Penn State President Fired

On the same day that Nature published yet another editorial repudiating public examination of the conduct of academic institutions, Penn State President Graham Spanier was fired from his $813,000/year job for failing to ensure that a proper investigation was carried out in respect to pedophilia allegations in Penn State’s hugely profitable football program. The story is receiving massive coverage in North America because the iconic Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, was also fired today.

CA readers are aware of Spanier’s failure to ensure proper investigation of Climategate emails and his untrue puffs about the ineffective Penn State Inquiry Committee, reported at CA here and by the the Penn State Collegian as follows:

Graham Spanier addressed the inquiry and the panel’s work during the Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 22. Penn State President Spanier is quoted as saying:

“I know they’ve taken the time and spent hundreds of hours studying documents and interviewing people and looking at issues from all sides,” Spanier said.

Spanier’s claims were totally untrue. Not only did the Inquiry Committee fail to “look at issues from all sides”, they didn’t even interview or take evidence from critics – as they were required to do under the applicable Penn State policy. As I reported at CA at the time:

The only interviews mentioned in the report (aside from Mann) are with Gerry North and Donald Kennedy, editor of Science. [Since they are required to provide a transcript or summary of all interviews, I presume that the Inquiry did not carry out any other interviews.] What does Donald Kennedy know about the matter? These two hardly constitute “looking at issues from all sides”. [A CA reader observed below that "North [at a Rice University event] admitted that he had not read any of the EAU e-mails and did not even know that software files were included in the release.”] They didn’t even talk to Wegman. Contrary to Spanier’s claim, they did not make the slightest effort to talk to any critic or even neutral observer.

Although State Senator Piccola had written to Penn State President Spanier asking him to ensure that “the university must deploy its fullest resources to conduct an investigation of this case”, the Inquiry Committee decided that the investigation committee should not investigate three of the four charges “synthesized” by the inquiry committee and, as a result, despite the request of Piccola and others, no investigation was ever carried out Penn State on any of the key issues e.g the “trick… to hide the decline”, Mann’s role in the email deletion enterprise organised by Phil Jones or the failure to report adverse data which the House Energy and Commerce Committee had asked about (but not investigated by the NAS panel, whose terms of reference were sabotaged by Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS).

When told by the subsequent Investigation Committee that they weren’t investigating the substantive charges, Richard Lindzen told the committee,

“It’s thoroughly amazing. I mean these issues are explicitly stated in the emails. I’m wondering what’s going on?”

Clive Crook of the Atlantic Monthly mercilessly criticized Penn State for their fatuous findings that success in bringing revenue to the university and accolades from peers necessarily meant that misconduct was precluded:

The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann — the paleoclimatologist who came up with “the hockey stick” — would be difficult to parody. Three of four allegations are dismissed out of hand at the outset: the inquiry announces that, for “lack of credible evidence”, it will not even investigate them. …

You think I exaggerate?

This level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research…

Had Dr. Mann’s conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from scientists who may or may not agree with his scientific conclusions…

Clearly, Dr. Mann’s reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of accepted practices in his field.

In short, the case for the prosecution is never heard. Mann is asked if the allegations (well, one of them) are true, and says no.

In the case of Climategate, President Spanier apparently saw nothing wrong with reasoning that equated revenue generation with virtue and accepted the report.

In such a febrile environment, the likelihood of wilful blindness in respect to the far more profitable football program was that much greater and that appears to have been what happened. Even though a Penn State staff member witnessed a rape of a 10-year old by a more senior Penn State official, the junior Penn State staff member did not intervene at the time and investigation by more senior Penn State officials appears to have been cursory until a recent grand jury. (For example, they don’t appear to have bothered even identifying or interviewing the victims.)

It’s hard not to transpose the conclusions of the Penn State Climategate “investigation” into Penn State’s attitude towards misconduct charges in their profitable football program:

This level of success on the football field and revenue generated from it, clearly places Coaches Paterno and Sandusky among the most respected professionals in their field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of their profession in operating a football program…

Had Coach Paterno or Coach Sandusky’s conduct of their program been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for them to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from peers who may or may not agree with his program …

Spanier planned to introduce Michael Mann at an invited lecture next February. I guess that someone else will make the introduction.

