Reconstruction Begins: Graham Spanier Resigns Tonight, Rodney Erickson Reportedly Starts Tomorrow

While it's likely an interim positions to start, BWI's Nate Bauer is reporting that Graham Spanier will submit his resignation tonight to the BOD, to be replaced initially -- and perhaps permanently -- by current Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Rodney A. Erickson.  

Erickson's current stint at Penn State began in 1999; his role has been running academic operations.  He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Minnesota.  His pitch reads like this:

As chief academic officer, Provost Erickson is firmly committed to the goals of enhancing academic excellence at Penn State through greater support of high-quality teaching, research, and service; enhancing the educational experiences of Penn State students; building a more diverse and caring University community; and serving the people of the Commonwealth and beyond. Dr. Erickson and all units organized under the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost value your ideas and suggestions on ways to achieve our educational goals at Penn State.

There's also the issue of getting to the root of the massive administrative failure. The BOD will begin it's Special Committee process, which is explained in full in yesterday's press release:

At its regular meeting on Friday, November 11, 2011, the Board will appoint a Special Committee, members of which are currently being identified, to undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the Grand Jury Report. This Special Committee will be commissioned to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible and what measures are necessary to insure that this never happens at our University again and that those responsible are held fully accountable. The Special Committee will have whatever resources are necessary to thoroughly fulfill its charge, including independent counsel and investigative teams, and there will be no restrictions placed on its scope or activities. Upon the completion of this investigation, a complete report will be presented at a future public session of the Board of Trustees.

While it's easy to demand Action Now in these kinds of situations, its probably worth admitting the BOD has been relatively prompt given the red tape they're forced to operate under, not to mention the gravity of both the exit and invitation decisions. 

And of course this is all just the first few steps of a long road to travel.  There are the victims, which need re-focused on.  The trial. Potential government intervention and investigations.  Likely a more formal search for the next President of The Pennsylvania State University, not to mention the other positions that will be left vacant between now and early January.

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