Penn State's Spanier to receive $3.3 million severance package


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Graham Spanier, ousted a year ago as Penn State University's president amid the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, is receiving a severance and salary package totalling nearly $3.3 million, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has learned.

Mr. Spanier, 64, charged criminally earlier this month in an alleged cover-up of Sandusky's crimes, served more than 16 years as president of the state's flagship public university until he was forced to resign as the scandal exploded into the headlines.

He remains a tenured faculty member but was placed on leave Nov. 1, the same day state Attorney General Linda Kelly announced that Mr. Spanier had been indicted on charges including lying to a state grand jury.

According to university data, Mr. Spanier's total compensation in 2011 was $3,255,762.

That includes his $700,000 salary as president, $82,557 of taxable benefits and one-time compensation totalling $2,473,205, which Mr. Spanier was entitled to under the provisions of his 2010 contractual agreement.

The one-time payout includes severance payments of $1,225,000 and $1,248,205 in deferred compensation, which Mr. Spanier earned during his tenure as Penn State's president

The university expects that the net amount of the deferred compensation, after required tax withholdings totalling $860,637, will be deferred until June 2017.

Mr. Spanier had been among the nation's highest paid university presidents.

Under Mr. Spanier's employment agreement, he continued to be paid his presidential salary while on a year's sabbatical that ended earlier this month, Penn State spokesman David LaTorre said this afternoon. He said Mr. Spanier's current pay level as a university faculty member is $600,000 as provided for in the employment agreement.

Mr. Spanier's wife, Sandra, is an English professor on the campus.

Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, is serving 30- to 60 years in prison for sexually assaulting 10 boys over a 15-year period. Some of those assaults occurred on Penn State's campus.

His conviction on 45 counts came as leaders of the 96,000-student university faced a barrage of criticism for failing to report Sandusky's actions to law enforcement.

Two other Penn State administrators have been charged criminally in what the attorney general's office called a "conspiracy of silence."

Mr. Spanier's resignation was announced Nov. 9, the same night that the university trustees fired football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno died in January of complications from lung cancer.

Penn State, as a result of the scandal, recieved landmark sanctions from the NCAA that included a $60 million fine, four-year post-season football bowl ban and deep reduction of football scholarships.

It has faced various other investigations, including an ongoing review by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Bill Schackner:bschackner@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1977. First Published November 28, 2012 6:00 PM


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