“Openness” at PSU: Pres. Spanier’s Sabattical is More in the Nature of a Witness Protection Program

Let’s see now. This is a sort of “Where’s Waldo?” project: Where’s former PSU President Graham Spanier?

These are the sorts of things you could easily find out through a Freedom of Information request, in a heartbeat. Except in Pennsylvania, which is the only state to allow its’ public university (PSU), an exception to the kind of “Sunshine” laws every other state has enacted to force their public universities to cough up information about what their public universities are doing. See my previous post on this topic (PSU Erikson’s Fraudulent Laughable “Openness” Website Just Seeks to Continue the Coverup), which noted that PSU’s phony, Madison Ave-inspired “Openness” website is meant to protect PSU’s unique-in-the-U.S. lack of openness.

It’s PSU’s Board of Trustees, and President Erikson, playing all the average Main Street-type Pennsylvania residents, and PSU football fans, for idiots. They’ve made it plain that they will fight to the death any effort to make PSU subject to Sunshine laws — a broad hint that the good-old-boys remain in power  and have alot to still coverup – but they’ve decided to buffalo Joe Main Street by putting up a website which is called “PSU Openness“!  Right out of George Orwell.  (You can almost hear the lawyer or PR guy: “We can’t live with openness — but let’s put up a website which makes it look like we really want openness!“) That’s your  Pennsylvania public servants for you.

What do you suppose former PSU President Graham Spanier been doing since he was relieved of his duties last November?  He’s been on sabbatical. Other than that, no one knows anything.

Sabbaticals are given, every seven or so years, to faculty members, in recognition of the essentially academic, and research, function of a faculty member. Contrary to some popular belief, it’s not meant to be a time to go goof off. There must be some specific academic mission, if not research and writing, associated with the sabattical.  And, for all of you Pennsylvania residents and PSU fans who are being played for fools by President Erikson, here are the specific written guidelines pronounced by PSU for all faculty sabaticals.

As you can see, the guidelines require that the faculty member file a document which shows the purpose, the work to be accomplished, and the projected results of the sabattical which the faculty member proposes.

Now, Pennsylvania resident and PSU fans, if you lived in any other state, you could get a copy of the application filed by Graham Spanier (currently the subject of federal, state, NCAA and PSU investigations as to why he let Jerry Sandusky loose on the PSU community for perhaps 13 years) in support of his request for a sabattical.

But you can’t get that document. Because you have no right to that document, filed by a publicly-paid employee. So no one knows what he’s doing.  Yet he’s receiving full pay and benefits. He wasn’t fired — even though he presided over a “cratering”  of a public university the likes of which has never before been seen.

Well, then, if this all makes you more curious, and you’re wondering what Mr. Spanier might possibly be doing right now to earn his weekly paycheck of about $25,000, write a letter to PSU President Erikson, and ask him whether there is any “Justification” for Mr. Spanier’s sabbatical activities (if there are any), and cite the specific “Justification” requirement explicitly contained in the PSU Sabattical Policy:

“Justification – How will this project contribute to [his] own scholarly development and how will it benefit [PSU’s] department, college, or the University as a whole?”

If Erikson is honest (and, based upon performance to date, he often strays from the truth) he would tell you that Spanier’s “sabattical” more resembles a placement in a federal Witness Protection Program, meant to get the sonovabitch the hell out of Dodge. There is no other “Justification.”

About brewonsouthu

lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
This entry was posted in Graham Spanier, Jerry Sandusky, Jo Pa, Joe Paterno, PSU Board, PSU football, Right to Know Law, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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