Spanier was fired not because of any personal role in the Sandusky football scandal, but because of negligence on his part in ensuring that the allegations were properly investigated. This was not the only case in which Spanier failed to ensure proper investigation of misconduct allegations. As noted above, Spanier had falsely reported to the Penn State trustees and the public that the Penn State Inquiry Committee had properly interviewed critics and had examined the Climategate documents and issues “from all sides”.

143 Comments

  1. Bruce
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Timeline is quite disgusting …. read with caution.

    However, knowledge of some of what was going on went very high.

    “March 2002 – Later in the month the graduate assistant is called to a meeting with Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz. The grad assistant reports what he has seen and Curley and Schultz say they will look into it.”

    “Nov. 7, 2011 – Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly says Paterno is not a target of the investigation into how the school handled the accusations. But she refuses to say the same for university President Graham Spanier.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/penn-state-scandal-timeline-jerry-sandusky_n_1084204.html?ref=mostpopular

  2. Aynsley Kellow
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    First the Hockey Team, now the Football Team!

    • dearieme
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 7:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

      And hats off to you, sir!

  3. Craig Loehle
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The only virtue I can see here is that they were consistent in applying the criteria that successful members of the university could not possibly be wrong or criminals–a criterion which many ousted members of Congress and fired CEOs over the years I am sure wish had been applied to them. The quote above about judging Mann based on his success in getting grants stands as one of the dumbest things I have ever heard from a supposedly educated person (though there is a lot of competition for said honor).

  4. bdaabat
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for bringing this connection up. I’m curious if the reporters covering the current scandal will discover the Mann scandal.

    FYI: This current scandal appears to impact more than the former president of Penn State. There was an investigation by local and campus police and others in 1998, yet nothing happened.

    Clipped from the article:

    “In the end, no prosecution was undertaken. The child welfare agency did not take action. And, according to prosecutors, the commander of the university’s campus police force told his detective, Ronald Schreffler, to close the case.

    “Sandusky admitted showering naked with Victim 6, admitted to hugging Victim 6 while in the shower and admitted that it was wrong,” said the report issued last weekend by the Pennsylvania attorney general. “Detective Schreffler advised Sandusky not to shower with any child again and Sandusky said that he would not.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/sports/ncaafootball/aftermath-of-1998-sandusky-investigation-raises-additional-questions.html

    Bruce

  5. Fred Harwood
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Let it come to you, Steve.

  6. Jeremy
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Trillions of dollars and whole economies at stake on properly stated and formed conclusions versus research grants to a university… The president chooses the grant money.

    The lives of people scarred forever by horrific abuse versus continued football booster money… the president chooses the money.

    One of these stories gets public airtime, the one that affects the fewest people and is the most offensive to puritanistic sensibilities. The one that could alter the lives of everyone on the planet by convincing billions of people that human progress need not be stopped to save the planet gets ignored.

    As Professor Farnsworth has stated…
    “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

  7. Fred Harwood
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Or better, wait for Kim.

  8. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In 2008, Yale University was sued by one of the victims of Antonio Lasaga in the mid 1990s, then an eminent professor in Yale’s Geology and Geophysics Department, on the basis that a Lasaga incident had been witnessed by someone on Yale’s staff and that the university thereafter knew or ought to have known of Lasaga’s actions. Penn State will undoubtedly face a series of civil actions.

    Lasaga was arrested in fall 1998, initially caught on charges of child pornography, later extended to sexual assault.

    Lasaga was sentenced in 2002. Academics argued for leniency:

    During the sentencing, Lasaga’s academic peers advocated leniency because of the expertise that would be lost to the scientific community by imprisoning one of its luminaries.

    A sort of “academic freedom” argument, I guess.

    Lasaga’s prosecutor was appalled by the academics:

    In response to the professors’ courtroom comments, the prosecutor David Strollo said after the trial, “In all my years as a prosecutor, I have never heard people deliver comments so disconnected with reality.”

    See here for the judgement in a recent appeal of the sentence by Lasaga,- it includes a recap of events.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 6:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

      That’s some grim reading

    • steven mosher
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 5:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I wonder who spoke up for the scientist? who ‘had his back” to use a Mannian phrase of late..

