Posts tagged ‘Hank Foley’

A Town Hall Session on the Scandal

Patrick Mansell took this photo for Penn State Live.

The most dramatic moment happened almost an hour into Tuesday night’s Town Hall Forum, in which President Rodney Erickson and seven other top University officials took questions from Penn State students.

Students had never before had such an opportunity—not in “the history of the whole university,” student government president TJ Bard stressed in his introduction—and the ones who came took it seriously. They pressed for assurances that the Sandusky scandal would not affect their internship or job prospects, wondered why no undergraduate students were named to the special investigations task force appointed by the Board of Trustees, and asked whether Penn State’s commitment to transparency would include reassessing its exemption from Pennsylvania’s open-records law.

Then a woman stood up and said she not only had a question, but that she wanted to tell the eight administrators on the stage how she felt: “I don’t know if all of you feel this way, but Jerry Sandusky is part of the Penn State family. And I feel shame.”

The room fell silent, broken by one loud clap of approval. Then the woman added, softly, “What do I do with these feelings?”

More silence. And suddenly, the forum took on a different feel. It wasn’t about who may have done what or how things should have been handled or what the University is doing to recover from this, but about the emotions that Penn Staters have been coping with over the past 27 days.

The officials rallied. Hank Foley ’82g, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school didn’t even wait for the microphone before he said, “Acknowledge them.” Once he got the mic, he added, “We have to acknowledge them, recognize how how you feel. And admittedly, a lot of us feel some of the same feelings. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like that. At all. And there’s nothing wrong with expressing that, either. I think it’s completely understandable.” (more…)

December 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm 6 comments

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