Louis J. Freeh, who served as director of the FBI from 1993 through 2001, was hired by a special committee of the Penn State board of trustees to lead an investigation into the allegations of child abuse against Jerry Sandusky and review the university's response to them.
The chairman of the special committee that hired Freeh said Monday that the board "is intent on taking all steps necessary to ensure that our institution never again has to ask whether it did the right thing, or whether or not it could have done more."
"We are committed to leaving no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what happened -- who knew what when, and what changes we must make to ensure this doesn't happen again," committee chairman Ken Frazier said.
Ron Tomalis, vice-chairman of the special committee, said the scope of Freeh's investigation will be "expansive" and that no one at Penn State would be exempt from it, including the board itself.
Sandusky, the former longtime defensive coordinator, has been charged with 40 counts of various sexual crimes against children.
Joe Paterno, who had coached Penn State since 1966, and university president Graham Spanier were among the school leaders who lost their jobs in the scandal after coming under scrutiny in the wake of an explosive grand jury report.
Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who oversaw the school's police department, were charged with perjury in the case and both stepped down from their positions.
Some of the alleged abuse was said to have occurred on the Penn State campus.
"The allegations that have been raised and the charges that have been brought are extraordinarily serious," Freeh said. "Crimes against children have a devastating impact on the victims and their families and we will be completely sensitive to this reality as we perform our work."
Freeh said his investigation will be thorough but will not interfere with those being conducted by law enforcement. He said he had spoken to Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda L. Kelly.
"During the course of this independent investigation, we will immediately report any evidence of criminality to the appropriate law enforcement authorities," Freeh added. "If our investigation identifies any additional victims of sexual crimes against, or exploitation of children, we will immediately report this to law enforcement authorities."
A toll-free hotline, established for people to call with tips or information, was set to be activated Monday at 5 p.m. (et). The phone number is: (855) 290-3382. Tips can also be sent to PSUhelp@freehgroup.com.