      “Three Yale professors also spoke up for Mr. Lasaga, with one describing him as ”Nobel Prize material.” Mr. Lasaga received the Mineralogical Society of America’s award of the year in 1986 and has consulted on such issues as global warming.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/16/nyregion/former-yale-professor-gets-20-years-for-molesting-boy-he-mentored.html?ref=antoniolasaga

    • steven mosher
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Found two of them

      http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2002/2/19/professor-asks-leniency-for-child-molester/

      A Harvard professor asked for leniency Friday in the sentencing of a former Yale University professor and housemaster convicted of child molestation.
      Antonio C. Lasaga, an award-winning geochemist who taught at Yale for almost 15 years, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after he plead no contest to charges of sexual assault, employing a minor in an obscene performance and risk of injury to a minor in New Haven Superior Court last month.

      Harvard’s Heinrich D. Holland, Dudley research professor of economic geology, as well as two professors from Pennsylvania State University, asked Superior Court Judge Roland D. Fasano for a light sentence for Lasaga on Friday. They argued that Lasaga’s academic expertise should be considered in the sentencing.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

        as well as two professors from Pennsylvania State University

        Stranger and stranger. So two professors from Penn State asked for leniency in the sentencing of Antonio Lasaga. Lasaga taught at Penn State before he went to Yale. Small world.

        • Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

          From: http://articles.courant.com/2000-05-19/news/0005191737_1_child-pornography-antonio-lasaga-polygraph-test

          “‘In 1981, when Lasaga was a professor at Pennsylvania State University, College Park, Pa., police charged him with inappropriately touching a 9-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy in a local pool.’”

          ““I consider Tony Lasaga a superstar,” said Hubert Barnes, a Penn State professor who ticked off a series of environmental issues that Lasaga’s research had advanced”

          I wonder if Penn State consider Lasaga one of their better whitewashes?

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

          Sandusky’s bio is on Amazon here. Has the apt title : “Touched – the Jerry Sandusky Story”.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

          http://www.boundless.org/2001/features/a0000563.html

        • Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

          thanks Steve, I found that an excellent commentary.

          It emphasises for me, the fact that the present issue is with Spanier rather than with either Lasaga or Mann, who as many have pointed out, have not committed comparable crimes or sins.

          But Spanier himself should have been the gold standard for integrity. Not only the integrity of the research and work and conduct, but also the awareness of the wider ramifications of Mann’s work, how in this case, Mann’s bad science has been a key factor in the implementation of policies with far more extensive negative consequences than in the case of Sandusky et al.

    • ChE
      Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

      A sort of “academic freedom” argument, I guess.

      I think the phrase you’re looking for is “academic indulgence”?

  9. maggieblanco
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kharma is such a beeyatch

  10. Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Some more people who should be in the state pen rather than Penn State.

    • Timothy
      Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 11:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Watch out, you might get sued for libel!

  11. John M
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 6:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Gives an interesting mix now when one googles Penn State inquiry

  12. Max_OK
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Guilt by association. I’m glad I didn’t go to Penn State.

  13. don
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, the football team leaders were finally busted, Hockey Team leaders next?

  14. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 6:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    fired his $813,000/year job

    Ain’t life a b!tch?

    • Frank K.
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Not to diminish the gravity of the horrible revelations at Penn State, but as a father who just sent his daughter to college, what we should all be asking our public universities is why we (the parents and students) are asked to pay tens of thousands of dollars in tuition and fees, draining our savings and forcing us to take out huge loans, so that a university president can maintain a nearly seven figure salary?! One can only imagine what others are getting paid within the university system. Something is very wrong here…

      Steve: Even Bill Maher was asking this question on a show recently in the context of demands by some Occupy protesters that their student loans be forgiven. The connection of this demand to Wall Street seemed a little obscure to me. maher was commenting on the disconnect between the shortage of skilled trades and engineers in the US and oversupply of university graduates – e.g. more psychology than engineering graduates. But let’s leave this topic for another day.

      • Jan
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I know you want to leave this for another post in time, so please forgive me, but I marveled at the revelation by the interim President in his first statement on this horrific affair that the university consisted of 96,000 students and 46,000 employees.

        Frank K., I know where your tuition fees are going. The President’s salary is merely the tip of the iceberg.

        http://live.psu.edu/story/56314

        Education industrial complex.

    • ChE
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) has been predicting an “academic bubble” burst for several years now, and this is a milestone in its collapse.

  15. Green Sand
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 7:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Events, my dear boy, events!

  16. Scott Basinger
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 7:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Another Penn State employee that belongs in the State Pen.

  17. ROM
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr McIntyre, I am a long time Australian browser of your site and a great admirer of your intellect and your tenacity.
    At 73 years old and a retired farmer and with just a low level of schooling, I regard myself as an intellectual pygmy compared to yourself and many of the commenters to your blog.
    Often I can’t follow the mathematics you present but I very well understand the nuances, ideals and concepts you comment on.
    May you long continue in your work and I hope that somewhere, sometime you will be awarded your rightful dues both in a recognition by society of your enormous contribution to the ethics of science and in the way of some tangible financial reward.

    I posted the following on another climate science site here in Australia and will understand if you do not accept and wish to delete this post below.

    “My slant on science at the moment is that scientists are just ordinary human beings with all the perversity and faults of all of the rest of the citizens who make up our society.
    And as a science orientated layman I have mixed with numerous scientists for some 40 years now in some of the positions I have held.

    Scientists have specialised skills but those specialised skills are equally matched by equally skilled people and equal skills of many different types in every other profession.
    But science and scientists have been given an extraordinary latitude far, far out weighing that offered to any other profession or sector by our society to basically do what they want and to do it without any real accounting for their deeds, actions or lack of useable results for our society.

    Further, society has an unwritten contract with science and scientists that they will advance our society and in return society has agreed to pay them and in most cases pay them well with many sideline lurks and perks supplied in the past without question, an extraordinary concession by society to science that is not available to any other sector of the numerous sectors that make up our society and civilisation.

    Now we as a society are, through the medium of the very fast global communication systems, are starting to see the way the latest generations of scientists have come to believe that it is their total and undoubted right to such society supplied perks and privileges rather than seeing those same perks and privileges as very large concessions to their science profession. Scientists now in many disciplines are being seen to be increasingly abusing and manipulating those perks and concessions and even the science in many, many fields.

    Instead of an all out drive by scientists of all disciplines to halt these increasingly systematic abuses of the tolerance of the public for science by less than honest and rogue scientists, we instead are seeing a rush to ramparts to protect the privileges that is accorded science and scientists and the whitewashes of these abuses by an increasingly incestuous science establishment.

    In the long run this can only create a vale of tears for science as the increased abuse of the privileges by an increasing number of “scientists” that is accorded science by the public and the political process which allows scientists to follow what paths they will without any accounting to society either ethically, sometimes morally, economically and increasingly, legally, is going to destroy if it is not already doing so, the public’s tolerance, acceptance and latitude given to science and those that practice it.”

    • Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 7:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

      well said ROM. Perhaps you would like to cross-post at Watts Up With That, and Jo Nova’s blog. I think your statement could merit raising to a head post.

    • Tom in St. Johns
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: ROM (Nov 10 19:48),

      I agree, very well said.

    • Jeremy
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Well, in many cases, it’s not the scientists who are defending the abuse, it’s those with political power. True the scientists are circling the wagons, but it’s the administrators and politicians who have the biggest guns to point out from the circle.

      • ChE
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

        That’s my take on the situation – there’s a dance going on between scientists, activists, administrators, and grant agencies and it’s hard to tell the tail from the dog. My gut feeling is that even the most vociferous scientist/advocates are just part of a larger dynamic, with the activists doing the wagging, and the scientists and institutions being wagged, but it’s not at all clear to the participants whether they’re wagger, wagee, or some of both.

    • ba
      Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 4:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Substitute “academics” and “academic administrators” for “scientists” would be a double dose. That’s the real rot. Look at the Duke case, arbitrarily “politically correct” faculty, again.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

        there’s a connection between the Duke case and the Lasaga case. Brodhead, the Duke President, had formerly been at Yale where he handled Lasaga’s departure for “personal reasons”, describing Lasaga as a great citizen of the Yale community,

  18. Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 7:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Two minor corrections:

    1. Sandusky was no longer a staff member at the time Paterno received the report; he had retired and was on campus as part of the activities of his foundation for children (!).

