Posts tagged ‘Rodney Erickson’

New Website Pledges Openness

In keeping with President Rod Erickson’s pledge for more open communication in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, Penn State launched a new website:

The site provides information on legal and public relations fees related to the scandal and the investigations, salary contracts for top administrators, and the impact on recruiting, admissions, and fundraising. More than 20 questions are answered—many with exact figures—in the FAQ section.

The university will update the site regularly.

Mary Murphy, associate editor 

February 14, 2012 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

Alumni Ask Questions; President Erickson Answers

Rodney Erickson and moderator Patty Satalia took questions from Pittsburgh-area Penn State alumni for about 90 minutes on Tuesday night.

Rodney Erickson promised “openness and communication.” He promised them twice, in fact, during his opening statement Wednesday night at a town hall meeting with alumni in Pittsburgh. He called those values his “guiding principles and watchwords,” ones he learned growing up on a farm in Wisconsin, and he said they’ve served him well during his career in higher education, the past 34 years at Penn State and the past nine weeks as the University’s president.

“I know there’s a perception that we at Penn State have not always done as well as we could to be open, to respond to questions and to be as transparent as possible with all of our constituencies—alumni, faculty, staff, our students, and the public and the media who report on our great university,” he said. “We will do better in the future based on those guiding principles of openness and communication that I just stated. I’m here this evening to begin to demonstrate these values.”

He promised, also, to listen to whatever the more than 600 alumni who attended the town hall had to say about the Sandusky scandal and its aftermath. (And anything else.) Those alumni took Erickson at his word. They were polite, but they didn’t hold back.

The first speaker introduced herself by saying that she’d brought her baby daughter and son home from the hospital in Penn State sleepers “because (more…)

January 12, 2012 at 9:40 am 4 comments

Amid More Distractions, Lions Get Ready for a Bowl Game

Chima Okoli didn’t see the fight. He was graduating. For the second time.

This was Saturday, when a post-practice altercation between starting quarterback Matt McGloin and receiver Curtis Drake ended with McGloin suffering a concussion and apparent seizure after his head hit the concrete floor of the Nittany Lion locker room. Even under normal circumstances, this would’ve been big news for a high-profile, bowl-bound team. But under current circumstances? The sizable media scrum around McGloin during Monday’s pre-bowl media day told the story as well as anything.

The fight was the story Monday, a figurative black eye (McGloin’s faced appeared unscathed, for what that’s worth) on a program that doesn’t need any further blemishes. All involved, including McGloin and interim coach Tom Bradley ’78, ’86g, downplayed the incident Monday, with Bradley referring to “an activity in the locker room” that differed little from countless other instances of competitive young men losing their cool. That didn’t stop reporters (more…)

December 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment

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

President Erickson Drops In on SOC 119

No one seemed to notice the man in the suit milling around at the front of the room. There’s a lot of activity in Sam Richards’ classroom before class officially starts, and between the “what do you still want to talk about” feed scrolling down the right-hand side of the big screen, the reminder on the other half of the screen that Quizno’s was donating a percentage of its Tuesday night profits to The Haiti Project, and the reggae music blasting from the speakers, it’s hard to keep track of everything.

And then Richards started his Tuesday SOC 119 class—the second given over to the Sandusky scandal and its ramifications—with a moment of silence “for all that has happened, and in particular for the people whose voices are very often silenced.” Immediately afterward, he introduced a guest—“Dr. Rodney Erickson, who’s going to say a few words …”

That grabbed the students’ attention. And even before (more…)

November 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm 2 comments

Tom Bradley Takes Over

Tom Bradley ’78 is known among reporters and Penn State fans as a reliably jovial presence. He laughed just once on Thursday during the press conference to introduce him as Penn State’s interim head football coach. It was a short, ironic laugh, referencing how little there was to laugh about.

On Thursday morning, Bradley took a seat at the podium in a packed and sober Beaver Stadium press room. He was preceded by acting athletic director Mark Sherburne, whose introduction was mindful of the week’s events. “Families who entrust us with their children and their Penn State experience demand us to be stewards, role models, leaders and solid decision makers,” Sherburne said. “Tom fits that mold and will take that responsibility to heart.”

It’s well known that Bradley, the Nittany Lions’ longtime defensive coordinator and one of the most respected assistant coaches in the nation, (more…)

November 11, 2011 at 2:31 am 4 comments

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