Saturday, September 08, 2007

President for Life

The Penn State Board of Trustees met yesterday. While no big surprises came out of the meeting, the announcement that Spanier has signed a new five year contract was somewhat surprising. Last November,when Penn State released information on Spanier's salary to the Chronicles of Higher Education, for the first time in ages, it made public the fact that Spanier was then in the third year of a five year contract. Hence I wasn't expecting any more news about Spanier's contract until next summer when he would be entering the final year of that contract. In fact, it was quite possible that the BOT would simply forget to mention any new contract, since in the past they haven't thought that such announcements were needed.

This unexpected announcement raises the question, why now? The reason offered by Spanier, surprisingly, is the most logical.
Another priority, Spanier said, is a 71/2-year fundraising campaign that Penn State launched in January. Continuity in leadership through that effort is important, he said."

This (decision to stay on) does represent an interest of mine in seeing the campaign through," Spanier said.
The only problem with this explanation is that there will be a year left in the campaign when the new contract ends.But by that time most of the heavy lifting will have been done. There is also the fact that Spanier turns 60 next May and his current contract expires in the Summer of 2009 when he would be 61. The new contract which takes effect next July will expire in the July of 2113 when he will be 65 which is an obvious age for retirement.

Spanier said Friday. He said he had hoped that he would stay in the job until a point close to retirement.
Unfortunately, barring a faculty uprising, an unlikely possibility, given the passivity of Penn State faculty, or revelations of malfeasance, a more likely possibility, particularly if a new Right-To-Know law covering Penn State is enacted, Penn State is stuck with this clown until he decides to hang it up.

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