Sunday, November 13, 2011

Institutional Failure

In the wake of the breaking news of the Penn State disaster I have learned that as long ago as last March the Harrisburg newspaper carried revelations of the fact of the grand jury investigation in progress into complaints about serial child abuse by former coach Sandusky. I confess that I do not read the Harrisburg papers, or even the State College paper; a negative effect of my commuting life.

But two things are immediately evident. Schultz, Curley and Spanier all knew that a grand jury investigation was in progress, and so far as I can tell did nothing to prepare Penn State for the horrible revelations that were sure to come. And I am certain that there are people in our university administration who follow the news from the state house and environs as part of their job responsibilities. What did they make of this news? Why was no action set in motion to meet the day when the grand jury report would be released? Why was our institution left so exposed and so vulnerable?

I have no idea if such questions will be included in the investigation now under way by the trustees, but they should be.

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