    2. There is also some question about the level of detail the misconduct witness imparted to Paterno–the prosecutors seemed to think Paterno was truthful in stating to the grand jury that he didn’t have the gory details and so grossly underestimated the severity of what Sandusky had done.

    It all smacks of willful blindness, especially given the 1998 incidents. I’m very disappointed in Paterno. Spanier apparently ran true to type.

    • stan
      Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Sandusky had the run of the building. He used the facility for his workouts as recently as last week. He was Paterno’s right hand when he coached and continued to enjoy a close relationship long after he retired. Players who played after he retired say he was around all the time. The only thing that changed after the 2002 incident was that he could no longer bring the boys with him on campus. As Jay Bilas said — basically Penn St told Sandusky “just don’t do it around here anymore”.

      • Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 10:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Yes. Particularly bad is that the incident was reported to the VP in charge of the university police and he didn’t do anything. Can you imagine what would happen if a civilian police commissioner had something like this reported to him and failed to direct the officers under his command to investigate? It really is appalling, and anyone can see why the indictments were handed down.

        My point was only that Paterno’s culpability, while substantial, is being exaggerated given the findings of the grand jury. The witness McQueary apparently confirmed Paterno’s account of their conversation, which was that McQueary was not explicit about what he had seen. Note that McQueary is still employed at Penn State and he never went to the police either, even though he now saw the abuse with his own eyes.

        • Andrew
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

          snip – please limit discussion to the investigations, not the Sandusky events.

        • Steve Garcia
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

          I may have this all wrong, but I look at university police as rent-a-cops with the power to issue parking tickets. In my mind this is criminal behavior (hence the current grand jury indictments) that should have been reported to the municipal police. Buggering kids is a CRIME, not some hand-slapping minor thing. It should never have been reported to Paterno or any university people, except to inform them that criminal behavior was being reported to the municipal police.

          In discussions at work, when I pointed out the criminal nature of the crimes, those defending Paterno all went, “Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that.”

          The parallels with the 2000-2001 Catholic priests pedophilia cases is a no-brainer. In that one – inexplicably – the municipal authorities in the vast majoirt of cases allowed the Church to buy off people in settlements – even though statutory crimes had been committed.

          At least, though, in the current case a grand jury was convened.

          As to Spanier in the Mann case, one may hope (Pollyanna that I am) that the new head man will be open to re-opening the case against Mann. I won’t hold my breath, but weirder things have happened. After all, in OCT 2009, who would have guessed we were on the cusp of Climategate? And in 1990, who would have guessed the USSR was going down a year later? Real life is more interesting than fiction sometimes!

        • Jeff Mitchell
          Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

          Brigham Young University has a police department and all officers are accredited law enforcement officers. My wife and I went on a ride-along for a date one night and got to go to a marijuana bust on campus, among other things.

          I’m betting that the Penn State police are the same.

    • Matt B
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Sandusky was still affiliated with Penn State after retirement:

      “As part of his retirement package, Sandusky still maintained an office within the football department and was listed as a professor emeritus of physical education. Sources report he was on campus as recently as early November working out, but Penn State has since banned him from campus”.

      Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/11/09/jerry-sandusky-scandal-seven-key-players-in-the-penn-state-abuse-case/#ixzz1dPKM0Vjr

  19. Tom Ganley
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 7:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Inquiry was ‘politics as usual’. Covering for a child rapist for political reasons? Someone that will go out and do it again?

    There isn’t a word or phrase to describe that.

  20. DGH
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 8:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    While Spanier was clearly holding the helm lightly in both instances, the similarities otherwise quickly diverge. Your post walks that line carefully. The comments however aren’t so carefully crafted.

    To wit, Steve E writes, “I think that this Paterno incident will be viewed with more gravitas over the next five years than what has or will happen with Mann.”

    The current situation relates to alleged abuse and rape of children. That certainly trumps arrogance, alleged academic misconduct and alleged willingness to circumvent freedom of information laws.

