PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Graham Spanier Ousted as Penn State President

As the dominoes continue to topple from the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the Penn Sate University Board of Trustees has announced that Graham Spanier no longer fills his role as University President, effective immediately. Executive Vice President Rod Erickson will fill in as interim President.

Spanier, 63, succeeded Joab Thomas as the 16th university president on September 1st, 1995, and has held the position since. Over his 16-year tenure, he has become involved in a variety of different committees and organizations, ranging from education to athletics.

His most notable legacy is hard to specify, as the University has expanded greatly under his leadership, most notably the creation of the Schreyer Honors College and the addition of several modern and updated education buildings, including the College of Science of Information and Technology, a merger between Penn State and the Dickinson School of Law, and the recently completed, state-of-the-art Millennium Science Complex.

He was also a founder of Internet2, was a key contributor to the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, and was the first university president to sign a deal with Napster to halt illegal file sharing by students. Moving beyond education, Spanier was also actively involved in athletics, as he chaired the BCS’ Presidents’ Group, and serves as the chair of the NCAA Board of Directors, both prestigious positions that may now also be in jeopardy.

Even with these accolades, not even Spanier was able to dod ge the fallout from the scandal, as he was widely criticized for reacting slowly, without much direction, and for employing a variety of curious public relations strategies.

At a time when Penn State needed leadership, Spanier was absent. As the University moves forward, it does so without him, the highest-ranked University member to be ousted thus far in what is quite possibly the most reprehensible episode of Penn State’s 156-year history.

Spanier later released this statement through Penn State.

It has been my great privilege and honor to serve Penn State for more than 25 years, including the past 16 as president. I have said before that the position I occupy is the dream job in American higher education, and I am proud of what we have all done together to advance our programs, support our students, and enhance pride in our institution.
Our great university has been rocked by serious charges against a former coach. The presentment by the Attorney General describes acts that should never be tolerated or ignored. I was stunned and outraged to learn that any predatory act might have occurred in a University facility or by someone associated with the University.

I am heartbroken to think that any child may have been hurt and have deep convictions about the need to protect children and youth. My heartfelt sympathies go out to all those who may have been victimized. I would never hesitate to report a crime if I had any suspicion that one had been committed.

The acts of no one person should define this university. Penn State is defined by the traditions, loyalty and integrity of hundreds of thousands of students, alumni and employees.

Penn State and its Board of Trustees are in the throes of dealing with and recovering from this crisis, and there is wisdom in a transition in leadership so that there are no distractions in allowing the University to move forward.

This University is a large and complex institution, and although I have always acted honorably and in the best interests of the University, the buck stops here. In this situation, I believe it is in the best interests of the University to give my successor a clear path for resolving the issues before us.

I will always value the wonderful relationships that I have developed with the many thousands of Penn Staters, community leaders and members of the higher education community throughout the country. I will continue to serve the University in every way possible and celebrate the greatness of Penn State.

About the Author

Greg Pickel

Content Contributor for all things Penn State and member of the Pennsylvania Sports Network.


More by Greg

Julie Del Giorno Hired to Oversee NCAA Compliance at Penn State

Penn State hired Julie Del Giorno Thursday to fill the newly created athletic integrity officer position, but it’s not the first time the longtime education veteran has dealt with the NCAA.

State College Ranked Third Best College Town

Penn State Releases Statement on Freeh Report


Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend