STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State trustees on Thursday reviewed the way the university's top lawyer interacts with the school's governing body, including the types of legal issues to which trustees must be alerted — both issues central to board operations in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal.

The role of the general counsel and the office's interactions with the trustees has been under intense scrutiny amid the massive fallout from the scandal involving the retired assistant football coach and is even part of the legal defense being mounted by two former high-ranking officials facing criminal charges.

A trustees committee overseeing legal matters approved new guidelines for the general counsel that the full board is slated to vote on Friday.

The trustees began two days of regularly-scheduled meetings by gathering in separate committees Thursday. A committee overseeing governance recommended making the university president and governor nonvoting members of the 32-person board, though a vote by the full board on that issue may not occur for at least a couple months as trustees weigh other reforms.

Current general counsel Stephen Dunham told legal committee trustees that the review of the legal issues at the university was initiated by recommendations from former FBI director Louis Freeh, who handled the school's internal investigation into the scandal.

The recommendations included what issues to take to the board and, even if they are approved on Friday, as expected, the guidelines remain fluid.

"It's the most important thing in here. It will just take time," Dunham said in Thursday's meeting. "Ultimately, it's good judgment."

Two former Penn State administrators who face charges related to the scandal have said they were illegally deprived of legal representation when Penn State's previous counsel accompanied them to a grand jury appearance.

Retired vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley, who is on leave, were charged in November 2011 with perjury before a grand jury and failure to properly report suspected abuse.

Late last year, state prosecutors added new charges of endangering the welfare of children, obstruction and conspiracy against them, as well as former president Graham Spanier. All three men deny the allegations against them.

Former general counsel Cynthia Baldwin has been a topic of pretrial motions by Curley and Schultz, focusing on whether Baldwin was acting as their lawyer when the three men met with prosecutors, and then testified before the grand jury.

The guidelines approved by the committee Thursday outlined that the general counsel's first obligation was to "report to, and represent" the university, and that the Board of Trustees was its top constituent.

The legal committee did not address potential civil settlements with Sandusky's accusers. University president Rodney Erickson told The Associated Press there were no new developments to report publicly, and that he remained pleased with the progress of talks.

The school hopes to expand its general counsel's office following years of relying on outside firms. Dunham said the university was also close to announcing the hiring of an athletics compliance officer, required as part of the strict sanctions handed down by the NCAA last summer.

Also discussed Thursday was the transition of trustees to university employees — and vice versa — which critics have said may create a conflict of interest. Baldwin was a former trustee before becoming counsel, and current acting athletic director Dave Joyner resigned from his trustee post after being appointed by Erickson to replace Curley during the scandal's frantic opening weeks in November 2011.

Erickson, who plans to step down when his current contract expires next year, has said Joyner will stay as long as he is president.

The board expects Joyner to be among a pool of candidates should Erickson's replacement elect to hire a new AD.

Results of another survey of alumni conducted in December were unveiled at a separate outreach committee meeting. The survey found that more than 8 in 10 alumni remained positive toward Penn State, thought that's down from 9 in 10 in 2009.

About 75 percent of respondents said the school should publicly recognize late football coach Joe Paterno — fired in the wake of Sandusky's arrest — for his decades of service to the school, down from 87 percent in May. The survey was conducted by an external public relations firm under contract with the university.