration's fear of bad publicity.
"In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university - Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley - repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to (Jerry) Sandusky's child abuse," the report said.
That's pretty unequivocal.
Bear in mind that Paterno died before he was able to tell Freeh's team his side of the story, and the report does not have the force of law that, say, a grand jury indictment or an affidavit of probable cause would carry in a criminal investigation. It is a report generated by an independent investigator hired by the university's board of trustees.
To many, the report's conclusions do not come as a surprise. Others may never believe each the four men singled out for criticism bore the same responsibility or any responsibility at all for what happened.
That PSU's current leadership is willing to let the chips fall and move forward to get past this blot on an otherwise sterling history, is testimony to its resolve.