Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Senate to Consider Resolution in Praise of University Leaders

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2012)

At its December 2012 meeting, the Penn State University Faculty Senate will consider the following resolution, proposed at the October Senate meeting by Senator Thomas O. Beebee, Liberal Arts: 

In light of the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions, and the conviction and sentencing of Jerry Sandusky, the Faculty Senate of the Pennsylvania State University wishes to convey its deepest sorrow in the face of these crimes, and to extend its sympathy to all victims of these proven criminal actions. The Senate furthermore hereby:
·   Expresses its support for President Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees in their efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance;
·   Affirms its commitment to furthering the cultures of excellence at Penn State: cultures of teaching, of scholarship and research, of service, of student philanthropy, and of student athletics;
·   Pledges its own best efforts, through its committee work, Senate Council, shared governance, and plenary meetings, to continually making Penn State a better place to work and live, and an environment where cultures of excellence can flourish.

What do you think?  Please either post comment here or send comments to me for distribution prior to the meeting.

92 comments:

  1. This more of the "moving on" theme that the Board has been trying to cram down our throats and it's not going to work! There are too many unanswered questions and we are not going to move on or lend support to any of the individuals or governing bodies at PSU until we hear the REAL AND TRUE answers! My feelings toward the board at this point border on disgust and if the Faculty Senate doesn't soon stand up for what's right, they are going to be taking the seat directly behind them. It is absolutely possible to feel outrage at the perpetrator, and sorrow and compassion for the victims of these horrific crimes and still stand up and defend the honor of PSU. WHEN IS SOMEBODY GOING TO DO IT?????

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    1. Re: "This more of the "moving on" theme that the Board has been trying to cram down our throats and it's not going to work!"

      "Moving on" is what a drunk driver wants to do after he causes a multi-vehicle wreck and possibly some fatalities. That's when he becomes a drunk hit and run driver.

      The Trustees similarly caused a catastrophe for Penn State on Nov. 9 2011 and now, like a drunk hit and run driver, they want to move on. This resolution should be voted down unequivocally by the Faculty Senate.

      In addition, the Chairwoman of said Board, along with Mark Dambly, is now a proven liar for her statement in the Penn Stater (p. 41, bottom) that the Board will not make statements about the guilt of anybody named in the Freeh Report, when she did so herself in July ("Paterno's record has been marred") as did Ken Frazier, even more explicitly. The Faculty Senate cannot honorably condone lack of integrity among the Trustees any more than it can condone academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and similar activities.

      There is also the burning issue as to whether President Erickson told a falsehood about the death penalty threat, although it is possible that the NCAA lied when it said the death penalty was never on the table. This needs to be cleared up before Erickson can be considered trustworthy.

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  2. It saddens me that the senate faculty would even consider this nonsense. The word "spineless" comes to mind - albeit not the only words. I would have never imagined in a million years that PENN STATE faculty would have patsies for a senate. smoochie smoochie to the board of trustees - bleeeeech! Zero respect for this group!!

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  3. This resolution is a rather crude attempt to conflate several unrelated ideas into a "feel good" position. Why not wait until President Erickson stops putting his foot in his mouth or stops destroying the University's good name before making the Faculty Senate a party to the madness?

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  4. So are you saying you support the victims and fixing the system, or giving a pass to Erickson and the Board?!? These should be two separate resolutions!

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  5. Please explain to me why you are supporting Erickson and the BoT? They did/have not acted in the best interests of the victims or the university...

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  6. This is an outrage. The Trustees' conduct is worthy of nothing but condemnation, noting their role in turning the Sandusky scandal into a Penn State scandal. The alumni have nothing but contempt for them and for Erickson, as shown by the 95% (or more) hostile comments at pennstatermag.com/2012/10/27/peetz-erickson-address-alumni-council-again/


    Karen Peetz lied to the alumni when she told the Penn Stater (p. 41, bottom) that the Trustees would not make statements about the guilt or innocence of people named in the Freeh Report, after she herself did that ("Paterno's record has been marred") as well as Ken Frazier. Mark Dambly also told the same falsehood.

    Rodney Erickson and the NCAA's Ed Ray cannot both be telling the truth about the NCAA's alleged death penalty threat. That means the President of Penn State may have told a falsehood to the Penn State community, although the same suspicion currently hangs over the NCAA.

    The bottom line is that the conduct of the Trustees during this year has forfeited the trust and respect of the entire Penn State community. Erickson lost my respect when he called the Trustees' actions of Nov. 9 "courageous," and when he took down the Paterno statue in response to media pressure and an anonymous airplane banner.

    If I was part of the faculty, I would refuse to vote for this resolution as long as the first part (support for Erickson and the Trustees) was part of it. If the Faculty Senate passes this, it will simply alienate the majority of the alumni. When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    William A. Levinson, B.S. '78

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  7. Thomas M KupchonskyNovember 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    In response to your upcoming December 2012 meeting, where the PSU Faculty Senate will consider the following resolution, proposed by Senator Thomas O. Beebee, Liberal Arts.

    In light of the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions, and the conviction and sentencing of Jerry Sandusky, the Faculty Senate of the Pennsylvania State University wishes to convey its deepest sorrow in the face of these crimes, and to extend its sympathy to all victims of these proven criminal actions. Sympathy of the victims is acceptable.

    Any acceptance of the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions, support for President Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees in their efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance is totally irresponsible.

    Affirming its commitment to furthering the cultures of excellence at Penn State: cultures of teaching, of scholarship and research, of service, of student philanthropy, and of student athletics are not only acceptable they are laudable.

    President Erickson, Board of Trustees and NCAA have slapped the Faculty in the face by their blatant attempts to forward the belief that athletics and in particular football ruled over academia at this University. The culture at the Pennsylvania State University has and always will be that athletic participants are students first. Success with honor has always been the mantra at Pennsylvania State University. Success means more than athletic victories it is the growth of the individual as a student and citizen that is our definition of success.

    Thomas M Kupchinsky '69, '78g

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  8. I only have one thing to say: YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!! Ferris Atty 71'

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  9. The Faculty Senate's proposed resolution is nothing more than what is commonly known as "ass kissing" and is an an embarrassment and affront to thousands of Penn State Alumni. No matter how many Trustee asses you kiss they will still consider you subservient second class citizens of no import and worthy of no consideration.

    J. Earl Epstein
    Bus, 1956

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  10. Is he out of his mind!?!?!? I will never support a resolution to praise the efforts of RE and the BOT....NEVER!!!!! All they had to do was demand that due process is done and everyone has they day in court to prove (or not) their innocence.

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  11. There is no way that our Faculty Senate should be supporting Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees. First and foremost, there is no effort to bring greater transparency or accountability to university governance. If they wanted to embrace accountability, the November 2011 BOT would have resigned.

    Second, neither the Board of Trustees or President Erickson want to deal with the problem at hand; they want to move on from the problem, effectuating an even larger cover up of what happened at PSU for the last 12 or so years. They flat out said they are not interested in the factual findings of the Freeh report, the report they paid over 6 million dollars for. What kind of accountability and governance is that?

    Nowhere in the world is this type of "leadership" sufficient. Only at Penn State can silence and corruption reign free.

    If the Faculty Senate chooses to embrace the above-mentioned bullet points, the University can count on continually decreasing donations from alumni and supporters. There has been no leadership. The people in charge can not be rewarded and need to see that those who truly value Penn State as more than a business will withhold any and all funding until a change is made in our leadership.

    Shame on the Faculty Senate. Perhaps it should take a page out of the book of its predecessors.

    Shame on you all.

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  12. Please see my thoughts below each of the bullet points:

    Expresses its support for President Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees in their efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance;

    Frankly, I'm stunned that this is the lead for the resolution. I've seen no additional transparency and very little accountability, unless you consider eliminating due process as accountability. The BOT has not answered most of the questions put to it, has limited public input to ridiculously small time frames, met in secret more than once, and seems to ignore all input from alumni. I strongly disagree with this point!

    · Affirms its commitment to furthering the cultures of excellence at Penn State: cultures of teaching, of scholarship and research, of service, of student philanthropy, and of student athletics;

    Agreed...we all need to work to continue to build PSU.


    · Pledges its own best efforts, through its committee work, Senate Council, shared governance, and plenary meetings, to continually making Penn State a better place to work and live, and an environment where cultures of excellence can flourish.

    Aren't you doing this already????


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  13. This resolution is absolutely awful. I suspect it's too much to ask that before making such a resolution you wait until the trials of Schultz, Curley and Spanier conclude. You may find that we angry alumni have been right all along and the Board has so grossly mismanaged this situation that they should all be brought up on criminal charges.

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  14. Larry,
    We have exchanged viewpoints several times this past year and I greatly respect your position and the work of the Faculty Senate. I must say however that this proposed resolution is not worth the paper it is printed on. It simply states what the Senate should be and has been doing all along. You're not really taking a stand on anything. Business as usual with Administration and Trustees. I expected more.
    Harry H. McAllister 72 Architecture

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  15. Penn State Senate Members

    As a graduate and former staff member of the University, I must ask you to evaluate what actions you could possibly identify that would have you support any action that would “Express support for President Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees in their efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance”??? The actions of the Board, led by self serving elitist members (Peetz, Corbett, Surma, Lubert, et.al.) have done nothing but damage the university’s financial condition, its supporters, its students, its reputation, and its overall brand. Where is the transparency when all actions have been to hide and deflect from themselves? Where is the respect for due process when the world see’s the university’s leadership roll over to the NCAA who used a factless, $6.5 million report to help the administration continue its efforts to point all blame away from themselves.

    You have a choice – stand up for what is right and demand due process bring the truth forward or be part of the roll over gang and allow the media, the self serving government individuals, and the elitist trustees to destroy the university’s reputation that you all are supposed to be concerned about.

    Jim Mannion

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  16. Why does the faculty senate feel the need to continue the word games on this tragic saga? Instead of debating and passing resolutions on this matter, just go out each day and do this work - actions speak louder than words. And if you need to pass a resolution, it should be one calling for President Erickson and the old board of trustees to resign. Thomas G. Haskins Class of 1973; attorney at law

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  17. Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees are the last people we should be thanking. I think it is disgraceful that they have not defended our school in its hour of need. The Freeh report is very short on evidence and long on opinionated conclusions. We would be better off replacing Erickson and the Board. They have meekly submitted to the outrageous NCAA sanctions which are unjust and based entirely on Freeh.

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  18. I think it would be prudent for this body to wait before endorsing this. I feel there has been a trend for the board of trustees to continue to believe they know best and to hid things from the public. There has been no more real transparency. I think that if one looks umemotionally at some events in the last month there was an attempt to cover up the facts of a tragic accident for fear that it would be more negative press. Penn State was not ever a culture of football despite the press and the NCAA claims. There certainly was more than enough proof that Penn State was a leader in educating atheles and well as their students to succeed in many fields. To congratulate an administration that did not defend this reputation is reprehensible.

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  19. It's hard for me to believe that the Faculty Senate would support President Erikson and the Board of Trustees when they are the very people who have invited the national press, the NCAA, and countless others to cut PSU to pieces. These "leaders" did not have the foresight or common sense to practice the principles the institution strives to teach each and every student walking on Old Main Lawn - patience, virtue, accountability, and open-mindedness. The alma mater of Penn State clearly states: "may no act of ours bring shame, to one heart that loves thy name": are we to assume that only holds true only for graduates and even at that for graduates who do not serve on the BOT?

    It is quite evident to a large number of passionate alumni that President Erikson and the majority of BOT members entererd into the entire Sandusky mess without proper planning, and almost blinded by their ignorance and denial. The Faculty Senate supporting Erikson and the BOT is yet another slap in the face of everyone who holds PSU to a higher standard. They (Erikson and the BOT) have brought enough shame to PSU, it is time for the Faculty Senate to say "enough" and show that there is a body at PSU that has some backbone and pride.

    Please don't throw what is left of Penn State's Pride under the bus - it needs leaders with integrity and perservance, not cowards teaching its students.

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  20. jonathan tendler ('68)November 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    i do not support president erickson or the board of trustees. i believe the board has breeched its fiduciary responsibilities to the university community and erickson has not performed his duties in a manner consistent with the best interests of the university. i believe the Board should step down en masse and an immediate search for a replacement for erickson should be undertaken headed by the faculty senate in consultation with all parties of interest.

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  21. Please tell me this is a sick joke:

    "(The Faculty Senate) Expresses its support for President Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees in their efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance".

    Using the terms ACCOUNTABILTY and TRANSPARENCY (not to mention terms like LEADERSHIP, INTEGRITY, and COMPETENCE) in the same sentence with Rodney Erickson and BOT must be someone's idea of a April Fools' Joke (5 months early).
    Never before have those placed in a position of governance - either in the corporate or academic world - failed so miserably on all counts.

    If this is not a joke, at least tell me I am missing your attempts at sarcasm....before I have to disavow all remaining connections to my Alma Mater.

    Sincerly,
    Barry Fenchak '84/'91

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  22. Dr Erickson and the 2011 Board of Trustees should step down. ASAP Thanks

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  23. I can appreciate the effort to be positive and affirm the improvements proposed at the University. However, I do not feel an affirmation is appropriate as it pertains to the Board of Trustees. Should an entity receive affirmation for digging a hole and then trying to crawl out of it? I believe those "long-standing" memebers of the board should step down and refresh the Universtiy leadership. Please continue your efforts as the Faculty Senate to help bring the glory back to Penn State.

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  24. New evidence has come to light that shows Centre County CYS and DPW were in possession of Dr. Chambers' pyschology report prior to their procurement of an unlicensed counselor, Mr. John Seasock, to perform a second evaluation. This evaluation was conducted over the objections of ADA Karen Arnold and the Unversity Park police force. DPW and CYS, in fact, accepted the report of an unlicensed counselor over that of a PhD psychologist in making their decision on whether to make a finding of child sexual abuse in 1998. It is notable also that DPW's investigator denied knowledge of Chambers' report, however, Chambers' stated that she provided this report orally to DPW through ChildLine.

    Given that the evidence indicates that CYS and DPW conspired to end the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, it is also possible that CYS did not act on the 2001 reports of abuse by Gary Schultz and Wendell Courtney. Both of these men have stated they believed CYS was contacted. The absence of an investigation in 2001 in no way proves that Schultz and/or Curley did not contact CYS.

    In summary, this statement appears to be an admission of responsibility by PSU and such an admission is pre-mature, as the courts have yet to decide the guilt or innocence of the PSU officials charged with failure to report.

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  25. I am aghast that this venerable body would even consider offering support to President Erickson and the Board of Trustees. Through the extraordinary efforts of the alumni and friends organization Penn Staters for Responsible Stewaradship (PS4RS), the incompetency of both parties in accepting the Freeh Report without an effort to ascertain whether its conclusions are, in fact, supported by any evidence that would hold up in a court of law and the subsequent accepting the NCAA sanctions without due process, the Faculty Senate should not be lending its considerable influence in support of an incompetent President and, especially, a grossly incompetent Board of Trustees.

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  26. Are we for real. I understand the compassion for the victims but I will never support Rodney Erckson as President nor will I support a Board of Trustees that do not fight for the current student body and athletes at Penn State. The decision to accept the Freeh report as fact without due process is a shameful act. I will never donate another .01 of my hard earned money to Penn State until Mr Erickson is replaced and the Board members who accepted the sanctions against Penn State are removed from office. Penn State is a world class institution and as a graduate of Penn State I am dissappointed in the University's stance on these matters.

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  27. why would you make any comment before any member of the PSU community has been convicted of anything? I thought you were college graduates.
    Jim

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  28. There has been no transparency, as promised. You have not listened to suggestions and you have not tried to listen to anyone other than selected trustees. You are hiding information; the 'time is up' by Mrs. Peetz is stupid. You have not changed or become any different than you were the day you fired Joe Paterno.

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  29. Speaking as an alumnus, class of 1981, I do not support the Freeh report, the NCAA sanctions, nor President Erickson and A.D. David Joyner.

    In fact, I condemn the Freeh Report as misleading and inaccurate, and any action taken based on that report is fraudulent. No action or resolution should be taken until the Schultz and Curley cases have been resolved.

    I recommend an investigation into the Board of Trustees, especially John Surma's part in this whole story. Until then, there is no transparency to praise. Yes, Penn State WILL continue its culture of excellence, which has never been compromised by Penn State, despite any action or inaction by a few people.

    I suggest the Faculty Senate try to find answers to the questions posed by Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship.

    For the Glory.

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  30. This is a very nice, non-offensive and bland assortment of sentiments, and thus it should accomplish nothing. However, it will make it look as if you at least said something. Let's concentrate on ridding the university of all the people who facilitated the disgusting events of the past. Erickson and the BOT would be great additions to that list. Stop enabling them.

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  31. This is a joke, right? If you're serious, perhaps I can make you all feel so much better about being employed at horrible Penn State by driving out there, lashing you to the obelisk and flogging each of you. It would be over so much faster that way.
    Come on, grow a pair and stand up for what's right in this fiasco!

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  32. Nice job, just a few suggested edits.

    In light of the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions, and the conviction and sentencing of Jerry Sandusky, the Faculty Senate of the Pennsylvania State University wishes to convey its deepest sorrow in the face of these crimes, and to extend its sympathy to all victims of these proven criminal actions. The Senate furthermore hereby:

    • Expresses its support to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance;

    • Affirms its commitment to continuing the cultures of excellence at Penn State: cultures of teaching, of scholarship and research, of service, of student philanthropy, and of student athletics;

    • Pledges its own best efforts, through its committee work, Senate Council, shared governance, and plenary meetings, to continually making Penn State a better place to work and live, and an environment where cultures of excellence can flourish.

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  33. Dear Faculty Senate,

    In reading your resolution, I am struck with the phrasing of the opening sentence:

    "In light of the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions, and the conviction and sentencing of Jerry Sandusky, the Faculty Senate of the Pennsylvania State University wishes to convey its deepest sorrow in the face of these crimes, and to extend its sympathy to all victims of these proven criminal actions."

    Am I correct that you have lumped the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions and Jerry Sandusky together as crimes, and that your sympathy extends to all of the victims of the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions and Jerry Sandusky? If so, (and that is how the sentence reads), then I applaud your resolution.

