Posted by: Catherine Lugg | July 27, 2012

An open letter to the Penn State Alumni Association’s leaderhsip

I had said I wouldn’t write any more on Penn State. But then I received a really inane fund-raising e-mail from the Alumni Association. So, I responded with the following. Please contact me if you’re interested in what the alumni association said….

I am VERY angry.

**************
To the Leadership of the Penn State Alumni Association:

Today’s e-mail missive to members of the alumni association is quite distressing. It demonstrates on fundamental level that the leadership of the alumni association does NOT understand why the The Pennsylvania State University is presently held in contempt.

1. Penn State is being sanctioned because of numerous SPECTACULAR failures by the leaders of the University–failures that led to child rape and molestation, including the sexual assault of children on campus.

2. The damage to Penn State’s reputation is self-inflicted, and it appears to be on-going, if your missive is to be taken at it’s word. To be blunt, the tone of the alumni association’s e-mail reminds me of adolescent whining. When compared with my own experiences, the Freeh Report is spot on when it discusses Penn State’s problematic football culture. It is a completely fair assessment. To wit: Penn State *DID* “Bronze the living” (see Paterno Statue) something you ONLY see in totalitarian states (see North Korea).

3. The bottom line is the football program employed a serial pedophile on staff from 1969 until 1999. This pedophile remained affiliated with the University until 2011–when he was arrested. He was clearly ENABLED by the university (per The Freeh Report). To be blunt, Penn State’s supposed “reputation” for “honor” (the legendary “Penn State way”) was built on the bodies of raped boys. Unless and until the University seriously investigates this institutional rot all the way back to 1969, this reputation of enabling child rape will remain–and it is DESERVED.

I *am* grateful for the education I received at Penn State, but often it was in spite of the culture–not because if it. Consequently, because of that rigorous education, I will be using the Freeh Report in my Educational Leadership classes as a case study of moral failure by educational leaders.

Although I AM a life member of the alumni association, please do NOT ask me for any more money. Until the University takes the recommendations in the Freeh Report seriously, I have no desire to fund whiny, chronic enablers.

Sincerely,
Catherine A. Lugg, Ph.D.
EThP, 1995, PSU
Professor of Educational Theory, Policy & Administration
19 Graduate School of Education
10 Seminary Place
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
catherine.lugg@gse.rutgers.edu

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