An Open Letter to The Board of Trustees

by Gary Levitt

You still don’t get it. Joe Paterno is not the problem. You are the problem.

Excluding the four new members, the rest of the Board have, at best, been asleep at the wheel or, at worst, have irreparably damaged Penn State’s reputation with a series of poor decisions and costly blunders — the latest being a $6 million “investigation” that raised far more questions than it provided answers.

It is time to stop the bleeding.

Trustees who knew more than they were willing to share with the entire Board must resign immediately. There can be no excuses made for their arrogance and betrayal.

The rest of the Board, except for the new members, having admitted to an egregious lack of oversight and a failure to carry out their responsibilities, must sign pledges that they will not seek nor accept reelection or re-appointment at the end of their current term. This will clear the way for an orderly transition to new leadership untainted by the mistakes of the past.

The Board should make it clear that David Joyner’s appointment as an acting Athletic Director is temporary and that a search for his replacement will commence immediately. The search committee should consist of faculty, coaches, and an experienced, professional, independent consultant. Board participation must be limited to newly elected Trustees.

Emeritus Trustees should be thanked for their past service and told that it is no longer necessary for them to attend meetings or participate in future decisions.

Existing contracts with public relations firms and consultants should be terminated for cause immediately. Every decision made from November 9th through this past week has been more damaging than helpful. It is time to stop talking about transparency and start being transparent. It is past time to rely on simple truth rather than spin and doublespeak.

Your actions and inaction have made a bad situation worse. You have embarrassed the Penn State community with your clumsy attempts to protect yourselves at all costs. You do not have the support or the confidence of your constituency. You have turned our proud tradition of success with honor into incompetence with shame.

Only those who now have the humility to step up and accept the consequences of their mistakes will salvage some semblance of respect. Apologize and step aside so we can truly begin to build a better future and restore our Penn State pride.

Nothing less is acceptable.

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