Penn State Town Hall

Uploaded by wpsu on 01.12.2011

>> Good evening from the HUB-Robeson Center
on the University Park Campus of Penn State University.
Tonight in Heritage Hall of Penn State Town Hall Forum.
Tonight's Forum is designed to be an open discussion
between students and administrators seeking
to move forward and ensure transparency in the wake
of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal
which has rocked Penn State.
Where do we go from here?
Penn State students will pose that question
to newly appointed Penn State President, Rodney Erickson
and seven senior administrators.
The moderators for this event are Penn State sociologists Sam
Richards and Laurie Mulvey, the husband and wife team known
for their popular World in Conversation Project
which cHallenges students to talk candidly
about their beliefs and attitudes
on a wide range of social issues.
The national press has been invited to tonight's Forum,
however, questions will come exclusively
from Penn State students here in Heritage Hall and those viewing
from location setup at commonwealth campuses.
TJ Bard, President of Penn State's University Park
Undergraduate Association and Peter Khoury,
President of the Council
of Commonwealth Student Government will open tonight's
Penn State Town Hall Forum.
>> Good evening and welcome
to Penn State's first ever student Town Hall Forum.
My name is TJ Bard and I'm the President
of the University Park Undergraduate Association.
I'm joined here tonight with my colleagues Peter Khoury
who serves as the President of the Council
of Commonwealth Student Governments as well
as Jon Lozano, the President
of the Graduate Student Association.
Tonight's event is the very first of its kind
in the history of our university.
Peter, Jon and I are honored and excited to be welcoming all
of you here as well as those streaming
in from our commonwealth campuses
across the State of Pennsylvania.
I would also like to especially thank President Rodney Erickson
and the senior vice presidents who are here tonight.
We are looking forward to an open, responsible
and professional conversation amongst our Penn
State community.
>> Tonight's student Town Hall Forum is intended
to give you the opportunity
to engage key university decision makers
about the future of Penn State.
Sharing your thoughts, feelings and opinions
as students is essential to this community's wellbeing.
We know that you still have many questions and we hope
that this Forum will help you find answers.
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by recent events.
Now, please join me in welcoming the 17th president
of the Pennsylvania State University,
President Rodney Erickson.
[ Applause ]
>> Well, thank you very much Peter and TJ
for those opening remarks.
I want to thank all of you for coming this evening
and for those who are joining us
across the commonwealth from other locations.
This is a terrific turnout and I'm really delighted
to see you all here and have this opportunity
to interact with you.
I know all of us shared in the shock and sadness
when we read the attorney general's presentment now almost
four weeks ago.
And our hearts continue to go out to the victims
of this tragedy but I'm also very proud of the way
that our students and other members
of the Penn State community have responded.
Our students responded with a candlelight vigil
with the whole host of other activities to raise funds
for the victims and to show the caring and community
that I have come to know as Penn State over the past 34
and a half years that I've been here.
This is a difficult time for us but it's a time to look forward
and not look backward continuing.
When I took this position, I told the trustees and those
who were listening that I really wanted to spend a lot
of time doing several things over the next few weeks.
One of them was to listen; one of them was to hear
from students, from faculty, from staff, from alumni
and others around the country who were interested
in learning more about Penn State
but also telling me what was on their mind.
I also said that I wanted to reassure members
of the Penn State community that we will not let the actions
of any individual define who we are
as a university and a community.
I've said that I wanted to reaffirm
that Penn State continues
to have a very bright future despite what's happened.
And I said wanted to have core values with as many of you,
I wanted to have discussions with as many of you as possible
about our core values, our values of honesty, integrity,
excellence and community among others.
So, that's what we're really here for tonight,
is to talk about all of these kinds of issues,
talk about going forward.
How we go forward to learn from where we've been
but to be a better university,
a stronger university going forward
and we will do that, you have my promise.
Many of you have met, listened rather to the, and read,
the five promises that I have made.
I have said that we would raise the visibility
of ethics in the university.
We will raise it to a new level so that hopefully everyone
in the university understands not necessarily just the legal
thing to do but the moral thing to do so that we learn
to do the right thing the first time, every time.
I've also said that we will create a spirit of transparency
and openness of the, at the university
and I hope you've been reading many of my recent messages
that hopefully have kept you up to date about initiatives
that we're rolling out and things
that are happening at Penn State.
I've also said that we will remember the victims
and I pledge to you that we will continue to do
that not just the victims of these alleged events
but also victims of childhood sexual abuse and all
of its dimensions in a much wider context,
the national arena.
I've also promised that we will cooperate fully and completely
with the special investigation's task force that's been formed
by the board of trustees.
We will provide open, honest, complete access
to any information that Judge Freeh needs in the context
of that investigation.
I have also promised that we will look at many aspects
of the university in terms of governance and oversight.
And we will ensure that there is appropriate oversight
over all aspects
of the university including intercollegiate athletics.
So, we're here tonight to have a discussion and I thank you again
for coming and I wanna introduce my colleagues here who are
to my left and I will introduce them so you can direct questions
to them as maybe appropriate to the particular part
of the university in which they largely function.
Starting on your left is Dr. Rob Pangborn,
Rob is the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate
and currently serves as acting executive vice president
and provost to the university.
Next is Damon Sims, Damon is the Vice President
for Student Affairs.
Next is Madlyn Hanes, Madlyn is the Vice President
for Commonwealth Campuses.
The next is Hank Foley who is the Vice President and Dean
for Graduate Education.
Next is Craig Weidemann, Vice President for Outreach.
The next is the other Rod, Rod Kirsch who is the Vice President
for Development and Alumni Relations and next
to Rod is Terrell Jones, the Vice Provos
for Educational Equity.
So, we're here to answer your questions this evening
and I will turn it back to the questioners, thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> Thank you so very much President Erickson.
Please turn your attention
to the programs you have with you tonight.
On the back you'll find the panelists' names and titles
as well as a seating diagram at the bottom.
Now, I would like to welcome our moderators for tonight's Forum,
Sam Richards and Laurie Mulvey who will go
over some brief ground rules before we get started.
Sam and Laurie.
>> Thank you.
>> Thanks to all of you for being here.
Yes, we're in the middle of a crisis but as a lot
of you also know that means we're in the midst
of an opportunity and to see
so many faces here is really an opportunity.
I'm really grateful and thankful to the student leaders
for imagining this Forum for us and convening it.
It's been a very impressive process to be a part of.
I just like to say that I think this is a small step forward,
there are many steps forward that we're taking
as a community, but this step is just gonna be simply talking
to one another and there's a lot of power
in that talking to one another.
>> And so in that process, we hope to begin
to rebuild some relationships
and build some new relationships.
So the way we wanna see this evening is sort
of stimulating a conversation and there's a lot of people here
to make this a conversation but on some level we wanted to try
to simulate a conversation.
So we have a couple of guidelines to try to help us
to do that and Sam's gonna share those.
>> And most of the guidelines apply not only to those of us
out here on the floor but also those of us here on the panel.
The first thing is raise your hands when you have a question
and we will get to you.
There are a lot of people here with a lot of questions
so we're gonna try to limit it to one question
and one comment per person and we wanna try to as best
as possible keep some of the questions
and group them together.
So if you have a follow-up to something that somebody
that somebody says, an immediate follow-up, let us know,
intervene and grab us and we'll try to get to you
as quickly as possible and--
>> We're gonna ask you to stand when you ask your question just
so you're more visible.
>> And use the microphone and that's it.
Otherwise, it is a conversation.
>> Okay.
>> So who's got the first--
>> Questions.
>> Hello.
>> Maybe you could state your name.
>> Yeah.
>> Before--
>> My name is Ricky Morales and we'd like to thank everyone here
for taking the time this evening to speak with us.
This is an incredible first step
in starting a real honest dialogue with students
and we hope to have more student Forums
like this one in the future.
So, President Erickson,
you wrote that Penn State is committed to transparency
to the fullest extent possible given the
ongoing investigations.
However, many students feel
that transparency should encompass more
than just the scandal.
So that said, what does transparency mean to you?
Can you think of any specific ways not just related
to the scandal that transparency has failed in the past
at our university and how does this new administration plan
to handle these issues
and improve upon how it was handled previously?
Thank you.
>> I think you see can evidence of the transparency,
the fact that we're here this evening.
This is one of many steps that we will be taking and next week,
next Tuesday, I'll be meeting with the faculty senate
in an open kind of Forum.
I will make a short presentation and stand for questions
that will be a forensic session.
Following that, I'll be meeting with staff and we're talking
about a wide range of issues, really.
As individuals have questions or comments that they want to bring
to my attention about particular issues, my door is open,
my email is open as certainly can be attested to by the more
than 3,000 email messages I've received
in the last three weeks, and I will do my absolute best
to get back to you with comments
and with reasons why certain things are done.
And I know I can speak for my colleagues here who are
on this stage as well that we commit
to that kind of openness as well.
We will do whatever we can as I've said
to promote transparency throughout the course
of not just the next few months ahead
with the several investigations that are going on but certainly,
any other aspects as well.
Students should feel free either individually or as groups
of students to approach me or any other members
of the administration and that's a commitment
that I make to you, okay?
>> We have a question here.
>> Hello, my name is Moss Blard and I'm in Penn State.
I would like to thank you guys
for having this open student Forum and receiving questions
from students and answering them.
In 2007, Graham Spanier testified in front
of the Pennsylvania State Congress
to depend Penn State's immunity from the Right to Know Act
which allows for Penn State to disclose no information
to its students or the university-- sorry-- to its--
okay, sorry-- which allows for Penn State
to disclose no information to its students
or the public concerning budget information,
university decisions and procedures as well
as communications between the university officials
and Jerry Sandusky among other things.
Do you believe Penn State should revoke its immunity to the Right
to Know Act based on President Erickson's
and the university's promise of communication and transparency?
>> Let me respond to the first premise that there isn't a lot
of information already available.
All of you should know that the university's budget is
very open.
Some of you, I hope-- have any of you gone to the home page?
Okay. If you go the home page and you click
on About Penn State then the next click is the budget.
There is a tremendous amount of information there.
You can go into your individual program
and you can see exactly how they've spent their money.
What they've spent on office supplies and what they've spent
on travel and what they've spent on salaries and benefits
and all sorts of other things.
The only thing that you can't find there is
that the individual salaries or wages of faculty or staff
who are employed by the university
but there's a tremendous amount of information there.
There's also information on the university's financials
in terms of its balance sheet.
There are-- perhaps there's too much information.
I've asked our director of the university budget office
to actually go in and create, I called it a primer.
But it's really an instruction sheet on how
to navigate the budget so that when individuals go
into the university's budget,
they can understand what's the difference between general funds
or educational and general or restricted funds.
Once you know some of those basic ground rules going
into the budget, you can learn just about everything
that there is to know in terms of the finances
of the university so there is a lot
of information out there already.
I think one of the keys is to make
that information more accessible to more people
so that you can understand what's really there.
Certainly, there's discussion that's taking place
in Harrisburg these days and around the commonwealth
about the right to know and so forth.
But I have to tell here that right to know doesn't mean right
to know everything because there will still be things
that people won't get to know.
For example, you've all heard of--
probably even signed when you go to the doctor the statement
about HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act.
Medical records of people will not be open.
Student records will not be open and so forth so,
individuals should understand that even under Right to Know,
there are certain restrictions about things
that are legally mandated that we have no ability to sub vent.
So, overall, I think this context is changing.
We'll certainly have to see what kind of discussions take place
in Harrisburg, we will obviously comply
with whatever decisions are made and hope
that there's a reasonable kind of protection of sensitive sorts
of information from those
that the public really should be knowing.
>> Okay, we wanna bring some other folks in on the panel,
so why don't we go to the question that you have
from the commonwealth campus, if you could read that?
>> This is from Brandywine [phonetics].
The student is named Chris Krammer, his question is:
"what can we as students do specifically
to help out the victims?"
Who'd like to take that?
>> And the emphasis on that question
by the way is on specifically.
>> I think there's a lot of some--
there's a lot of opportunities for students
in service learning, the voluntarism to applied research,
to volunteering with organizations.
Penn State has a rich history in providing support to individuals
across the commonwealth in the areas of childhood abuse.
4-H has about 200,000 students, excuse me,
that live across the commonwealth
and there's a tremendous need for students to be mentors
to help them deal with specific issues.
We also have specific programs that are helping build
up resilient families who are dealing with difficult issues
so there are opportunities that we've been involved
with for many, many years for you to participate
that you can help individuals and have an impact.
>> Does anybody else want to share something?
>> I'd like to add and this doesn't apply specifically
to the victims here at Penn State but more generally
to the issues of child abuse.
We've been working hard over the last several weeks
to do a very complete inventory of the curricula--
the curricular offerings that deal with these kinds of issues.
Many of you will be going into careers and professions
which bring you into an environment where you need
to understand the warning signals.
>> You need to be able to-- you need to understand the kinds
of reporting requirements associated
with your particular kind of profession and you need
to understand the kinds of interventions and treatments
that are available so that you can provide appropriate counsel
and so I would recommend that as you go through your curricula,
you look for those courses where these elements are very apparent
and can be very helpful as you prepare
for your eventual employment.
>> Okay, we have a question.
>> Good evening.
My name is Michael Wood, I'm a first year student,
PhD student here at Penn State
and I really appreciate the opportunity to speak before you.
President Erickson and leadership, thank you very much
for providing an opportunity for us
to come together and communicate.
As a former athletic director and 20-year coach at levels
from elementary school to high school, I'm very appalled
at the lack of moral responsibility
of athletic department.
As I view the hierarchy of the previous
and current athletic department, what concerns me is the lack
of culture diversity in those offices.
What are the steps that we're gonna be taking
to bring the qualified person of color
into the athletic department?
>> Well, thank you for that question.
The meetings that I'm having
with personnel there will certainly stress a whole range
of issues.
I am frankly new to the athletics arena.
My background has been really entirely on the academic side
so I'll be very frank with you.
I have much to learn about athletics
and I described it earlier today as drinking from a fire hose.
There are just so many aspects and everything from compliance
to conferences and the list goes on and on.
But my intent is to be a fast learner,
to ask lots of difficult questions and to push
on whatever areas there are in intercollegiate athletics
where we need to do work.
>> We have a question here.
>> Hi, my name is Carida Joseph
and Joe Paterno has typically been the brand and the face
of Penn State and I was just wondering how do you intend
to rebrand Penn State so when you think of Penn State instead
of maybe thinking of the scandal and the whole Joe Paterno thing,
we have a better connotation?
>> Oh, I don't know.
>> I'll take that one.
It's a good question.
You know, I-- before I came to Penn State about 40 months ago,
I had spent nearly a lifetime, 33 years at Indiana University
in Bloomington, Indiana
and there was a basketball coach there for many,
many years named Bob Knight who left that university
in difficult circumstances,
not entirely unlike the recent events here.
Bob Knight and Indiana University seemed
to be synonymous with one another.
It was not long after Bob Knight's departure
that I think Indiana University came to be noted more
for the kinds of things that it truly should have always been
noted for in terms of its academic excellence,
the experience outside the classroom
that went well beyond the basketball program.
You know, Penn State, the one thing I know
with absolute certainty is
that this is truly a great university.
It has had a great football program,
I suspect it will continue to have a very successful
and great football program
but I also think this is a wonderful opportunity for all
of us to find new ways to demonstrate
to the world how excellent we are in every other respect.
In the branding of the Penn State,
we'll I think even more notably emphasize the aspects that occur
in the classroom, the experiences you have there,
in the learning that takes place there,
as well as the rich activities outside the classroom,
both at the University Park and all the campuses.
But I think all of us here tonight and all
of those listening; I think we have
to turn our attention to that in new ways.
We have to collaborate with that aim in mind
because that's what we should be doing
and I think that's the cHallenge that's ahead of us
but I'm very optimistic that the world will quickly move past
these events and recognize Penn State for what it really is.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Okay. We have a question.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Just while you're getting your question, Sam,
I just wanted folks to remember that about a year ago or more
than a year ago at this time,
the Wall Street Journal identified Penn State
as the number one place they wanted
to hire graduates among a survey of 500 organizations.
They said Penn State has bright, well-rounded,
hardworking, dedicated graduates.
You folks are all the same as those students were last year.
You're all the same.
You are those students.
>> I just comment on the question
about what do we do going forward as it relates to now
that Coach Paterno is no longer on the scene.
I've been asked quite a bit over the 16 years that I've been
at Penn State exactly how much money Coach Paterno is
responsible for raising for scholarships and buildings
and so forth, and it's very hard to quantify.
Certainly, he was very, very helpful but I think if you talk
to the alumni and you talk to students, they realize
that Penn State is so much more than just one person.
We have an incredible array of people who are very loyal
to this place and I really think we will become known now
for the excellent students we have
for the success our alumni have, for the volunteerism
that our alumni have out in their various communities,
and for all the excellent programs that we do
and have here at Penn State.
>> Question here.
>> Is this a follow-up to that question?
Okay. Right, come in.
>> Hi, thanks for coming out tonight.
I'm Aubrey Fawn [phonetic]; I'm a junior here at Penn State.
My question was in reference to what you said
since Wall Street did recommend us
as the number 1 hiring school.
A lot of us are worried right now
about how that's gonna reflect when we go
out into the job market 'cause, you know,
our degree now comes tacked with this, so what we should do
when we're facing employers trying to talk about this
and how should we counteract that in interviews?
>> Well, I must tell you
that our career services office very early
on in this experience reached
out to all those primary employers that have always been
so interested in Penn State students just
to determine whether there is any truth whatsoever to rumors
that we were also hearing about their loss of interest
in Penn State and I can assure you that universally,
we've been told that's not the case.
They're not only not retreating from their interest
in Penn State students, many of them are reemphasizing it,
they're ratcheting it up, I think, in important ways
so I have every confidence that you don't have to worry
about that because I think the people
who employ Penn State students are very reasonable,
intelligent and insightful folks.
They understand what has happened here
and who may have been responsible
and they do not hold Penn State students accountable
for these activities.
They still understand the value that you bring
to the experiences in their workplaces
so I don't think you have to worry about that.
That's said, I and several deans, the director
of career services and a representative
from corporate relations will be traveling to New York City,
Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. in the next week and a half
or so just to have conversations with many
of these primary employers in those locations
to answer any questions that they may have to be
as responsive to their concerns as we can be just to ensure
that what we're hearing on the ground is accurate,
but I'm very confident that it is.
>> So, before we get to the next question, I wanna just put
out there, I think there probably are a lot
of follow-up questions to this particular issue
and I really wanna encourage you to think about what those are
and share them and maybe we come back to this.
Do you have a follow-up specifically to this.
>> Yeah, there's follow-up over here.
>> Okay, alright, go ahead.
>> Good evening, my name is Cathy Rogers
and I've been blessed to spend 24 years in the military.
By saying that, I spent a long time in different areas
of the world that don't know us because of football.
One of those places is Louisiana.
Needless to say they don't know us for football.
The reason why I ask this is because I have a senior
in college now and I'm a senior in college
and we are seeing the results of it although I don't see it.
It is going to be subconscious when they look
at you depending on your career field.
My question to you is
that though are alumni are outstanding
and they are doing a lot right now that we might not see,
what are we doing or what are they doing that we do not see?
Or what can we do to bring them out more visibly
to show exactly what we are at Penn State, that we are more
than what they see on TV?
>> Let me take that one.
One of the responsibilities I have with great help
from Roger Williams who's the Executive Director
of the Alumni Association is to really inform
and involve our 550,000 living alumni
and since these events started nearly a month ago,
we have been very much in contact with our alumni
in lots of different ways.
Most of you are familiar with the 10,000 plus alumni now
who have expressed their help of victims
through an organization called RAINN which has been terrific.
We are planning to go out and meet with a lot of these people.
President Erickson has offered us sometime in early January
to go to some of the major cities in this country
to communicate in Town Hall meetings just like this,
not a long social affair but really a true meeting like this
for us to inform alumni so they can be better and able
to tell the Penn State story, tell what we're doing
to go forward and move forward as Dr. Erickson has expressed
so we are trying to really take advantage.
One of the wonderful things we have here at Penn State
that very few institutions have is the tremendous loyal alumni
body and I see while many of them were saddened and upset,
some angry, some feeling betrayal.
Many, many of them are now saying we wanna help
this institution.
I see it daily in emails we're getting.
Roger Williams has gotten lots and lots of emails
about these people reaching out to help to really,
really restore and make proud and better
that Penn State pride so I am confident.
I've had calls from donors for example to say, look,
I'm just calling to tell you, we're standing by you here.
So, I'm confident that this large, powerful alumni body
that we have are certainly gonna be with us here
for the long haul, they care about this place deeply.
>> I'd like to add to that
because I understand how worried you might be.
I wanna reassure those who are at the commonwealth campuses
that alumni want to open doors for you.
They have expressed concern.
Remember that we measure our own success by your success
and we do want very much to help each other and who best to do
that but the wonderful alumni just as Rod was saying
who are available to us.
They want you and other generations that follow you
to be as successful as they might be
and I think no better connection can happen except
through these wonderful, wonderful relationships
that either awaits you or that you've been fortunate enough
to already experience and I wanted to add one other thing.
At the campuses, many of them hold career fairs
and others send students to regional career fairs
and we're hearing also that employers are still very,
very interested in our students.
They are sending representative to meet our students.
There has been no fall off in that activity
and I'm happy to report that.
I hope you have some solace with that.
>> Just one thing I wanted to mention,
I think your question was, which was really good,
is that sometimes I think people think that this is the kinds
of issues that we are addressing that we need
to address here just happened at Penn State
and not other places, okay.
We know that human beings are kind of capable monstrous evils.
That's part of the human condition.
They are also capable of tremendous good.
There have been lots of studies that indicate that all you have
to do is have people in authority tell you
that it's a good thing to do and that people
who normally wouldn't do really evil things will do evil things
and it's very important that we learn to question authority
and in many cases, being here and being part
of this experience might actually make you a better human
being and a better employee 'cause we have
to question authority and those of us who are in authority have
to be ready to answer those questions.
>> Okay, so for those of you who came late or tuned in late,
this is the Penn State Town Hall Forum, an inspired event
or this event has been inspired by students, created by students
to give students an opportunity to speak with members
of the president's council and President Rod Erickson,
so we have a question?
>> Thank you.
My name is Darren Bishop, I'm a graduate student here
and I'm sure everyone would agree
that this has been a very emotional time for all of us.
President Erickson and Vice President Sims and others
who might want to respond just to kinda take this
into another direction for a second and to make sure
that we can relate to you and your experiences.
I'm wondering if we could step back a little bit and go
through the key events that have happened
over these last few weeks, not just at grand jury report
but some others and if you wouldn't mind sharing the
emotions that you felt during those events.
>> Well, I'd like some other speakers.
>> So, I'm grad dean and so I guess,
I've got the microphone now.
I'm also an alum and I moved here 11 years ago
and brought my family with me and my kids went to school here
and I'm very proud of that.
My spouse works here and I'm proud of that too.
So, for 11 years, I've come to work and it hasn't really been
like work because I feel very much a part of Penn State.
But as I said recently to a collegian reporter
and something was on the newspaper,
last four weeks have been agonizing,
they've been agonizing for a lot or reasons but you know,
first you read the presentment
and you're shocked, can't believe it.
And you think about it and of course somewhere
in there sadness, anger, all those things come up
and you know, you just try to get on with it and go back
to work and accept where you are and keep moving forward.
I think the key to this is it's really apparent now.
Now, it's real, that we're all in this together,
we always have been, but it's ever quite so apparent
as it is now for administrators, faculty,
students, alums and so forth.
Our institution is under a tremendous attack
and we're feeling the pressure of that so I think we have
to think very carefully about what we say, you know.
I don't see any diminution in numbers of sponsors coming
and companies coming but once you're hired, you know,
colleagues and others will ask you about this
and it's important to have thought about it and to think
about what you'd say to them.
I've tried that and I certainly had to do
that with a number of folks.
Tomorrow morning, I'm happy to say
as some others have said here
that Siemens Corporation will be here.
I'll be kicking that off and they're here
to hire our students and to fill their pipe line.
We have a lot of alums out there who with major organizations,
government, state government, federal government, corporations
who are appalled by this and want to do as much as they can
to make things right and to put it back on track.
So, for me, I think I've said all I need to say except
that it's been tough, it's been real tough.
>> I'd like to if I may kick this question off
to President Erickson 'cause I've heard so many people ask
that question, wonder about how you must be feeling
in the midst of all of these?
>> I think, Hank has described my feelings very well too.
I first learned that these charges would be handed
down the day before they were and it's shock, it's sadness,
it's disbelief that something like this could have happened
and then it's really, you know, where do we go from here?
How do we respond to the needs of victims?
How do we help our students move forward?
How do we provide the kind of counseling?
How do we provide the opportunities
for not just our students but our faculty and staff
who have been deeply,
deeply just really experiencing this tragedy so personally?
So, all of those kinds of emotions were going
on at the same time that I was asked
to step in to this new role.
It's certainly not the way
that any university president would ever want to
or imagine coming in to this kind
of an awesome responsibility but I have also determined
that it was time for me to step up.
This is a university that means so much to me that I felt
that I had to step up and really provide the kind of leadership
that I thought we needed at this time.
And so it's been a whirlwind three weeks, that's the only way
to describe it because as I say, I received thousands of emails.
I've tried to respond to as many of them as I could personally.
>> Many of them have been offering a lot of suggestions
on many different kinds of things
but what I've been really gratified about is the way
that the message is coming through.
Some of you may have read that I sent out a communication
to students who have applied to Penn State and students
who have been provided with offers from the early round
of applications and in the first instance,
our applications haven't fallen, they've run ahead,
continued to run ahead in fact by about 4 percent
over last year's record rate.
So there are perspective students out there
who are still very, very interested
in coming to Penn State.
We have over 40,000 baccalaureate applications
in right now and I'm told
that only 8 students have withdrawn their applications
and I've received dozens of email feedback
from our perspective students who have applied saying,
I really wanna come to Penn State, I understand
that this wasn't something that represents the whole university.
So, there's a tremendous mix of emotions, tremendous sense
of what a big job that we have ahead of us now
but also a tremendous buoying of spirit that there are
so many individuals, not just Penn State alumni but others
that I'm hearing from all across the country,
other university presidents,
some of my older provost colleagues who are saying,
"We know this isn't Penn State, we know that you're gonna emerge
from this better than ever, we're with you,
keep up the good work".
>> Thank you.
>> Okay.
>> I know a lot of these questions are complicated.
The questions themselves are complicated
and the answers are also complicated so it takes us a bit
of time to get those things out.
I'm just gonna ask those of us in the audience and those of us
who are panelist to try to just be more succinct
in our questions and in our answers
so that we can't get so much.
I have a lot of people here,
they're saying, "Please call on me".
>> How many people have questions
so we have a sense of that?
Okay, we're gonna be here a long time.
>> So, yeah, we just need to be able to be more succinct.
>> I have a question from the World Campus from Kyle Shear.
We're gonna go into slightly different direction.
Thanks for those answers, Hank and Rod, by the way.
The board of trustees has expressed that they have
and will continue to act in accordance with what is
in the best interest of the university.
As the recent events have unfolded the actions
by the board of trustees has cast skepticism and doubt
over the ability of the board to effectively lead and reside
over a prestigious university such as Penn State.
What is the board of trustees doing to try
and regain this trust that has been compromised?
And as a follow-up question, why does it appear and emphasis
on appear here, why does it appear that the board
of trustees has made no attempt to do what is
in the best interest of the student body?
>> Well, that was not a succinct question.
>> No, it was not.
>> So, I'm not sure we're gonna--
so can you say that the succinct question there
that we can get a response to?
>> I think there is a lot of skepticism about the board
and the reason I'm asking this question is 'cause I have many
people who've asked this question.
They feel some kind of way about the board of trustees.
They don't feel as though they really acted necessarily
in the best interest of the university
and as some person said, we realized you may not be able
to fully answer this question
but do you all have any thoughts about that?
You know, how-- what do you know that the board is doing
if they made any decisions?
>> I certainly would share the outlet--
the outset that I have tremendous support for
and admiration for the board.
They were faced with some very tough decisions
and they made those decisions but I think more importantly
to your current question there, Sam.
If you look at the special investigations task force
and look at who is on that task force,
I think it should give everyone a good deal of confidence.
It's chaired by Ken Frazier, a very distinguished CEO
of Merck & Company, the vice chair is Ron Tomalis,
the Secretary of Education for Pennsylvania
and includes the chair, the faculty senate, among others
and so forth but I think the big thing is Judge Louis Freeh is
the special independent counsel and Judge Freeh of course served
in very distinguished way as the director of the FBI and also
as a federal judge and he has been given full authority
to look into this in every possible way
and we've made every possible commitment to support
that investigation and the results will be public.
>> We have a related question here.
>> Hi, my name is Laura Bradley.
I would like to thank you guys for your commitment
to transparency and this is great
and I hope we can do something like this in the future.
We're talking with the board of trustees and we would
like to see the board of trustees not being able to vote
until they speak to the student and allow students
to make comments and ask questions about major things
like getting new buildings or eliminations of departments
or even arranging departments,
we think that that would be really helpful
to getting the students involved and also allowing them
to understand what's going on and why things are happening.
>> Well, with nearly a hundred thousand students at Penn State,
what we often have to do, both the board
and the administration, is rely on representatives of students,
and the board I think does
that by having attending all the meetings.
The presidents of UPUA, CCSG and GSA were the leaders of course
who organized this event tonight.
They also have a student as a member of the board of trustees
and that's been the case of Penn State for quite some time
so there are opportunities of course for the student voice
to be included in various fashions
so when the board meets, that the sessions are open
to the public, that the Friday session is something
that is available to you to attend if you'd like.
It's also the case that the board I think in recent years
in the time that I've been here,
they have expressed more interest actually in interacting
with students, student leaders and other students
in various ways because I think they would like to hear more
from students and so there have been opportunities created
for them to meet with representative groups
of students to hear from those students what they can
and to ask the right kinds of questions to those students.
So there are all kinds of ways
in which the board is trying to affect that.
I think we are working hard to allow that kind of interaction
to occur and to the extent that you
and others has specific suggestions about how
that might happen, I would welcome a conversation sometime
after this meeting that we might be able to talk
through some possibilities.
>> I wanna interject here.
Did you all hear what he said?
What he's saying was the board would like to hear more
from students so it's incumbent upon you to speak to the board,
so looking for your input.
>> May I just offer too?
Our student body is very large and it's very diverse
and so it's very hard to get a collective voice.
There are only a couple
of venues throughout your college careers
where so many students come together for a dialogue.
There's the convocation which isn't really a dialogue
and there's commencement which also isn't really a dialogue
so this kind of meeting is really important.
I think the number of students have said
that they appreciate this chance to voice how you feel
and what your opinions are and I think everyone
up on the stage here would be very happy
to continue this kind of dialogue.
It's the way we can get kind of a collective viewpoint
of such a variety of youth.
>> Maybe the next one, we'll have the board of trustees
up here, next month, right?
>> Hello, my name is Ryan Brown, just have a quick question.
I keep hearing you all speak about diversity
and the different things that the board is trying to do
in regards to getting student input
and making the decision that they make.
The question similar to what this gentleman behind me
actually asked earlier
about diversity is exactly I heard Damon mentioned that UPUA,
CCSG and the Graduate Student Association have been actively
involved in the planning and decision making
that the board does but what about the other student groups,
smaller groups who have more of a connection
with the minority population, the students of color,
the international students, and just the wide variety
of the students who make up this university where I look
around this room and there are very few faces
of diversity in this room.
>> It speaks volumes in my eyes to sort
of how decisions are being made and who's being left out
and I wanted to know how you all felt in regards to, you know,
what the board is actually doing and what will be done
to incorporate more of an actual diverse voice
in making these decisions.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Hello. Yeah.
I think I just need to remind us all how committed we are
to extending the diversity.
We know that learning is so dependent on diverse use
on meeting fellow students from other cultures and from other
and who are multicultural at that.
The board reaching
out to student groups is certainly possible.
Some of the ideas that we're presented this evening,
I think that we should bring up and since we hear
that the board wants to reach out to you,
I think that it could in fact hear from groups
that are organized around a certain theme or--
and has a certain coherence of activity.
I think there is tremendous interest.
We are a diverse student body.
I can speak for the commonwealth campuses where we are very rich
in diversity and I think we offer wonderful experiences
for our students.
How many of the students here started
at a commonwealth campus?
Did you? And you probably met people
that you would otherwise have never met
in high school at those campuses.
I don't know if you've continued those relationships,
I hope you've been expanded them once you've come
to University Park, but those students who are
at the commonwealth campuses, I hope you realize
that your horizons are broadened by the exposure you have.
So, to answer your question, I would hope going back to--
I don't know which group you represent,
are you the graduate student?
>> No. I'm the president of the Penn State Student Black Caucus
which serves as [inaudible].
>> Excellent.
>> Like a governing body for the minority students here
on this university.
>> Excellent, excellent.
Then I think you should reach out.
>> We've a question here.
>> Can I say one thing?
>> Okay. Go ahead there.
>> Follow-up question.
>> Okay.
>> One of things that I think we have to be careful
about is sometimes people think that an awareness
of diversity is a function of your genetics,
and it's really not a function of the genetics, it's a function
of your life experience and your education, okay,
and all of us have responsibility to, you know,
expand our horizons in those areas,
you talked about those other student leaders,
those other student leaders need to be speaking for you too,
because it's a function of their job to be committed
to diversity just like it's a function of all of our jobs
to be committed to these issues.
>> Can I just say very quickly that I think the board
of trustees has received an enormous amount attention
in recent weeks because of very important decisions
that it made.
But just so you know, the board
of trustees actually meets six times a year for what,
essentially, is a half a day on each of those occasions,
so you might have 24 hours of actual meeting time
or something thereabout in a year that is part
of the formal experience for the board of trustees.
So, the people up here in front of you and others
like us are the ones who really need to be engaged with you
on behalf of the board because they delegate
to us this responsibility and I think this is a good chance
for us to start engaging with you even more than we have.
>> I'm gonna go over here.
>> Hi. My name is Eden Burr, I'm from United Students
Against Sweatshops and in terms of the board
of trustees meeting, I've been to so many of them,
unfortunately, there is no room for questions at the board
of trustees meetings so, you can sit and listen but I don't think
that that's the end all.
President Erickson, Penn State pays the Fair Labor Association
50,000 dollars a year to monitor sweatshop conditions
in factories producing Penn State apparel, but instead,
what the FLA actually does is covers up the abuses committed
by known human rights violators like Nike and Adidas
who sit on the FLA board.
In light of Penn State's recent complacency in the cover
up of child rape, you have promised
to reinforce our moral imperative
of doing the right thing.
Can we morally continue to pay the FLA when they too continue
to turn a blind eye to the human rights offenders?
[ Applause ]
>> As I think you know I haven't been involved
in those discussions in the past.
I think most of those discussions have involved
individuals in other parts of the university.
But it's certainly something that I intend to learn more
about in the weeks ahead and certainly am willing to listen,
to learn, and to do what is appropriate.
So, I think that's part of our continuing dialogue.
>> So, I have a question from Altoona camp--
actually from about four different campuses
and they all wanna know about the commonwealth campuses
and what are we doing, President Erickson, one question to you
or do you, would you, are you planning to go
and visit commonwealth campuses more than President Spanier did?
And what else are we doing to really reach
out to these commonwealth campuses and make them a part
of the University Park community?
These are questions that are being asked.
>> Well, I have been to many of the commonwealth campuses
and continue to go to them.
I try to get out there whenever there is some kind
of event that's happening.
The last three weeks, I haven't gotten anywhere unfortunately
other than the University Park, but I certainly intend
to be visible on the campuses.
As I say, I have been as time would permit over the years
and I know that Dr. Hanes is out there on a regular basis.
Actually, we spend a lot of time talking about issues related
to the commonwealth campuses; I can attest that every one
of the individuals here, my colleagues are involved
in one way or another with what's happening
at the commonwealth campuses, whether its curriculum
or research, or outreach, or diversity, or development
and student affairs, it really runs the gamut.
The commonwealth campuses are a very, very important part
of who we are at Penn State and you know,
my goal is to make sure that no one ever forgets that.
>> We have a yes or no question right here so,
we wanna go to that one.
>> Good evening to each of you and to each everybody out here.
I have a yes-no question and I also wanna tell you how I feel.
My yes-no question is that I've heard
that Joe Paterno had actually--
Coach Joe Paterno have reported the Sandusky incident
to the chief of police at Penn State, is that true?
>> I don't think any of us here have any knowledge
about the particulars of that.
>> Okay. That means no.
That you don't know.
Okay, now I'll tell you how I feel, I don't know,
all of you feel this way but Sandusky was part
of the Penn State family, we all are, and I feel shame.
[ Applause ]
>> What do I do with these feelings?
[ Pause ]
>> Acknowledge them.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> Here, can you?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> You have to acknowledge them,
you have to recognize how you feel and admit it and a lot
of us feel similar feelings and it's not wrong feeling like that
at all, and there's nothing wrong with expressing
that you feel that way either
if you just completely understand them.
>> It's important to talk to each other about this.
>> I also think that I'm so happy that you shared that
and I think that what we're learning in this community is
that there are plenty of times in times like this
to just witness, you know, and to just hold that and not
to necessarily have an answer.
Thank you.
>> I just wanted to respond.
We all feel so deeply about what you just said.
When I was growing up, I came from a Russian home
and my grandparents lived with us
and if there was ever a major incident they ruled the family
with very kind approach to discipline,
but if they use the word shame,
we knew that it was time to get into shape.
Shame is a very strong word, you chose it carefully,
it meant very much to you and I do appreciate hearing that.
It is most unfortunate that what should be a milestone
in your careers going to college should present the fondest
memories for you has been interrupted
and you are distracted and I'm hoping that
and Dr. Erickson said earlier that these horrific allegations
and the events surrounding them do not define you
and remember that, they do not define you and I would hope
and I would submit to you that we should emerge
from this more compassionate and with resolve
and I think going forward the communities
that you will join will benefit from that compassion,
that you will learn and have learned.
>> The other important point is that people grieve
in different speeds and different ways, and to realize
that some people move further long and others are
so grieving terribly and to allow people to experience
where they are and as others to talk and to share.
>> One of the things and we were--
the question about how we're all feeling and coping with this,
all of us I think have cried publicly
and cried privately about this.
I have several times, yet, one of the things
that I feel tremendously now about Penn State is
that we are bonding together as a community and we talked
about the Penn State family before and we talked
about the Penn State family now and I think it means
so much more at least to me, my personal feelings about this
and how this community, this family really is bonding
and coming together not to protect this community
in that kind of context of ourselves against the world
but really to say who we really are and to express
who we really are to each other and to the world and in
that kind of context as we work together, all of us are kind
of outside our comfort zone right now and but because
of that I think we bonded to help each other and I hope
that you're finding amongst your peers and friends and so forth
that you can do that as well to find each other and talk
to each other in new ways, in kinder ways.
I've talked to my staff about random acts of kindness
and we all need more of that these days.
>> Guys, I think on a similar theme,
I don't know whether one emotion can displace another,
I think they coexist, but I know and I think a lot
of us have said, we've gone through a real roller coaster
for the last several weeks, but I know I felt
so much disappointment, maybe shame, but it was displaced
in some ways by the tremendous pride I felt
about the candlelight vigil and the other kinds of expressions
that students did spontaneously,
that really set a different tone,
recognized how the whole community was feeling.
So, I think those, the coexistence
of those emotions is a very positive thing and something
that helps you move forward.
>> Yeah. I also think that there are many lessons
that we learned from this event.
There are many things and many mistakes that we made
that I think we all have to look at
and that this is a learning event, there are things for us
to learn that are very positive about ourselves,
about how we dig our way out of this in the process.
One of the things that I come away from this is
that a resolution and that is this will never happen again
on my watch.
[ Pause ]
>> Hi. My name is Aaron Dylan,
I'm an undergraduate student here at Penn State
and my question is that when I came here,
when I came to Penn State,
I came here around the sole purpose
of the integrity principle and pretty much I'll be honest too,
growing up in this Town, knowing everybody from--
through family connections [inaudible] on down.
My concern here is how do you define integrity
when you still have a coach who's on board, who clearly lied
with his grand jury, present me and what he has recently said.
How do you take action with that to send a message that you are
about integrity and not about what is best media-wise
and this is a university and I am proud
of all the students here who did do the candlelight vigil,
that really touched my heart you know,
and I honestly don't think I've asked myself,
what did the board expect the night they announced
that time [inaudible] everything but you know, that's why I came
to Penn State because it did hold to integrity views
and I myself have been through things in my life
that I wish I could have done a lot better.
My question is how do you intend
to reestablish integrity to this university?
[ Applause ]
>> Well, integrity is doing the right thing day in day
out first time, every time and we all have to recommit to that.
I also wanted to point out that we all need to remember
that there is continuing criminal investigation
that is going on.
I think we all need to be aware of that.
There's tremendous speculation that's going on in the media
about virtually everything related
to the university at this time.
But there are certain rights that individuals have,
certain rights that witnesses have, and there are some aspects
that frankly are just going to have to play out and play
out in the legal system before all
of the dust can settle on this.
So, you know, we do have to do be mindful of that,
but at the same time around all of those activities,
we have to make sure that we're doing the honest,
open and right things.
>> So, I have a follow-up to that question
from the Lehigh Valley campus
from Derrick Stock who's a senior.
He says with considerations to the inevitable settlements
and court fees for which a university will be responsible
financially, as well
as perpetually increasing tuition or so it seems.
What steps will be taken to ensure
that students won't be the ones shouldering the bill
for the decisions of the previous administration?
[ Applause ]
>> That one, that question really has a
straightforward answer.
Penn State like most universities,
most of our peer university, all of our peer universities,
has insured for those kinds of things both for the actions
of directors and officers as well
as general liability insurance.
>> We have a question here.
>> It's a comment followed by two questions.
The first comment is I really don't know how
to feel about the situation.
We're still hearing things and I'm just in shock still
and honestly, we just have to let the legal system play itself
out and hearing people just rip us on the radio and making jokes
about the situation and it's only been about two weeks.
The university is to blame but we're not the only people
to blame, a lot of people failed these kids, society,
not all society but the society
that impact these kids, failed these kids.
It's a shame that we're the only ones taking blame even though we
are wrong.
The two questions I have are about transparency
which was mentioned earlier.
We're talking about transparency
and with the investigation I heard
that there are gonna be two Penn State people on the board
that Judge Freeh is gonna be running
to do a university-wide investigation.
My question is do you feel that that is going to conflict
with the transparency that there might not be anything convoluted
in that?
And the other thing is, with the athletic department,
I think we can all agree that there is,
at least in my opinion, zero transparency coming
from somebody who is trying to get into the department
and I mean, it is a personal question because I do wanna get
into the department, but what can we do to make sure
that the department has more transparencies,
so that way things like this don't happen again and things
like lack of institutional control don't happen again
because it's a shame that it happened.
>> And you say, what can we do, you mean what can students do?
>> What can students and the board of trustees do?
>> What can students and the board of trustees do?
To ensure transparency in the athletic department
in particular you were asking, right, is that correct?
>> That's, that's a role for a lot
of different individuals and groups to play.
The faculty senate for example is looking
at that very same issue about how did they relate to the--
to intercollegiate athletics as a group.
The action set that I've been taking
over the last several weeks are meant to provide
that kind of transparency.
For example, in the appointment of a search committee
for the head coach, the head football coach,
we have two faculty members on that committee,
one who's been involved for very many years and a lot
of these issues related to intercollegiate athletics
and at a big time sports at universities
and also our faculty athletic representative at the NCAA.
So, I wanted to have-- to make sure
that we had a very strong faculty academic aspect
to the search and that whomever comes
in to this position would have strong academic values
and appreciate that part of the university.
So, I think what students can do is to continue to ask for
and really demand more transparency
in different functions of the university,
not just intercollegiate athletics but in other areas
as well, and particularly work
through student government leaders,
student organizations and so on.
Your elected student leaders do an excellent job, in my opinion,
of bringing issues forward on behalf of the student body.
So, I would strongly urge you to continue to work
through those channels.
>> We have another question here on transparency.
>> I wanna say something to students again if I could.
I just wanna emphasize, you heard with the president
of the university just said, he's saying they were asking,
you know, you can demand it, you can you know, come forward
and ask, put your thoughts out there.
You know, they're asking for your thoughts.
>> Well, this is good timing
because my question also concerns transparency
and given the candid spirit of these Town Hall Forum,
I was wandering if you as president,
I'm making the assumption that you have information
about the inner decisions and workings of the university
that I might not have as a student,
if they're readily available to you, and I was wondering
if you could possibly share something that you think
as a student I would like to know
about my university just given their commitment
to transparency.
>> Well, first of all, even those of us who is suddenly
at highest levels of positions here in the administration
of the university, I wouldn't pretend
to know everything that's going on in the university.
There are-- we are a big city.
We're 96,000 students or something
like 27,000 full time faculty and staff
and we're 500,000 alumni who are connected in that--
to varying degrees with the university.
So, we're a-- in many sense is a big metropolitan area
and I can't sit here and tell you
that I know what everybody is doing nor do I have--
can I take responsibility in that sense
for what everyone does and that's why it's so important
that we drive that message down.
That transparency and responsibility
and so forth is really everybody's business
in the university and that's why we have, for example,
all of these hotlines.
We just introduced a hotline yesterday for sexual abuse
and relationship violence
that hopefully we all saw the release about.
But there is-- there are other hotlines too for things
like ethical violations and noncompliance.
What you would-- would particularly want to know,
I can't begin to imagine you know what it might be,
whether it's something about your particular major
that you're interested in or--
>> I'm speaking from like I'm a representative of the students
but as this maybe something
that all students might wanna know that, you know,
in the hopes that you could tell us and students could enter
into the conversation about it, it's a decision being made
in the university and I'm kind of thinking
of the budget crisis last semester and transparency came
up a lot then when that was all happening and it doesn't have
to be related to that but just anything within the university.
>> Well, probably the biggest thing that students wanna know
about is tuition, right?
And you wanna understand more how decisions are made
about tuition and what are the various factors
and so forth that go into this.
We certainly could make those decisions much more transparent
and certainly I'd be willing to sit
down with students and talk about it.
We do now.
Certainly we provide a budget briefing and talk about some
of those issues with student leaders and so on but I think
that issue of tuition and the cost of education will continue
to be an important question that students wanna hear about.
So, you know, I certainly would be very happy to sit
down with students and talk because I think
that when you understand some of the issues some students say,
well, you just can't have any tuition increase this year.
There are costs of everything that's going up,
not just the faculty and staff but other cost, energy, food,
everything else was going up.
But I'd be happy to sit down and talk with students about that.
>> Okay. So, I have a question up here but before I do so,
let me say once again if you've come in late,
this is the Penn State Town Hall Forum
in which students have the opportunity
to have a conversation with the president's council
and President Rodney Erickson at Penn State
and I wanna say once again we have a lot of questions to get
to and we're gonna be here very late, so let's try
to keep things pretty short at this point.
We do have a question.
>> Thank you.
I'll try to make this quick.
My name is Heather [inaudible] I'm a graduate student as well
as an instructor here at Penn State.
So, I've had conversations with professors, students involved
in research, and also students.
The university is currently in the middle of it's
for the future campaign and so, Dr. Kirsch and Dr. Foley,
this might both be pertinent to you,
which has been [inaudible] display
as placing student scholarships as one of its priorities.
And in terms of fundraising, it's expected
that the university will lose in donations
in light of the scandal.
It can probably obviously be expected.
So, how does university expect to make up for this lack
in funding and if there are funds?
Obviously this past year there's been discussions about problems
with the budget, a lot of discussion
around the college of agriculture.
What will the university do about this and what will be cut
if we're not doing anything about tuition
and so what cuts will be made and in terms
of research funding, will that be affected?
>> Well, let me address a little bit about the fundraising piece
of this and a lot of what we do
at fundraising doesn't necessarily directly support the
operating budget of the university, but a lot of it
as you say is directed in support of students,
both undergraduate and graduate students.
We will lose some gifts, to be honest with you,
but we're not falling off the fundraising cliff by any measure
at all, I wanna assure you that.
In fact, in the next week to two weeks,
we're gonna announce some very large gifts
that are gonna be given to Penn State, and these are people
who have made these decisions
after these events have taken place or still standing by us.
We have good metrics and indicators that many of you know
that we do something called the Lion Line here
where students are involved in calling alumni
and we have had results that we've tracked very carefully
since these events have taken place
and we're basically running the same as we were last year
in terms of alumni responding to this.
We've also had alumni calls who have wanted to make gifts
to show their stance for support.
So, I wanna reassure you that if you ever gonna have bump
in the road here and we-- the biggest cHallenge we have
with fundraising is that we're gonna lose a little bit of time
as we try to work our way through and move forward.
But rest assured, there are a lot of Penn Staters who believe
in this place and they believe in you
and they're gonna support you.
>> Yeah. I'll take the research part of that.
We've had a good run for ten years.
We've had growth of about seven and a half percent a year,
year over year in research expenditures
which is extraordinary.
A lot of good reasons for that, I won't go and tell all
of them now in the interest of short answers.
But the short answer is the economy has contracted,
the government is finally feeling that,
we're gonna feel some compression
of federal resources.
None of that has anything to do with this scandal
but it's just a natural process, it's a cycle.
One of the things we are trying to do though is to build
on the fact that corporations really like Penn State
and they still like Penn State.
>> They like our students, they like our research,
and we wanna make it even easier for them to do research with us.
So, you know, we've talked a lot about this
and the president has agreed that, you know,
and things like industrial contracts from now on.
We're not gonna fight to have the intellectual property
which we've done for years because that tends
to be a negative inducement to working with is.
We want our students working with people on the outside.
We want our faculty working with people who are in practice.
We want them work in really good problems that corporations
and industry meet every day.
So then we go back in the classroom,
they're even better instructors and better teachers
than they would be otherwise and the students have places to go
where they really wanted as engineers, scientists,
as health professionals as whatever.
So, we wanna make that easier, not harder.
Will it remedy everything?
No, I don't think it will but I can't tell you what the upside
or the downside is in any given year.
It's like Yogi Bear said, it's hard to predict the future,
especially what is it?
The future or something.
Sir, how does that go again.
I can't remember how it goes.
It ain't what it used to be.
But anyway, that's-- that's what I'd have to say.
>> Okay, we have a question here.
I'm gonna ask you to stand up.
>> It's hard to make predictions especially about the future.
>> Before we have this question now,
I just wanna ask everybody once again, there's a lot
of questions and if we could just say them quickly
without a lot prefacing and then answer them kind of quickly
without a lot of whatever the opposite of prefacing is,
that would be helpful.
>> Okay, I might preface a little bit.
So, my name is Brianna Serrano.
I'm a graduate student in the College
of Student Affairs program and I work with students directly
at the LGBTA Student Resource Center.
And the week after this incident occurred,
many of the students spoke
about their frustrations 'cause we didn't have an open
Forum there.
They spoke about their frustrations
of the administrations not allowing them
to voice their opinion like we are doing here now.
So, my question is why did it take three weeks in order
for this to happen and also how can we
in the future be more proactive instead of reactive?
>> One mic should do.
I must tell you that no one is more frustrated
with the early part of this whole experience
and the people who's sitting up here on this stage I think.
As it's already been noted again,
this involves an ongoing criminal investigation.
As you might guess, these things unfold very quickly.
It's very difficult for us to react as quickly as we would
like because we were learning things literally
about the same time you were learning things.
Where-- so this is all happening sort
of in real-time for all of us.
At the same time, they were dealing with this crisis
that is completely unpredictable.
No one could have foreseen what we've had to deal with.
We also had a university that needed to be run,
so we tried to continue to teach classes, do research,
make sure that the lights are on and the heat is there.
So this has been a very difficult period and so I think
that from my perspective at least
and I hope I'm not speaking out here for my colleagues,
we share some of your frustration and that's one
of the reasons we're so happy for this evening's event,
a chance to actually be responsive, to be engaged
in a real conversation with you that is not going to be one time
and off kind of experience.
We want to find effective appropriate ways
to continue this kind of dialogue with you
so that we can avoid any
of these miscommunications in the future.
>> Okay. I have a question in the back.
>> Hi, my name is Doug.
I'm an undergraduate in the College of Liberal Arts.
Did the national media bully Penn State
into making a decision?
If so, did this lead to a rash decision?
>> No, that was a short answer.
>> That was good, that's good.
>> Okay, that's--
>> We have another question.
>> Hi my name is Chase England.
My question is for President Erickson
and whoever wants to answer it.
In your view, why is it that Mr. Curly
and Mr. Schultz did not receive the same public reprimand
that Mr. Paterno did and why is it that they continue
to receive benefits from the university
as they both been accused of perjury?
Doesn't this fly in the face of the important values
of honesty and integrity here?
[ Applause ]
>> As I said earlier, there,
there is an ongoing investigation that will continue
with court proceedings and so on and the,
the particular situation of, of any of these individuals is,
is still subject to, to further consideration.
>> We have a question back here.
>> Oh, okay.
>> My name is [inaudible].
I'm an international student from Saudi Arabia
and also a senior here at Penn State.
I wanna make this short, Penn State students have a lot
of pride in this university and some say
that this Penn State spirit comes from the culture
of football that we consider a big part of our identity.
What I wanna ask is that we all know
that there is a football focused revenue stream
and I just wanna ask if that's gonna change in any way
and if there's gonna be a shift in our priorities.
>> Well, as most of our international students know,
we don't play real football here anyway, right?
It's called soccer here but we will,
we will certainly you know move forward.
I don't think that, that football ever has defined us,
I hope that's not the case or nor that it will ever be.
I'm a scholar first and foremost that happens
to do administrative leadership work for the university
and my goal always has been and will continue to be
that Penn State be defined as a great academic institution,
a world class institution rather
than being defined the other way around.
>> Okay.
>> Any question here?
>> Can I, can we go back here?
>> Okay.
>> I think this follows.
>> I guess so.
>> Okay.
>> My name is Mike [inaudible].
Students have identified a lot of issues here tonight
that you've been addressed like interviews and applications
and the feedback from you guys seems to be relatively positive
that these things aren't as big of an issue as we fear.
What would you identify as the major problems,
three major problems that need
to be addressed in the coming weeks?
>> I'll let my colleagues.
[ Pause ]
>> Three.
>> I think the first one is stuff like this
so that we all regain trust and recognize we're actually
on this together, not separately.
I think secondly as a student it's gonna be hard
but it's important to focus on the end of the semester things
and take care of yourself and what we need
to do to get through that.
Well, I don't mean to say it's easy, I don't think it will be.
And the third thing is, I can't remember.
[ Laughter ]
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> I have to--
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> I'm sorry, just kidding.
That was an illusion to a candidate for president.
I think the third thing is to recognize you know say this,
maybe it's a little daring but none of you are guilty.
You came to Penn State, you're not guilty of anything.
You may feel shame but you're not guilty of anything.
We'll accept this right and I think it's gonna take time
and we're gonna get beat up along the way as we have been.
Probably I wasn't supposed to say that either,
but that's how I feel and I think you got to recognize that
and just keep doing what you came here to do.
>> I think it's really critical to focus on healing.
A number of us had comparable meetings like this
with our own staff, open Town Hall meetings,
and a lot of these that you've shared,
a lot of our staff have shared.
I think people need time to heal.
I think also it's really critical for us
to take advantage of this opportunity to really focus
on a very critical issue
that the Penn State community has incredible resources
and we can bring to bear to help improve the situation
that occurred here on campus that has caused
such grave, grave problems.
>> Yeah, I think in, in the days to come we're,
we're going to be prepared to talk about some things
that we're going to do on a national scale to address some
of these things in a very positive way and that--
and these things are gonna be asking for your help,
for faculty help, for our alumni to help us.
And so I think that's gonna be important for us to focus
on those things 'cause that's part of--
we're all part of the solution here.
You should hold your heads high and you should go home
and talk proudly about your experiences at Penn State
and I know a lot of you did over Thanksgiving break to do that.
From my part of the world of Penn State, one of the things
that we need to do is really harness the energy of our alumni
and we're starting to do that.
And we also need to communicate
with our alumni very much the way we're doing here
and we intend to do a lot of that this spring semester.
>> So, I wanna say a quick question then
from Ray Afundia [phonetic] from Abington Campuses,
you know the future of Penn State,
but really in your estimation, what specifically can--
can Penn State students do to help, to help you.
And it sounds like you maybe don't have any specific things
except get involved, you're asking for the involvement
of students, that's what I'm hearing, that's how I'm--
what I'm hearing that you would respond to Ray, is that correct?
>> Alright, I think you could be involved in many ways as well.
I mean you can be involved in the classroom.
I think it's very fruitful
to help faculty bring these issues into the classroom.
They're generic to so many different fields
and they can be approached in so many different ways,
they really do relate to so much of our curriculum.
I think you can do it in your research whether it's
undergraduate or graduate and if we,
if you go to our research exhibitions,
you will find many topics that are--
cover these kinds of issues.
And I think you can do it in your service,
the service learning opportunities at the university
and all the different ways that you can be involved
through your clubs and, and other student organizations.
>> Yeah, and I think that this is an opportunity
that invites all of us, students, faculty, staff, alums,
everyone who's part of the Penn State family to actually take a,
a few moments if not much more time than that to reflect
on issues of character and conscience
and social responsibility in ways that I think we always have
but now we really have, I think an imperative
that we do this even more acutely
than we have in the past.
How we are defined is going to be less about the experience
of the last three or four weeks than the things
that we do going forward and the weeks
and months and years ahead.
We get to choose in effect how we are going to be defined
as a-- a university community.
And I think we have an opportunity collectively
together to, to pursue a definition that is something
that we can all be very, very proud of.
We can learn from it, that experience individually
and we can certainly learn from it collectively.
>> Hi my name's Devine Edwards.
I'm an undergraduate student and in the wake of the decision
that the investigative committee does not have an
undergraduate student.
I know that Pete does great work as the student representative
on the board of trustees
but I was wondering how the decision was made not
to include an undergraduate voice
on such an important procedure.
>> I think actually we might have a response
to that question right back here.
>> Hi, well in the interest of transparency I was
about to introduce myself.
I'm Rodney Hughes, I'm not an undergraduate,
I am a graduate student but I am the student representing all
of you on this special investigative committee.
I just want-- no, well this is, save, save that.
No, I just wanted to say a couple of things.
I got an undergraduate degree in economics
from Penn State, graduated in 2007.
I've been here since I was a graduate student.
I started as a graduate student in economics,
applied for the student trustee position, served on the board
for three and a half years.
Through that process, I actually decided
to switch my graduate program in the higher Ed to learn more
about universities, to learn more about tuitions,
to learn more about a lot of the questions
that I heard interacting with students,
obviously didn't reach everybody.
I think that's obviously clear from a lot of the concerns
that you remain but Peter Khoury is here
and he's a student trustee now and he shares a lot
of the concerns, a lot goals that I had,
so I know Pete's very open to hearing from all
of you and talking with you.
But I am not an undergraduate, I did my undergraduate here.
The one thing I did wanna say, you know, keeping in mind
that the investigations are ongoing,
can't talk about everything.
I really would be happy to introduce myself to all of you
to let you know that there's a face with a name that's
on the committee roster, showing up in the collegian.
I am a person, I do care about Penn State
and I'm gonna do my best for all of you.
So, to hear your concerns, your questions
that you have, I'm there for that.
If you wanna know who I am, I'm there for that
and I'm gonna do everything that I can for Penn State.
[ Applause ]
>> We have a question.
>> I only have one question, Rodney,
where'd you get that sweatshirt?
[ Laughter ]
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> We have a question here.
>> Yeah, go ahead.
>> Hi my name's Matt [inaudible].
I'm a graduate student.
We keep talking about commissions and hotlines
and compliance offices, but this is all completely dependent
on all ability to get information for the students
to these administrators.
But from a student perspective it's quite--
it's risky for us to do that.
There could be retaliation against us for voicing concerns.
My question to you is who is gonna protect us
from retaliation if we do bring control
up to these various new channels?
[ Pause ]
>> Well, what I would say is, you know, there are provisions
in the law that protect people when they give information
to authorities about wrongdoing.
Whistle blower statutes are typically what you hear them
referred as.
And so there are those, those protections for you.
I also can tell you that the university, your question seemed
to suggest that there are some anxiety
about how the university might respond to any accusations
that students may make.
One of my jobs is to protect both your responsibilities
and your rights and I assure you that my colleagues
up here share the view that students and others
in the institution will not be subject to retaliation
for making evident to those who need to know
when wrongdoing has occurred, when there are anxieties
about behavior in our community because we've all been,
been affected by this in-- in very profound ways too.
We want to root it out where there is inappropriate behavior
and we want to work with you as partners
in this community to-- to make that happen.
>> So, I have a question, a quick question
from the Lehigh valley campus.
Completely for great--
direction, can you please address the rumors
about possibly taking down the statue of Joe Paterno
and renaming the Paterno Library,
a number of people have asked that.
>> There are certainly no plans to take
down Joe Paterno's statue.
I've heard all sorts of rumors to that effect
and they are not true and nor is there any,
any truth to the rumors about taking the name off the library.
At some appropriate time
down the road I'm sure there will be an opportunity
to also reflect on the-- the many years of service that,
that Joe and Sue provided to the university
and the many good things that they've done for Penn State.
>> Question here.
[ Applause ]
>> Hi, my name is Collin [inaudible] Smith,
thanks a lot guys for coming out, I really appreciate this
and I know everyone else does too.
In an emergency meeting, Friday, the week before Thanksgiving,
the faculty senate stressed the importance
of an impartial special committee that is not dominated
by people affiliated with Penn State.
Based on this information, how do you plan
on addressing the concerns of the faculty?
>> Well, there is just recently a meeting to,
of the senate council which is a smaller representative group
of faculty from the various units of the university
to decide how that resolution could be addressed.
It's a resolution proposed by the senate but it hasn't--
there's no detail wrapped around it.
It's simply a resolution to form requesting an
independent committee.
It's not clear exactly what that committee might do,
what the charge to the committee might be,
what directions it might take.
So, there is an upcoming meeting of the senate on December 6th.
That will be the subject of the forensic session
where faculty will sort, sort this out
and then we'll know better what their intentions are,
what their concerns are and how they would
like to proceed on that.
>> Okay, we have a question upfront.
>> Hello, my name is Benjamin [inaudible]
and I'm an undergraduate of the College of Liberal Arts.
We all know our US constitution calls us to respect the accused
and view them as innocent until proven guilty,
so why with everything that's going on here,
is there such a rush of judgment?
And also, what example does the board of trustees give
to crime law and justice students
when they let public opinion influence their decision making
as opposed to due process?
[ Applause ]
>> I think I answered the latter part of that,
that question a few minutes ago with a short answer but,
but certainly there, there are, there are a wide range
of opinions across the entire country about all
of the circumstances, the individuals and so on
and I've certainly heard from, from many of them
but certainly there will be, there will be much to be learned
over the course of the, the months
and perhaps even beyond months and into the year or more ahead.
>> And I can also tell you that we're likely to see lots of ups
and downs in terms of the way Penn State is, is viewed
and portrayed in the, in the media because as,
as various court appearances and other things take place,
we're gonna see spikes in-- in the amount of interest
and certainly opinion of people all across the country.
So, I think you should all be, be prepared for that, that this,
this will happen, these things will come up, the rise
and fall again and I'm sure we will--
we'll hear about them but that's--
that's part of a democracy that people have a right
to express their opinions on just about any matter.
>> A question here.
>> Hi, my name is John Fitzgerald, I'm a student here
and I'm a member of United Students
Against Sweatshops here on campus.
President Erickson, as we continue
to receive international public scrutiny, Penn State needs
to show that we'll address the structural flaws that allowed
such shameful acts to occur and the cover up to continue.
Two of these Penn's--
two of these steps Penn State should take to restore faith
in our university are, one, include a student presence
on the board of trustees in the form
of six student elected representatives rather
than one governor appointed one.
And two, introduce term limits for presidents
of no more than 10 years.
What is your stance on each of these recommendations and why?
[ Applause ]
>> Well, I can start with the last.
I don't intend to be president in 10 years.
[ Laughter ]
[ Simultaneous Talking ]
>> So, you-- so you support that one?
>> And secondly the, the board of trustees has,
has bylaws that determine how the board is organized.
I have no influence over that.
And the other question was really about US--
AS and I think I responded earlier to--
to one of your colleague students about that,
but we'll listen, we'll learn.
>> Okay. Here we have a question up front.
>> Hi my name is Joe Paul and I'm a senior
in political science this year.
There seems to be a lot of talk today about you guys wanting us
to go through our respective student organizations
in order to work with you.
Well, any student who's in the know knows
that UPUA is little more than a dog and pony show
that they're told what to say.
They come out, they say what they-- what they're told to do
and they do whatever you tell them.
They're given a token budget and that's about it.
So, what-- so where do you stand as far as being able
to actually give UPUA actual power within university,
actually be able to do things besides spend the token the
budget and also in the same vein, where do you stand as far
as increasing the power of the faculty senate?
[ Applause ]
>> Well, we'll let UPUA respond to that also.
Go ahead.
>> Yeah, I was gonna suggest that there are plenty
of UPUA people here tonight I think.
You know it's been my experience that UPUA
and other key student government organizations are anything
but dog and pony shows.
They-- they have I think then very representative
of some important issues that students want us to be aware of.
They have cHallenged us in very appropriate and effective ways.
They have certainly changed my thinking about a variety
of issues and I've been pleased to engage with them in that kind
of dialogue because I think we've come to better outcomes
than we would have if I were deciding things on my own
or they were operating independent completely
of the university administration.
So I think it's a good collaborative exchange with all
of our student government organizations
and I hope that continues.
I certainly want to also emphasize that despite the size
of this place, and the need as I said earlier,
for us to rely upon representative student
government in sort of a way of the broader society too,
there are doors that are open to individual students.
You know I have lots of students who come to see me.
I work with lots of colleagues whose doors are open to students
who may not be representative of particular organizations,
but bring their own personal needs, aspirations,
and wishes to us for our consideration
and we're certainly open to doing that.
I would let UPUA respond if they have a view on that issue
and then turn over the mic to someone else to talk
about the faculty senate.
>> Absolutely, and for those of you that don't know,
my name is TJ Bard and I'm the current president of UPUA.
Unfortunately I would have to respectfully disagree
because the reason you
as students have this opportunity tonight is
because of the direct actions and hard work of weeks and weeks
of representatives from UPUA, CCSG, and GSA.
We are working tirelessly and have been working tirelessly
for the past 3 weeks to make sure that you
as students have a voice in any decisions that are being made
in the direction of this university.
We've held rallies, we've held speeches, we've done Forums
and this is not going to be the end, this is only the beginning
of what we perceive as being a long process.
We always encourage more suggestions,
we always encourage you reaching out to us because at the end
of the day we're here to serve you as a student body
and that's what we're trying to do to the best of our ability
and we've been very lucky to have a lot of input and a lot
of feedback from the students and from the student body
and a lot of that feedback resulted in this Forum today
and we encourage you to continue to reach out to us
and obviously our budget is not necessarily a token budget,
it is-- it's given to us in order to implement
such opportunities like this to the student body, so thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> Yeah, well, my guess is, TJ, if you're--
if you're looking for a feedback, you'll get some
from the second row here after tonight's event and then--
>> We have a question here.
>> Hi, my name is [inaudible], I'm a freshman in the College
of Engineering and I wanna do ask--
okay, whenever a question arises concerning why certain people
retain their positions and support, the answer is always
that there's an ongoing investigation
that should also take place.
Why was coach Paterno not granted the same process
if it's not because of the media?
[ Applause ]
>> Okay, let me, let me also-- can I just add to that?
That I have about 5 people at the Commonwealth Campus,
campuses asking that same question.
>> Well, I think I already responded to that earlier,
but really what I'd like to do is
to get people to look forward now.
This you know, as a university we need to be thinking about all
of these issues of how do we heal, how do we deliver
that message about what Penn state is really about.
I mean we have to remember what happened here, we have to learn
from it, but we also have to look ahead and that's one
of the things that I hope our conversations
over the next weeks,
going forward will help drive those discussions
about how does Penn State move forward and how does it do
so in the best possible way.
>> Question here?
>> Hi, my name is Charles Koons and I'm a senior here,
my question kind of is weird, in that don't you think it's kind
of ironic that a certain university basketball coach gets
a vote of confidence in the same situation almost,
and our head coach gets thrown out on the bus
by the media and other people.
Don't you think, especially Dean Foley, I'd like your opinion
on this, don't you find it kind of ironic
in this whole integrity thing, doesn't it?
I mean it kind of contradicts that, don't you think?
[ Applause ]
>> Sure, who is the basketball coach you're referring to?
Ed [inaudible].
>> Well, you know, it's a difficult situation,
and certainly we don't have all the answers
to why everything that's been done was done.
But people in leadership and the board of trustees were faced
with a situation where they had to make some decisions,
I can't second guess, second guess their decisions.
You can, but I can't.
I think they tried to do the best that they could
under the circumstances.
What they did someone asked, what--
I think this gentleman in front, the political insiders or kind
of law and justice guy asked the question, well you know,
how come they didn't give him due process under the law?
Well, Coach Paterno does have due process under the laws
as everyone else is involved in this, that's distinct
from what happened here with the board of trustees though.
So, when it comes to the question of integrity,
no I don't see a conflict of integrity here, I really don't.
We could talk about it more later,
if you don't agree, I understand.
But I do think integrity starts with all of us, right,
and asking ourselves everyday what we do, and we do have a lot
of questions about how we're gonna restore integrity
to Penn State.
I think it's fair to say we'll do everything we can.
My question back would be, what are you gonna do?
>> Question here?
>> Are we?
>> Yeah, I have one in the back actually.
Can we go in a second?
And by the way, we should have--
we have 10 minutes left for the television stream
and what we're gonna do, we're done--
going to do a closing to the event
but then we will keep going with the question and answer
after that, if people would like so.
>> In moving forward the spring semester,
it's hot with the state appropriations,
state budget coming out, and our tuition being announced.
What is your specific plan or action plan
when addressing the state legislature
because we must recognize that these politicians are humans not
on this campus, and they're hearing the media.
Of course we have to get the message across,
but more than that, what's your specific plan and how do you--
how do you plan on getting the students involved with that?
And can you ensure also, can you ensure
that our tuition will not be infected at all by the scandal?
>> Well, I'll be, I'll be meeting with a number
of elected representatives over the course
of the next few weeks, including the week after next
and my message to them will continue to be the same message
that Penn State has attempted to deliver
for many years now is we're a world class research university
that has a tremendous impact on Pennsylvania and the lives
of a lot of Pennsylvanians, and we're worthy
of the commonwealth support.
You know I think none of us are under the illusion
that there's a lot of extra resources
around there right now, so we have to also deliver the message
that what resources we get, we're gonna continue
to be good stewards of those resources that we're gonna use
to the best possible means.
So my job will be to help deliver that message along
with the other presidents of the other state related universities
and we will, we will certainly be as I say on the one hand,
delivering the message that Penn State is a good investment,
for the commonwealth, at the same time,
recognizing that the state doesn't have unlimited
resources, in fact has a-- has a really serious situation
with respect to the budget.
>> I wanted to add something, you said,
what would-- could we do.
There is an initiative over the winter break
which encourages students to meet their legislators.
Those of you who are Pennsylvanians who go home,
I would hope that this conversation would encourage you
to talk with your legislators, talk to them personally
about your own experience, your concerns, your worries,
for your future or however else you wish
to frame your discussion but they want to hear from you,
you are a constituent, and a very strong constituent group
and I-- I think maybe some
of the student leaders can give you more information about it.
I'm very taken by this initiative;
it is part of a grassroots initiative.
I do hope you would consider it as a specific strategy
for reaching out to legislators.
They do want to hear from the student's perspective.
>> Yeah, I would also add to that.
Whenever I get the chance
through our government affairs department on--
I go to Harrisburg and try to speak as carefully
and eloquently as I can about the benefits of Penn State
to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania
and that includes all of the things we do including research
and development that have an effect on everything
from national security to medicine.
It's surprising to me how much impact that seems to have
when we have those discussions.
It's surprising to me or continues to be a surprise
to me, that so little is known about that aspect of Penn State,
so we're doing everything we can,
I think from every perspective, just try to make the arguments
and to represent you, to represent the institution well.
I love what Dr. Hanes said though,
I think that's a terrific idea because you're all--
those of you who are 18 and over can vote.
You are a constituency, your parents are a constituency,
you don't have to be militant, but it makes sense to be engaged
and active in the process to help us out.
>> Okay, we are going to wind some things down here
for this first part of the program, and then we can--
we can keep going with some questions as we go,
but we do wanna sign off on the television.
>> We're gonna end-- we're gonna end the formal part
of the program now.
>> Formal part.
So Jon Lozano has some comments.
>> Sam and Laurie, thank you very much.
I know we've all appreciated you having, having both of you
as our moderators here this evening.
But most of all, I wanna thank all of the students
that were able to attend here tonight and all those
who are watching online.
I know that the last few weeks have been very trying for all
of us, and events like this really help to give voice
to those concerns and questions that we all have
about everything that's been happening.
I also wanna thank all the administrators that took time
out to be here this evening.
I really think that an event like this
and their presence here helps to give-- helps to show that's--
they directly wanna interact to connect with students here
at this university, include us in a big way going forward.
So with that, I will hand it back to Sam and Laurie
for any final comments and thank you all very much
for being here tonight.
[ Applause ]
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> So, what we know is
that conversation is a very difficult thing
and when it's just between two people, and when it's
between hundreds of people, it's almost impossible,
so I wanna thank all of you who still have questions
and who didn't get your full questions out
or didn't give your full responses
because there's so many of us here.
I think this is really just a beginning.
I'm hopeful that it's a beginning.
I'm optimistic that it's a beginning because another thing
that I know about human relationships is
that when conversation stops, rumors start and darkness enters
in and so we really need to be talking to one another.
And so my hope is that the students will push
and will really demand that their voices are included
in the decision making process and that you all will be as open
and welcoming to that process.
>> Yeah, and what I'm hearing from you all is
that maybe students don't have to push that much,
that really you're asking for the comments, you're asking
for the feedback and I think that there's--
this kind of sense at a university
that it's administrators, and then it's faculty,
and then it's students, and we're all fighting one another,
but it doesn't seem like that so much.
It seems like to a great degree we are on the same team.
And so maybe one positive thing that comes out of this is
that it's a very-- it's a new opportunity
to have a collective conversation
that we haven't had for a long time.
So I've been here for 21 years,
and this is a very unique experience for me
and I'm looking forward
to continuing this conversation well into the future and so.
>> And what I'm hoping is
that our next conversation is the conversation where we start
to ask ourselves some difficult questions and ask ourselves
as a community what are we gonna do differently
and what do we need to do differently
and how does this culture need to change,
I think that's an important place to go forward.
>> Yes, because I had a lot of questions coming in about things
like State Patty's Day and putting a kind of background
to the students to say what are you really going to do?
Let's not just look up there,
let's also hold the mirror up to ourselves.
So thank you all.
[ Applause ]
>> Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> And once again our-- if we--
if you're going to leave, why don't--
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>> Tonight's Penn State Town Hall Forum has been organized
and presented by three Penn State student organizations,
University Park Undergraduate Association,
the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments
and the Graduate Student Association,
good night from Penn State's University Park Campus.
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>> Sunday afternoon at 4,
tickets at Eisenhower Ticket Center.
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>> I'm Scott Simon, host
of NPR's Weekend Edition on Saturday.
Weekends are significant for many of us because we have
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Newsmakers, you know, keep on making news.
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If you'd like to keep up with what they're doing,
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>> This is WPSU State College and WPXA, WPSXK [phonetic].
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