    Dorothy Frank '86

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  34. I agree that the Faculty Senate should extend sympathy to Sandusky's victims. However, the Senate should publicly reject the Freeh Report, condemn the unfair NCAA sanctions, and bid a vote of "no confidence" in President Erickson and the Board of Trustees.

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  35. Lemmings. Don't know which is worse, the Faculty Senate or the BOT. There is not a single spine among them. I am ashamed of my University.

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  36. What a shame. Erickson and the BOT are not at all interested in greater transparency and accountability, or they would not have taken the incomplete Freeh report as gospel, without exploring all the facts....which clearly have not come out yet. See the pending legal cases. The BOT is clearly interested in protecting their own corporate interests rather than the best interests of Penn State. Erickson, he is just a long line of PSU administrators who relied on Joe Paterno to be the mouthpiece and face of the University....then dumped him in the ditch when the going got tough.

    This is nothing more than feel good CYA.

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  37. As a 1996 graduate of the MBA program, I sincerely hope that the faculty does not pass the resolution in its current form. If I were a faculty member, I would have strong reservations about praising a Board and President which have condemned the faculty for not creating a culture where academics are stressed. The Board's and the President's acceptance of the Freeh Report directly questions and blames all of the University, not just the Athletic Department for creating such an atmosphere.

    As a graduate of Penn State, I'm appalled of the Board's and President's blind acceptance of the Freeh Report. In my case, it's just my degree they have cheapened. However, by accepting the Freeh Report, the Board has directly questioned the professionalism and intergrity of a world class faculty.

    In addition, bullet points 2 and 3 in the resolution read well. However, approving the resolution also implies that these items were not done, or not done very well, in the past.

    I would ask you as faculty members to think twice when voting on the resolution in its current form.

    Eric May
    MBA Class of 1996

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  38. Mark E. Bowers, EMS '84November 6, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Personally, I do not see how the Faculty Senate can vote to pass the Beebee resolution, for the following reasons: 1) the Freeh Report is highly flawed, 2) the NCAA sanctions against PSU were based solely upon the flawed Freeh Report, 3) the Sandusky case was rushed to trial and violated due process, and 4) Spanier, Curley, and Shultz have not yet had their day in court. I believe that the PSU BoT continues to handle the entire Sandusky situation poorly, in an attempt to quickly move on and restore PSU's name to maintain enrollments, endowments, grants, etc. It now also appears that Governor Corbett's actions (or inactions) as PA Attorney General at the time are being looked into. There has been a rush to judgment, which led to the disgracing of Coach Paterno, and now a rush by the PSU BoT to move on.

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  39. I am alumni not faculty but this is 1984 Double speak at its worst.Tell The facility needs to acknowledge a failure of fiduciary responsibility worthy of immediate removal of all the board of Trustees except for the newly elected Alumni members. The new "openness is a sham. The board is a "rubber" stamp to a PR group. They do not seem to appreciate how things are going to snowball down unless some backbone is shown.

    The subcommittee on Audit seemed to be clueless that the bond rating was going to be lowered.

    Until the Freeh report is addressed there is no moving forward!

    Wm Paul O'Hern BS ChEngr 1967

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  40. I am an Alumni not Faculty but the proposed resolution is 1984 Double speak at its worst.
    The facility needs to acknowledge a failure of fiduciary responsibility worthy of immediate removal of all the board of Trustees except for the newly elected Alumni members. The new "openness is a sham. The board is a "rubber" stamp to a PR group. They do not seem to appreciate how things are going to snowball down unless some backbone is shown.

    The Trustee subcommittee on Audit seemed to be clueless that the bond rating was going to be lowered.

    Until the Freeh report is addressed there is no moving forward!

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  41. By praising Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees for anything at this time shows a complete lack of understanding of the community that Penn State serves. By signing the consent decree to the NCAA sanctions, Erickson has told the world that our faculty is NOT part of a world class institution, and that football was king here in Happy Valley. As a PSU alumnae with three children, it pains me to say this: Until the faculty stands up and says that Rodney Erickson and the Board failed this university, not another dime of mine will be donated to the university, nor will any of my children apply to or attend this university.

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  42. As an alumni, and supporter of PS4RS, I urge the Faculty Senate to strike its bullet point expressing support of Interim Pres. Erikson and the Board until after due process has been taken to fully vet those responsible for allowing these heinous crimes to have occurred for so long. The Board has asked its members to self access their knowledge of these events, yet no-one has held themselves accountable for inaction. Its unbelievable that no-one on the BOT knew of the investigations or rumors, yet have pinned full blame elsewhere. If and when Spanier, Curley and Shultz are aquited of all accounts, and McQueary's testimony is brought into question (properly with similar perjury charges), all those that fully accept the Freeh report as "fact" will look ridiculous. I am agreeable to enact the Freeh recommendations, and "move on" but lets not accept Freeh's interpretation of evidence as fact. Especially since none of the key players were ever questioned by Freeh. As we know, the written word, take out of context or without inflection can have many different interpretations. Enacting the Freeh recommendations and fully investigating (without bias) the events, timeline and those responsible are NOT mutually exclusive goals.
    Best regards
    Alan B (HHD 1992)

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  43. As a PSU alum, I don't even know what to say to this...this absolutely spineless resolution. Why the ceaseless apologizing? As far as I know, the Faculty Senate did nothing wrong, so why apologize for it? No wait, I know. You're all part of Pres. Erickson's policy of "appeasement". You know how well that's worked out in the past. You disappoint me.

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  44. Interesting. Although I can't disagree with any statement in this resolution, I can't help but feel that big ol' elephant standing in the room and looking over my shoulder. If he could talk he would say, "BUT.... (1) we don't support President Erickson and the BOTs handling of this crisis to date.... and (2) we don't currently have a culture problem at Penn State and we want the world to know that...."

    This resolution is exactly what the PSU leadership wants you to say. It's almost cryptic in that you have to read between the lines to see what you're really saying. Why can't you just say it?

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  45. Are you for real? The Freeh report? NCAA sanctions? If you are putting your name together with the before mentioned, unfounded, unverified and totally inaccurate fiction then maybe you better increase you therapy visits!

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  46. Nothing in the Freeh Report or The NCAA Sanctions have been "proven" and nothing anybody employed by PSU allegedly did has been "proven" to be a crime. Therefore, paragraph one should only reference the crimes of Jerry Sandusky.

