For all the reform initiatives undertaken by Pennsylvania State University in response to the scandal over shielding sexual predator Jerry Sandusky, there are fundamental changes that will have to come from beyond Happy Valley.

So it's welcome news that, nearly six months after Sandusky's conviction for assaulting 10 boys - many of them on the campus in State College - policymakers in Harrisburg have begun to gear up to do just that.

The in-house inquiry into the scandal by former FBI Director Louis Freeh determined that top university officials who failed to expose Sandusky gave priority to protecting Penn State's reputation. Freeh said the officials showed a "callous and shocking disregard for child victims."

Three former officials, including the school's ousted president, Graham B. Spanier, face criminal charges in the alleged cover-up, while all deny any wrongdoing.

Freeh sketched out more than 100 recommendations in his report, aimed at "strengthening an open, compliant and victim-sensitive environment" - reforms Penn State officials pledge.

However, Freeh also concluded that the university trustees "failed to create an environment which held the university's most senior leaders accountable to it." That points to governance reforms requiring legislative action. In that regard, state Auditor General Jack Wagner has issued a report that should be a blueprint for action by state lawmakers and Gov. Corbett, who is also a Penn State trustee.

After surveying major public universities, Wagner concluded presidents at Penn State have an unusual amount of control over their board of trustees - from serving as board secretary, to being a voting member, to setting policy when only a third of the board is present. That imbalance must be changed to boost trustee oversight of top administrators.

The auditor general also proposes a more nimble board with fewer members, in line with other large universities. Just as that makes sense, so does Wagner's idea to shorten trustees' terms and place stricter limits on revolving-door appointments of trustees who held university posts.

Not surprisingly, the Wagner report echoes earlier calls for bringing Penn State, along with Temple, Pittsburgh, and Lincoln Universities, under the state's open-records law. Clearly, that glaring loophole can be closed without jeopardizing fund-raising at the schools, or the confidentiality of proprietary research and the like.

While university officials say they're still focused on enacting the Freeh report, they promise a review of Wagner's recommendations, and those of other groups.

But lawmakers should move more deliberately - as a Centre County state representative, Scott Conklin, did last week. Adding heft to Conklin's package of bills patterned on Wagner's report was the support of Penn State athletics booster and newly elected trustee Anthony Lubrano, an ally of the Paterno family.

Penn State faces sweeping changes, no doubt posing a shock to the so-called "Penn State way." But the Sandusky scandal demands nothing less.