  21. Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 8:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    We’re safe! Back in the days, Lasaga was no CO2 skeptic! ;-)

  22. Ripantuck
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 8:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I made the comment yesterday before this post by Steve and I will repeat it now.
    After giving the new administration (President)time to orient himself/herself to the new position, it would be a good idea to send a letter respectfully asking that then Mann inquiry be revisited. I suspect that there will be a brand new attitude towards finding staff people innocent based on the success in bringing money to the University.
    I am thinking of a letter signed by respected academics from many countries as well as experts such as Steve and Anthony, etc.
    Rip

    • chilipalmer
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

      11/11/11 NY Times article “Penn State Has Exemption From Disclosure Law,” NY Times, Ken Belson. Penn State is among several universities in the state exempt from most disclosure laws. Current law was updated in 2008: “But the public’s access to e-mails, phone records and other potentially critical evidence is restricted because Penn State has a special exemption from having to disclose a host of information that state agencies and many other state universities are forced to divulge under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law.” If any help, Penna. Gov. Tom Corbett pushed Penn State on recent firings, he convened grand jury in 2009 as Pa. Atty. Gen., has long known what was going on there and was very unhappy with management stalling, failure to lead.

      • Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 6:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

        11/11/11 NY Times article… Penn State is among several universities in the state exempt from most disclosure laws.

        That surely deserves flagging.

  23. Bob Moss
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 9:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Gary C. Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, and Athletic Director Tim Curley have both been charged with perjury, a felony, in addition to failure to report a violation of the Child Protective Services Law.

    They are accused of not only covering up the misdeeds that happened under their watch but also of lying to the investigating grand jury about what they knew.

    References to the State Penn appear to no longer just be attempts at humor.

    • Bruce
      Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 10:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Ewww.

      “The Gary Schultz Child Care Center at Hort Woods will accommodate up to 170 children in a new 21,500-square-foot facility on the corner of Park Avenue and Allen Road, adjacent to Hort Woods.

      “This unique setting will provide a great opportunity to teach young children to value, care for and appreciate the natural environment,” said Al Horvath, senior vice president for finance and business.

      Trustees approved naming the building in honor of Gary C. Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business emeritus, who retired from the University in 2009.”

      http://live.psu.edu/story/44051

      • Rattus Norvegicus
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

        And this is apropos of what? All campuses need child care facilities for both students and faculty. This has nothing at all to do with Sandusky or his Second Mile Foundation, AFAICT from your link.

        • Bob Moss
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

          According to his indictment Gary Schultz enabled a serial child molester to continue his deeds unchecked. Some may find it discordant that he simultaneously accepted having a child care center named in his honor.

        • Rattus Norvegicus
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

          I take it back. I haven’t read the grand jury report.

        • Rattus Norvegicus
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

          I see you’ve deleted my last comment.

          Stay classy Steve.

  24. RoyFOMR
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 9:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Given that a clear and unambigious malfeisance has been attributed to one of the gatekeepers involved in previous investigations of Dr Mann’s activities would it not be beneficial to re-open these investigations so that Dr Mann can be clearly exonerated as totally innocent of all charges?

  25. DGH
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Climate Audit jumps the shark.

    • peetee
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 1:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Jumps? No… jumped, as in years ago!

      • Bob Moss
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Michael Mann has been called many things. I suppose “shark” could be added to the list.

      • DGH
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Not so. And Steve has now judiciously snipped the offensive clutter.

  26. Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 10:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Makes one wonder whatever happened to good old-fashioned “honesty is the best policy”. At some point along the line, this maxim appears to have been supplanted (and/or suppressed) by the introduction of a post-modernist “values virus” which seems to ensure that inconvenient truths are invariably sacrificed, by the powers-that-be, on the altar of a decidedly warped “greater good”.

    My initial “working hypothesis” was that this warping was probably a function – or consequence – of a “generational cohort” difference in values. Such differences over time (past) have in many areas been reflected (and/or at least temporarily resolved) by pendulum swings.

    But now the pendulum seems to be “stuck”: Spanier’s spinning (and particularly the consequences thereof) certainly splatters that supposition of mine!

    Hilary [caught in a quandary: do I write a blogpost expanding on this, or head out to buy a bottle of wine?!]