    Rodney Erickson and The BOT have been anything but "transparent". There is a great deal of confusion about what Erickson did or did not say to the NCAA; what the NCAA said to him. The BOT refusal to answer legitimate questions, provide information or explanations is anything but transparent. And they are providing anything but "governance" Any reference to Erickson and The BOT will just draw attention to their shortcomings.

    The larger issue is why do you feel the need to make a statement now and why a statement like this rather than a demand for an independent investigation, a release of all information, especially who on The BOT did what relative to the lynching of Joe Paterno and the acceptance of the Freeh Report without it ever being read or discussed?

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  47. How can you support both Erickson and the BOT when they threw Penn State and Joe Paterno under the bus. They been an embarassment to all Penn State alumini and their employees for rolling over to the NCAA and the media. If anything you should be asking for their resignation due to the fact the Freeh report is highly flaw and complete investigation was never conducted regarding the real villians. DCW, Second Mile Foundation and Governor Corbett. At least the new AG Kane will find out the truth. Anyway who wrote this President Erickson. I was at the Penn State/Ohio State game and when Erickson name came over the loudspeaker he was heavily booed. The Senate need to support an investigation to find the true facts rather than roll over like everyone else. Bob Fetrow PSU '79

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  48. You can't be serious. They sold us down the road. They didn't even read the That Great so called investigated Freeh report and let the NCAA impose those sanctions without a fight. You call that tranparency. They put PSU in the spotlight and we the alumni are getting the greef. Friends are critizing our school all the time. I think we should get rid of the whole bunch. They are a bunch of cowards. None of them come close to Joe Pa in their love and respect for PSU. You want to honor them after you disgraced Joe. Where's the proof that he did anything wrong. You are a sick bunch.

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  49. The BoT has done nothing since the beginning of this nightmare but spend money to cover their own liability. If they are in charge, as they say time and again, each and every one of them who was in office during the time these crimes happened should have resigned by now. If they haven't, there's no time like the present. The idea that the Senate Council is thinking of publishing support can be nothing more than pandering at its finest.

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  50. Senator Thomas O. Beebee said that the senate:

    "Expresses its support for President Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees in their efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance."

    I find this entire paragraph to be a complete joke and an insult to anyone not trapped in an academic ivory tower.

    Erickson and the Trustees have made ZERO efforts at transparency and accountability when it comes to the Sandusky scandal. The Freeh report is a scandal all on it's own, and using it as if it were an official legal document is the most irresponsible act that the trustees could have taken. Why did Erickson and the trustees engage in this obvious rush to judgement that doesn't have an endorsement from a single law enforcement agency?

    Why does the NCAA get $60 million? Are they in a unique position to make sure that the money gets to the vicitms? I hardly think so. The trustees have given the money to one of the biggest bureaucracies every created, and who knows how much of that $60 million will be siphoned off by the NCAA before it ever sees the victims. That's just one more huge mistake by the trustees who continue to act like they answer to no one. That's not my idea of "greater transparency and accountability".

    Erickson and the Trustees have done the impossible: they took the Jerry Sandusky scandal and they made it worse for Penn State. That was no small feat.

    This resolution is called: "......in Praise of University Leaders".

    Let's find the leaders first and save our praising for later.

    C. M., Class of 78.

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  51. What a bunch of wusses. Those action verbs are so weak. You all should be challenging the president and board of trustees, not hugging them.

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  52. What a bunch of wusses. Those action verbs are so weak. You all should be challenging the president and board of trustees, not hugging them.

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  53. Thank you faculty for weighing in on this in a timely manner.

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  54. This is what you need to ask yourself BEFORE you agree to any of the above resolutions:

    1. Why was Governor Tom Corbett at the November 9th Board of Trustees meeting with an advanced hotel reservation, when for all prior meetings, he sent a proxy?

    2. Chairwoman Karen Peetz and the Penn State Board of Trustees have repeatedly said that Tim Curley and Gary Shultz will get their "due process." Why was Joe Paterno not afforded the same consideration? What specific information did the Board of Trustees use to make their decision to terminate Paterno on November 9, 2011?

    3. Where are the Penn State Board of Trustees’ meeting minutes from November 9, 2011 and why are they the only meeting minutes that have not been publicly released, even after repeated requests, and a legal requirement to do so?

    4. Why did the Board of Trustees immediately grab power from Graham Spanier, force his resignation, and not allow him to manage the crisis from day one? What facts did they have to inform this decision?

    5. Why hasn’t the Board of Trustees acknowledged that it acted precipitously in terminating Joe Paterno in November 2011, before any facts were uncovered, before the Board became aware that the statements attributed to Mike McQueary in the Grand Jury presentment were false, that Mike McQueary gave numerous versions of his story, none of which provided any details to Joe Paterno, and before the Board became aware that Joe Paterno followed University reporting protocols as they existed in 2001?

    6. Four Penn State Trustees were named in the Freeh Report for having prior knowledge of the Sandusky Grand Jury investigation, dating back to spring of 2011, and doing nothing about it. Only one of those Trustees, Steve Garban, has so far resigned. Why are Jim Broadhurst, John Surma and Edward Hintz still holding their Trustee positions?

    7. What is the overlap in personnel between The Second Mile board members, employees and donors and that of the Penn State Board of Trustees, employees and donors? Why were conflicts of interest not identified in the Freeh Report?

    8. Was Cynthia Baldwin required to report to the Board her involvement in the Sandusky Grand Jury investigation? Did she or did she not tell the board she attended the Grand Jury questioning with Tim Curley and Gary Schultz? How could she offer to represent the three PSU employees (Curley, Schultz, Spanier) when they testified to the Grand Jury, yet be there representing the University?

    9. The Board of Trustees has repeatedly been asked to produce the Letter of Intent, Scope of Work and Memo of Understanding, as well as all proposals received from other potential contractors before the November 2011 hiring of Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP. Where is this documentation and why haven’t the Trustees released this information? Was the relationship between Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan, Pepper Hamilton, and various board members and their employers, including Mr. Frazier and Mr. Lubert, disclosed to all Trustees? What was the role of the law firm of Reed Smith and what is that law firm’s relationship to individual members of the Board and their employers?

