Wagner: Penn State Should Be Subject To Open Records Law
The state auditor general is prescribing specific changes in governance at Penn State including increased mandatory transparency
A-G Jack Wagner says all universities that receive hefty funding from the commonwealth, like Penn State, should be subject to information requests under the state's open records law. He said the school is exempt, at least in part, because of the push made by former
P-S-U president Graham Spanier.
"Penn State lobbied, the previous president Spanier lobbied, extensively four or five years ago to have Penn State University excluded from the Right to Know legislation," Wagner said. "We think that was wrong and we believe it should change."
Spanier was implicated in the university's internal investigation for covering up a budding scandal related to Jerry Sandusky's abuse of several young boys. Spanier has not been charged criminally.
Wagner also recommended that Penn State's no longer be a voting member of the Board of Trustees.
"The question has to be asked, why does the president of Penn State have so much power? Why is so much power vested in a singular person at the largest university in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania?" asked Wagner.
The auditor general said the governor, too, should lose his vote on the Board. He also suggests that Penn State, and all the state-related schools, be subject to Pennsylvania's open records laws.
Wagner is not alone in the open-the-doors sentiment. The governor and the Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi have both recently expressed support for bringing Penn State under the state's Right to Know law.