  27. RoyFOMR
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 11:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Hilary [caught in a quandary: do I write a blogpost expanding on this, or head out to buy a bottle of wine?”
    Or Model III, try both. When it stops making sense just claim that the scientific consensus negates all ‘contrarian evidence’ as being ‘non-consensus’
    Good luck with both the choice and consumption of the aforesaid beverage. Am less certain about the results of any logical analysis though. In Vino veritas perhaps but all I can offer Latinate (and mucho mongrelish) is ‘Fundim ist Fecundum’.
    AKA- make us money and we’ll absolve any transgressions!
    Simples. Re-open any associated investigations and without prejudice so that DR Mann can be, once again, cleared of any wrong-doing.

    • Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 3:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Roy, I opted for the wine …but I’m deferring the vertas to vendredi ;-)

      • Another Ian
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 4:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Or as I once heard a person described as

        “Believing in the Quid pro quo – more quid, more quo”

        (Translation – quid was a slang term for the then Australian currency pound)

  28. Don McIlvin
    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 11:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Spanier logic applied to an extreme.

    This level of success on the financial investment field and revenue generated from it, clearly places Bernie Madoff among the most respected professionals in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession in operating an investment fund.

    Had Bernie Madoff’s financial propriety been outside the range of accepted practices and legality, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many investors, who typically engage in an intense scrutiny of fund options in selecting where to place their investments.

  29. crosspatch
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 12:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    What is really scary is that there was a DA on the trail of Sandusky. But for some reason, he disappeared in 2005. That would be a pretty chilling message:

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/DA-Who-Never-Charged-Sandusky-Has-Been-Missing-Since-2005-133615093.html

  30. Taphonomic
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 12:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The Penn State hits just keep coming. New rumors on on the whole Sandusky scandal that came out before Spanier and Paterno were fired:

    http://www.nesn.com/2011/11/jerry-sandusky-rumored-to-have-been-pimping-out-young-boys-to-rich-donors-says-mark-madden.html

  31. Big Dave
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 2:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    At one point yesterday afternoon, a local reporter tweeted that the board of trustees had announced the formation of an investigative committee! It was a surreal feeling as I recalled the Mann committee’s innept farce. Thankfully, PA Gov. Tom Corbett stepped into the fray and within a few hours the Trustees fired Spanier.
    There are rumors out now that are even worse about pimping boys for wealthy doners….
    Sick stuff in Happy Valley. Say it ain’t so JoePa.
    Keep an eye on your little ones.

    Best
    Big Dave

  32. Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 2:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The story is receiving massive coverage in North America because the iconic Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, was also fired today.

    And who would be the equivalent for the Hockey Team? It’s a serious question.

    Spanier was fired not because of any personal role in the Sandusky football scandal, but because of negligence on his part in ensuring that the allegations were properly investigated.

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention and for your care in drawing out the parallels. Negligence is everywhere in the climate scene. But eventually the same kinds of lines of responsibility will be drawn. It can’t happen soon enough.

  33. intrepid_wanders
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 2:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Another interesting factor is the new “interim president” in charge of pursuing the “investigation” was the PSU Provost since 1999, Dr. Erickson (PhD Geography).
    http://www.psu.edu/provost/provost.htm

    Wouldn’t any concerns or misconduct reports go through the Provost/VP first then to the President? I do believe he is responsible for “campus safety”.

    All internal PSU inquiries will stink until they understand what an independent investigation is. Get the popcorn ready for the next train wreak.

  34. Roy
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 5:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I completely understand the criticism of Spanier’s approach to enquiries, which seems feckless and indolent, if not actually venal. But I am very uncomfortable at being offered parallels between a paedophile incident and possible scientific misconduct. We already see Bishop Hill blogging about “hide the paedophile” so I’m not imagining the likely effect of this juxtaposition.

    • Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 5:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

      snip -

      Steve- please tread lightly.

      • DGH
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 6:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Seriously. Is the snip button broken?

        Steve: No. But I’m not always online.

        • Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 7:23 AM | Permalink

          I don’t know. I hope you receive an answer. But mulling over that vital question somehow brings to mind a couple of others:

          1. To what lengths would Penn State go for money, if they felt they could get away with it?

          2. What is the moral stature of those in leadership at Penn State, more generally?

          Neither of these is a matter of parallel or analogy – but of fact. Bad standards are likely to carry over from one area to another. Deal with it.