    10. Why has the Penn State Board of Trustees (formally or informally) accepted the unsupported conclusions of the Freeh Report and allowed an incomplete and judicially irrelevant document to serve as the basis for NCAA sanctions, Middle States Accreditation warnings and premature civil settlements brought forth by victims?

    11. Who first suggested the use of the Death Penalty as an appropriate penalty handed down from the NCAA - Rodney Erickson or Mark Emmert? What date and time did those conversations begin? Did Rodney Erickson present/recommend the specific sanctions that were agreed upon? Was Rodney Erickson being untruthful when he said Penn State was threatened with the Death Penalty? Why was counsel with expertise in NCAA matters not engaged until July 2012, despite the November 2011 notice from the NCAA?

    12. When will Penn State University make plans to properly honor Joe Paterno's 61 years of service?

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  55. Reads like a bunch of meaningless feel-good statements. Instead, you should be rebuking the Trustees for their lack of action and cover-up of the scandal and calling for mass resignations for those that stood by and watched and said nothing - as in all of them but the most-recent additions to the Trustees.

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  56. I don't expect anything less from the Faculty Senate. The BOT cuts their paycheck. The only culture issue at Penn State "lies" within the BOT. The Faculty Senate should challenge Freeh and NCAA based on our outstanding culture of academics, scholarships and research, of service, of student philanthropy, and the Grand Experiment of Success With Honor in athletics.

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  57. Why aren't you furious that the Freeh report basically says that you are academic slackers who let athletes slide so they could win football games? Especially since we know that is NOT true? This resolution screams "We are guilty!", just like everything President Erickson & the BOT has done since last November.

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  58. Regarding the following:

    The Senate furthermore hereby: Expresses its support for President Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees in their efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance;

    How can you express support for something that they are not doing?

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  59. I'm dismayed at a resolution to support Dr. Erickson and the Board of Trustees in light of their mishandling of the Freeh report and the NCAA. Their actions have done significant harm to the University, that handled in a more appropriate manner would have had vastly less damaging results. Hiring an individual versed in higher education to do an investigation rather than someone with a sordid track record like Louis Freeh reeks of anything but transparency. I was pleased with the report from the past chairs criticizing the Freeh report, but it seems current faculty have fallen for the party line. Disappointing.

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  60. I am a 1970 graduate of Penn State University. I am more and more embarrassed about our school, but not over the fact that an employee was convicted of crimes. I am embarrassed that we continue to perpetuate the distortions that were started and continue in the media; and therefore contribute to our own demise. The responses and press releases of the BoT from the beginning of the information becoming public both accepted blame for PSU in general and assigned blame to individuals without due process.

    I can understand that the current senate was unwilling to endorse the statement by past senate chairs; since the BoT are your employers. That was, however, unfortunate, as the statement was comprehensive in its assessment of the events, including the Freeh report and sanctions; and Penn State’s true historical behavior and culture.

    In contrast, the current proposed statement is in the category of group-think and is offered to appease both the BoT and public. It would be much better to issue no statement than to further the idea of Penn State’s guilt in the press and public. Whether there was any wrongdoing by Penn State in the handling of the 2001 event remains to be seen and judged. Even if true, many other entities were involved over the years, none of which have come forward to express regret (or be investigated), and our constant apologies only reinforce the view that we are solely responsible.

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  61. Nice job, just a few suggested edits.

    In light of the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions, and the conviction and sentencing of Jerry Sandusky, the Faculty Senate of the Pennsylvania State University wishes to convey its deepest sorrow in the face of these crimes, and to extend its sympathy to all victims of these proven criminal actions. The Senate furthermore hereby:

    • Expresses its support to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance;

    • Affirms its commitment to continuing the cultures of excellence at Penn State: cultures of teaching, of scholarship and research, of service, of student philanthropy, and of student athletics;

    • Pledges its own best efforts, through its committee work, Senate Council, shared governance, and plenary meetings, to continually making Penn State a better place to work and live, and an environment where cultures of excellence can flourish.

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  62. While I can appreciate the general bullet points the Senate states it (will) "support", "commit to" and apply "best efforts to", I am disgusted by the emphasis the Faculty Senate has placed on the "Freeh Report" and NCAA sanctions in their opening statement.

    This first paragraph perpetuates an implied value in the Freeh Report that does not exist. This first paragraph also places seeming support to the, as yet, inappropriate and misplaced sanctions by the NCAA.

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  63. Seriously?! "Express support for President Rod and the BoTs....?" When will anyone, someone...faculty, president, or the BoTs stand up for our great University??! Can't "move forward" until the Prez and BoTs get gone!

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  64. While I can appreciate the general bullet points the Senate states it (will) "support", "commit to" and apply "best efforts to", I am disgusted by the emphasis the Faculty Senate has placed on the "Freeh Report" and NCAA sanctions in their opening statement.

    This first paragraph perpetuates an implied value in the Freeh Report that does not exist. This first paragraph also places seeming support to the, as yet, inappropriate and misplaced sanctions by the NCAA.

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  65. Having followed this situation from its first revelation I find it difficult to see little if any contribution by either the president or the Board of Trustees of bringing "greater transparency and accountability to university governance". I would be greatly disappointed to see the Penn State University Senate pass this resolution without striking the item referred to above.

    dale e landon, BA '59, MA '61 and Ph.D. (University of Illinois) '69, all degrees in history. Also past chair of the IUP University of Pennsylvania Senate.

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  66. How could you even think of supporting the President and BOT for their efforts. Don't be naive Erikson and at least some members of the BOT knew what was going on if the big four did.

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  67. This is a sellout by people who are supposed to be educated. This looks dangerously like the BOT has put the thumb down on University Employees.

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  68. I tried to post a comment a couple of days ago, and it still has yet to appear.

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  69. The faculty Senate should have endorsed the letter by previous members but voted against doing so. The current proposed letter is another example of a tremendous lack of leadersthip at Penn State. Do not approve it.

