Trustee Al Lord Is Not Penn State
Last week’s long-anticipated verdict in the trial of former Penn State president Graham Spanier wasn’t going to make all parties happy — the discussion of who should shoulder the brunt of the blame for allowing Jerry Sandusky to run rampant will go on for decades to come. But, at long last, there’s been an element of closure; a verdict was reached — for better or for worse — which will hopefully cease any hypothetical conversations of guilt, at least for the time being.
But, where we may hold differences, there’s common ground to be had. At no point over the past five years, nor the future five centuries, should the victims of Jerry Sandusky be placed on the back-burner (or anywhere but the forefront). Furthermore, basic human beings, not to mention leaders of academic institutions, should find the decency within them to not put the victims in a negative light — or even suggest that they’re “getting in the way.”
Albert Lord does not possess such decency. His repulsive comments made on Saturday in an email to The Chronicle of Higher Education proves his reckless regard for the people most damaged in the Sandusky scandal.
“The notion that there can be only one point of view with respect to all this stuff,” Lord said to The Chronicle, “and trustees at Penn State should toe a line that reflects the politically correct point of view, is symptomatic of what ails us.”
Nobody, in good conscience, should have the audacity to utter such despicable thoughts. Given a chance to recant, Lord simply refused. “Keep in mind I said I was running out of sympathy [for the victims], I wasn’t totally out,” Lord told The Daily Collegian. “And no one knows how much I have left.”
Yet, nobody has come forth condemning Lord for his comments. The members of PS4RS, the vocal group of alumni who campaigned and championed Lord’s leadership skills during his 2014 election, are deafeningly silent. Is this really responsible stewardship? The Board of Trustees, the very leaders of this school, merely shifted the focus and reminded the community that the board’s thoughts remain with the victims.
Sandusky’s victims were left with scars that’ll last a lifetime — scars that won’t soon fade. No sum of money could heal those wounds, but Mr. Lord’s insinuation that financial gain was a driving force behind the victims’ respective decisions to come forward is downright disgraceful not only for a man of his position, but the Penn State community at large.
Given his words and his unwillingness to renounce them, this man does not deserve a seat at the head of Penn State. Mr. Lord is up for re-election this May. Penn State deserves a better, more compassionate voice on its board.