Spanier's job status not on table for trustees
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The board of trustees at Penn State University does not plan to fire university president Graham Spanier, who finds himself and his university embroiled in a child sex assault case involving a former coach and also dealing with allegations that two administrators tried to cover it up.
In a phone interview Monday, Steve Garban, chairman of the board of trustees, said terminating Mr. Spanier is not on the table.
"No, it's not being discussed at this point," he said.
The board met in an emergency executive session for about two hours on Sunday evening to discuss the matter. The vast majority of board members attended, he said.
The meeting was held after Jerry Sandusky, the football team's former defensive coordinator, was charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period.
Tim Curley, director of athletics, and Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business, were charged on Saturday with perjury and failing to report the alleged assault on campus of one boy after being told about it by head football coach Joe Paterno. Mr. Paterno was told about it by a graduate assistant in 2002. That assault is said to have occurred in a football locker room shower.
Mr. Garban said the board plans to convene a task force with its own independent legal counsel to investigate the matter.
He said details of the task force and the scope of its investigation have yet to be worked out, but it will also look at the university's "policies and procedures ... related to the protection of children."
Mr. Garban, a former vice president at the university whose 33-year tenure as an administrator ended in 1993, said he has worked with both Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz. He said he found the allegations against them "hard to believe, quite frankly."
"I have known them as people of high integrity," he said.
Both administrators have insisted they're innocent of the charges.
"I believe them," Mr. Garban said.
First Published November 8, 2011 12:00 am