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  70. There's no doubt about expressing sorrow for the victims, but to actively approve and validate the mismanagement of Erickson and the board? It's time for the university to put up no-confidence votes for our ill-equipped leaders. But it doesn't matter-doing things like this is how PR works, and by stroking the BOT's ego the teachers are kept happy and they can plow forward with this move on campaign

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  71. This is good for as far as it goes. I would add the word "far" before the word "greater" so that it reads:
    ...efforts to bring far greater transparency and accountability to university governance...

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  72. Robert Trotter '75 & '77November 7, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    For the BOT to pass this would be just another message to the world that the entire University was in fact responsible for the incomprehensible act of one man. The board's continued stance of apologizing to the world rather than standing up for the University and asking the world to hold off judgment till all the facts are in is a complete violation of their fiduciary responsibility to the university, its students and alumni. By the president’s own report, requests for admission are off and the University is paying millions of dollars in penalties that have yet to be proven warranted. There will be no moving on till the controversy they have created over the University through their actions is resolved by a full investigation and exposing of the facts. Please tell the Board not to compound their previous errors and please NOT pass this resolution.

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  73. Your proposed resolution is ill conceived, poorly timed and a disgrace. For you to even discuss something like this before the trials of Schultz, Curley and Spanier have concluded is irresponsible.

    To be clear, I am one of the thousands of angry alumni who feel Dr. Erickson and the Board of Trustees is selling the University down the river. They apparently only want to “move on” and have no interest in the truth. Had you bothered to read any of the six or seven easily available analyses of the Freeh report, you would not mention it in your resolution. Those analyses show that the report is severely flawed, mostly void of fact and was a gross waste of University funds. And, I have yet to find a single person who has actually read the entire report who finds otherwise. That the report was used by the NCAA and that President Erickson accepted the sanctions with no appeal is appalling.

    If you’d like a good summary of how the alumni feel about Ms Peetz’ and the Board of Trustees actions, you should read the first 550 comments made on the Penn State Alumni Magazine website regarding Chairwoman Peetz’s interview. After the first 550 almost unanimous negative, but well written posts, a couple of trolls arrived to take over the comments so they are less appropriate.

    Perhaps you should also consult further with the large group of your former chairs who apparently disagree with your opinion before enacting your resolution.

    I recently tried to post this comment to the blog, but despite saying my post had been accepted after jumping through the identity hoops, it has yet to appear. I must assume you are only looking for positive comments and see that you don’t yet have any. This post is also being forwarded by email to Mr. Backer.

    Jeff Roby
    Business Logistics, 1969
    Tucson, AZ

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  74. John Waha II '79 ScienceNovember 7, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Wonderful political speech. Not that we haven't had enough empty promises by our Washington, DC president and politicians running for office, now our University leadership is going down the same road. It's time for a complete housecleaning of all Trustees and President Erickson, who participated in the scandal in the first place. How can those, who let a supposed cover-up exist right under their noses be now responsible enough to do the right thing now. I repeat....political BS. I support PS4RS efforts to vote out the old and get the right people in power, who will do the right thing. While I'm still on the soapbox....Freeh Report is an inaccurate and incomplete document, which the University's response is based upon. Dare I say lack of leadership one more time???? John Waha II 1979 Science - Life Member Alumni Assoc.

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  75. David ShellenbargerNovember 8, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    Please see my comments on each of your points below:

    · Expresses its support for President Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees in their efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to university governance;

    I cannot support your above point, as I do not believe that there is "greater transparency and accountability" being presented by President Erickson and especially by the Board of Trustees. The BOT continues to meet privately, excluding the alumni on important issues. The BOT has provided almost no time for alumni response (3 minutes is not sufficient time to discuss a issue important to the alumni)and this is only accorded occasionally. Further there have been repeated questions posed to the Board and the President that have gone unanswered for months. Is this open and transparent? While the BOT may disagree with the stance of many alumni, that is no reason to ignore the issues. The BOT does not represent the alumni of the Penn State University, but has become it's own special interest group who no longer represents the best interests of faculty, alumni, or students.



    · Affirms its commitment to furthering the cultures of excellence at Penn State: cultures of teaching, of scholarship and research, of service, of student philanthropy, and of student athletics;
    · Pledges its own best efforts, through its committee work, Senate Council, shared governance, and plenary meetings, to continually making Penn State a better place to work and live, and an environment where cultures of excellence can flourish.

    While both of these points are fine in what they say, I am a bit confused as to why you think you need to say this. Isn't this already ongoing? Shouldn't this be an expectation of our Faculty Senate? What prompted you to need to reaffirm and pledge these points?

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

    Best regards,

    David Shellenbarger
    Class of 1974


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  76. I would never agree to anything that supports Erickson who abandoned the students, faculty, athletes, and alumni of Penn State University.

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  77. Larry Backer and Faculty Senate:

    By expressing your support for Rodney Erickson and the PSU Board of Trustees, you are supporting the unsubstantiated conclusions of the Freeh report and the NCAA sanctions/penalties based upon a false document.

    I find this very disturbing from a professor of law to have total disregard for due process. Please do not make the old adage true which states; “those who can’t do, teach!!”

    Michael ’83 ‘85

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  78. What is wrong with the faculty at PSU???? That you would even consider supporting Erickson and the BOT's is a joke. Have you no guts or how did they buy you off?? It has basically been indicated that PSU is a "football culture" which negates everything you as the faculty and students at PSU have accomplished!!!!!

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  79. Last time I checked we lived in America where everyone is granted due process. Apparently PSU BOT doesn't agree with the bill of rights. Ken Frazier made a statement, that in hindsight the BOT would have done things differently. Paterno was fired for following procedures & using that statement. Why does the executive committee still have jobs.

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  80. How can any self-respecting Faculty Senate member be told that the culture is one of football reverence rather than academic excellent and then vote to support the people who made that assertion? Our University is collapsing from the inside out.
    Where are the voices of sound judgment? It would be much sounder judgment to not vote for this measure, than to vote for it. Why? Because no one knows were this sad situation is going to head or where it will end. Trials haven't even started. Think for a second, what if a current BoT member gets indicted and convicted. Were does that leave the Faculty Senate? It leaves the University with a further degradation of its reputation. It says the educators were not smart enough to analyze the risks of the situation! Sound familiar? That is what happened with our BoT! Ladies and gentlemen of the Faculty Senate I urge you to think about what you are planning to vote on. The wrong vote could lead to further damage to our University.

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  81. What is this, the "anti-resolution" to the admirable resolutions that were unfortunately voted down at the last Senate meeting? This anti-resolution seems dedicated to giving priority to appearance over truth. It attempts to create a false image of assumed guilt of those who have not received due process (and in the case of Paterno, will never receive due process in his life time) in hope that the public will look more favorably on the rest of us. "Going forward" should mean constructive progress based on a commitment to find the truth, not a smoothing-over, a cover-up, or a willingness to pay penance for crimes we did not commit. Although I appreciate some of the attempts at transparency, there is something terribly wrong about the secret deal with the NCAA. Ed Ray said Penn State was never threatened with the death penalty. The NCAA said they would never want to harm Penn State's athletic programs beyond football, which is exactly what would happen if the death penalty were imposed. And what's this business of a "limited time offer" that Erickson had to accept before it expired? That is what dishonest sales people say to scare people into buying garbage products! Doesn't anybody see that there is something wrong here?

    And why do we need to affirm our culture of excellence?!? Everyone except the authors of the Freeh Report knows that we have a culture of excellence. What we need is a direct refutation of the slanderous remarks in that report about a "culture problem" at Penn State. Can't the Senate show some spine?

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  82. What is this, the "anti-resolution" to the admirable resolutions that were unfortunately voted down at the last Senate meeting? This anti-resolution seems dedicated to giving priority to appearance over truth. It attempts to create a false image of assumed guilt of those who have not received due process (and in the case of Paterno, will never receive due process in his life time) in hope that the public will look more favorably on the rest of us. "Going forward" should mean constructive progress based on a commitment to find the truth, not a smoothing-over, a cover-up, or a willingness to pay penance for crimes we did not commit. Although I appreciate some of the attempts at transparency, there is something terribly wrong about the secret deal with the NCAA. Ed Ray said Penn State was never threatened with the death penalty. The NCAA said they would never want to harm Penn State's athletic programs beyond football, which is exactly what would happen if the death penalty were imposed. And what's this business of a "limited time offer" that Erickson had to accept before it expired? That is what dishonest sales people say to scare people into buying garbage products! Doesn't anybody see that there is something wrong here?

    And why do we need to affirm our culture of excellence?!? Everyone except the authors of the Freeh Report knows that we have a culture of excellence. What we need is a direct refutation of the slanderous remarks in that report about a "culture problem" at Penn State. Why can't the Senate show some spine?

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  83. What is this, the "anti-resolution" to the admirable resolutions that were unfortunately voted down at the last Senate meeting? This anti-resolution seems dedicated to giving priority to appearance over truth. It attempts to create a false image of assumed guilt of those who have not received due process (and in the case of Paterno, will never receive due process in his life time) in hope that the public will look more favorably on the rest of us. "Going forward" should mean constructive progress based on a commitment to find the truth, not a smoothing-over, a cover-up, or a willingness to pay penance for crimes we did not commit. Although I appreciate some of the attempts at transparency, there is something terribly wrong about the secret deal with the NCAA. Ed Ray said Penn State was never threatened with the death penalty. The NCAA said they would never want to harm Penn State's athletic programs beyond football, which is exactly what would happen if the death penalty were imposed. And what's this business of a "limited time offer" that Erickson had to accept before it expired? That is what dishonest sales people say to scare people into buying garbage products! Doesn't anybody see that there is something wrong here?

    And why do we need to affirm our culture of excellence?!? Everyone except the authors of the Freeh Report knows that we have a culture of excellence. What we need is a direct refutation of the slanderous remarks in that report about a "culture problem" at Penn State. Why can't the Senate show some spine?

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  84. My comments to the PSU Faculty Senate were sent to Larry's e-mail address.

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  85. If you follow this path, then when the truth finally comes out, you will have damaged forever the integrity of the world class faculty at PSU.

    M.Miller
    class of '72

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  86. Is this the Faculty Senate's bid to become Vichy Penn State?

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  87. I believe one day history will record president-select Erickson and the “unanimous” BoT (those who fired Paterno) as the biggest failures in character and leadership the university has ever suffered through. Perhaps the Senate should be investigating bringing criminal charges against Erickson and the BoT, but absolutely NOT praising them for their spineless, short-sighted, cover your own @sses behaviors that continue to this day. We will not “move on” or rest until justice has had an opportunity to be heard!

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  88. How can you support a Board and a President who: meet in secret, act in haste, TOTALLY neglect their fiduciary responsibilities (crisis plan, anyone?), fire long-time dedicated employees without a hearing and even a shred of Cause (Joe Paterno), throw other long-time employees under the bus (decline to renew Tim Curleys contract even BEFORE his trial?), exhibit a total lack of civility and human decency (remove the Paterno statue on the first year anniversary (to the DAY!) of Joe Paterno's death (Sue Paterno was not advised and had planned to take her grandchildren there that day), decline to 'do their homework' and value a document they paid MILLIONS for by NOT READING IT, have publically stated that the truth does not matter and that it is time to move on, limit "Public Expression" at Board Meetings to THIRTY MINUTES per meeting and require that all comments be submitted ahead of time and reserve the right to deny anyone the right to speak (lets see, 30 minutes per meeting times how many meetings per year equals HOW MANY minutes for all faculty, students, alumnae, donors, community members, etc to address the Board?), have exposed the University to MILLIONS of dollars of fines and penalities, yet as of the last Board meeting could not begin to estimate the possible total cost to the University...need I say more? YOU could be next. Aren't you scared???

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  89. The comments regarding the proposed resolution are largely, if not entirely, unsupportive of this action. You can include me as another dissenter for various reasons which have already been expressed by others on this comment board.

    It should be abundantly clear that that most members of the current BOT should have resigned already for failed leadership during a time of crisis in November 2011. Besides resigning, the structure of the BOT should be immediately revised to eliminate governor-appointed positions and corporate positions, both of which place those members in conficts of interest. The number of unanswered questions which persist, in addition to the numerous disingenuous actions which the President and BOT have taken, do not warrant any degree support by the Faculty Senate.

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  90. Add me -- another Penn State alumni -- to the list of people who beg you not to approve this resolution. Erickson and the BOT have done more damage to Penn State than even Sandusky.
    Do not become part of the group doing damage to the school.

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