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University to Re-File Right-To-Know Report

Last week we reported on the possibility that Penn State had misfiled its Right-To-Know report, a document required by the Commonwealth. The main issue at hand has to do with a section of the report that asks if any family member of a trustee or board member received over $10,000 in compensation from the University.

Penn State answered “yes” but failed to acknowledge who might fall into that category. One such persion is certainly Dr. Sandra Spanier, President Graham Spanier’s wife. She is a full tenured Professor of English in the College of the Liberal Arts. According to a report released in 2003 (pdf), the average Liberal Arts professor earned a salary of around $144,000 per year. This would certainly mean that Sandra Spanier should have been listed on the report, and yet she was not.

Pseudonymous blogger Thorstein Veblen (of Left of Centre) believes that the omission of Sandra Spanier, among others’, from the report was in violation of the Right-To-Know Law requirement, and rather angrily accused the University of intentionally omitting those names. His complaint appears to have been heard by the University, which announced yesterday that it would be refiling the report to include the salaries of high-ranking leaders’ relatives. University spokesperson Geoff Rushton told that, “We originally thought the way we answered (the question) was satisfactory,” and blamed changes to the IRS form for the error.

It is good to know that the University takes its transparency seriously. However, it is not all that surprising that there were errors found on the report, this being the first time Penn State has had to submit it, having been exempt from filing until the Right-To-Know Law was expanded in 2009.

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About the Author

Chase Tralka

Chase Tralka is a Senior majoring in Information Sciences and Technology with a minor in Security and Risk Analysis. He is from Northern New Jersey and is involved in far too many organizations to list here. He enjoys photography, cycling, and listening to obscure free jazz music.


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