An Open Letter to the Penn State Community

This is intended for everyone who considers themselves a part of, or involved with, the Penn State Community including alumni, fans, students, faculty and trustees.

We have reached a point where there is a lot of division and conflict within our community. We have reached a point of crescendoing frustration which has resulted in the derision of members of our community and the actions of the university. And unfortunately, we will likely remain in this situation for the foreseeable future.

The pending legal actions involving Penn State (both the lawsuits brought by the Commonwealth as well as the pending charges faced my former administrators) will linger for years. The sanctions placed on the university will impact the football program for years. The best efforts of many to make the best out of this situation by raising awareness and prevention of child abuse will hopefully outlast the sanctions and the lawsuits as they come to fruition. And yet as all of these things slowly work themselves out, we remain at the mercy of everyone but ourselves.

It's a difficult situation for most of us as personal responsibility and accountability have been engrained in us through the Penn State principles. We would prefer to help ourselves far more than rely on others to help see us through this trying ordeal. We would much rather dictate our own course of action and be held accountable for it than have it dictated for us by others, yet be held accountable all the same. The helplessness we feel and the response of the general public makes it practically impossible to be patient. We await leadership while the characteristics instilled in us through Penn State are begging for just one opportunity to act for ourselves.

It's a difficult time. It's a time I hadn't personally anticipated being as trying as it has been. We are in a state of purgatory, helpless to the will of others. There are groups and individuals alike that are trying to take action and there are those that oppose those actions. I would just like to implore everyone to remember the ultimate goal that I believe we all share.

All that I ask every member of this community, from student to trustee, is to act in the best interests of the university. We will have differing opinions of what those best interests may be and the best way to accomplish them. There will be heated exchanges and disagreements. Please remember that both your actions and the actions of others will reflect on this community. Provoking others to illicit a reaction to create a certain opportunity may seem like a means to success, but that reaction you illicit will reflect on this community. The Frazier comments are one of those actions. I'm not trying to claim he was intentionally provoked for a racial reaction, however if we are to turn this into a racial issue, it will reflect on this community as a whole.

And I beg anyone, especially those in positions of power and control, if you are not up to the challenge before you, please remove yourself. We are at a time when we need true leadership from individuals who care deeply about this community and want to see it become the greatest institution it can be. We need people passionate and devoted to this community who hold the betterment of the university over their own personal interests. Anyone who does not fit that model is a liability to this community as a whole, and there are already too many liabilities in our present situation. I truly believe that we can overcome these adversities and succeed in our goals like we have succeeded so many times in the past. But in the true Penn State manner, I want that to be an honorable success. This is a defining moment in our history and we will be defined by our actions. Honor and integrity have always been at the foundations at the university and we need to see that they continue, for the glory.

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