Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In the Beginning, Graham Said Let There be Smoke and Mirrors

Readers of this blog know that a recurring theme is that the Penn State is a marketing firm with a university subsidiary the purpose of which is to help fat cats reduce their taxes through tax-exempt donations . This has been amply demonstrated over blog's nearly two year life.

But should there still be any doubt in your minds about this, this, which I discovered after being inspired to look back at Graham's early years by David Jones' stories in the Harrisburg Patriot-News , should go along way toward dispelling it.
"With my [Spanier's] coming in as president and the loss of two senior people in the Office of University Relations, it gives us the opportunity to look at the structure we have in place now," he said.

The first new position created by the restructuring is vice president for development and alumni relations. The person who fills the position will focus on fund raising, donor relations and alumni relations. Spanier said he hopes to fill the position by Fall Semester, to start early in 1996.

The second position to be filled is the executive director in charge of University relations. The Office of University Relations currently reports to the senior vice president for Development and University Relations. With Spanier's reorganization, the new position will report directly to him. Spanier did not know when the position would be filled.

This was in July of 1995; Graham had been hired, but Joab Thomas was still president of Penn State.

So, before he even was given the keys to Old Main, Graham made sure that the he had message control. He left nothing to chance. From day one, he'd be sure that he controlled the person that controlled the spin, assuring that his every screw-up would be cast as a brilliant maneuver.

This blog has simply documented the consequences of Graham's first action as Penn State president.

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