    • BobN
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 6:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I’m with Roy. While it is certainly possible to criticize the whitewash investigation of Mann, I think drawing any parallels or comparisons to the current football fiasco is unwarranted and wrong. Quite frankly, Steve, I am disappointed in you for trying to draw any parallels.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 8:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I understand the criticism. I expect commenters to tread lightly.

        In defence of commenting now, Graham Spanier had been discussed by name in an earlier CA post on the Mann Report, in which I sharply criticized Spanier’s untrue characterization of the Penn State inquiry committee, in the context of observing Penn State’s failure to carry out a proper investigation and apparent lack of understanding of what was involved in an investigation. Yes, the issue in one case is more serious than the issue in the other, but I think that the failure to properly investigate was common to the two investigations and a valid parallel.

        • Gerald Machnee
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

          I agree with Steve.
          Also, I have my doubts whether the replacement will do any better investigation. Money talks.

        • Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

          With the entire world watching, the investigation will most likely go into overkill drive. All about the PR now. They can’t afford to make any mistakes.

        • stan
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

          There is a lot more in both cases than a poorly executed investigation. Both cases have the president making untrue statements. Both seem to involve an ethos that successful men can do no wrong; and the more famous and powerful they are, the more immune they are from scrutiny. Both demonstrate a strong inclination to circle the wagons and seemingly no interest in truth or justice. Both involve quite a bit of evidence going back years from a number of different sources and involving a variety of issues which should have raised red flags.

          A lot of parallels. And here’s one more for folks to chew on. The football case is seen by some (especially academics) to show one more example of how football is a corrupting influence on many big university campuses. Not that these particular facts are prevalent on many campuses, but that the football programs in general are so powerful that they are beyond the control of the administrations. Similarly, many are starting to wonder if academic research at our universities is subject to corrupting influences. Steve had this post http://climateaudit.org/2009/02/18/mccullough-and-mckitrick-on-due-diligence/ highlighting Ross’ work on the lack of due diligence and the lack of interest in correcting the problem. People can make the argument that both of these cases highlight broader concerns that affect many universities and the potential for problems.

        • Speed
          Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

          stan said, “The football case is seen by some (especially academics) to show one more example of how football is a corrupting influence on many big university campuses.”

          True enough but football is just the visible tip of the proverbial iceberg. It’s the money — direct income from television etc. as well as donations from sports loving alums — that’s under the surface. The same is true for research dollars which service the debt, keep the lights on and sweep the halls.

          Penn State University had its Aa1 revenue-bond rating placed on review for possible downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service amid the investigation into a child sex-abuse scandal.

          About $1 billion of rated debt would be affected by a downgrade, according to the statement.

          http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-11/penn-state-debt-may-be-cut-by-moody-s-on-child-sex-abuse-scandal.html

          If the grants stop coming, money to service the debt and service the campus will have to be found elsewhere.

        • Posted Nov 13, 2011 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

          The victim payouts (~$10-$100m each) will have a further impact on that rating…probably a good time to consider leaving Penn State and heading off to Yale (cf. Lasaga).

        • Marcel Kincaid
          Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

          “I expect commenters to tread lightly.”

          I don’t believe you’re that stupid … you expect the commenters to do precisely what they have done.

        • RomanM
          Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

          To quote something that I just read this morning:

          Your opinion, being based entirely on ignorance, is worthless.

          How apropos. ;)

      • JD Ohio
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I think what Steve did is important and necessary. When the firestorm is over, Spanier is going to look for ways to restore his reputation, and he may end up suing the University. In a parallel situation, Jim O’Brien, the former basketball coach at Ohio State was fired for lending money to the mother of a foreign recruit. For strange technical reasons, it turned out not to be a violation of the letter of his contract (and maybe NCAA rules). He sued Ohio State and won $2.4 million dollars even though what he did clearly violated the spirit of the rules. Making a record of Spanier’s past [conduct] could help avoid a repeat of what happened to Ohio State.

        JD

      • John Norris
        Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 9:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

        As is often the case, leadership establishes that there is nothing more important then the activity at hand, and achievement of the goals within that activity. That is often a successful path to reach the top of extremely competitive fields.

        When the achievement of the goals, and the cover up of facts that might be impediments to those goals, trumps morals and ethics, it speaks volumes to the character of the leadership. That certainly appears to apply to both cases discussed here, Penn State Football, and Penn State climate science.

        Steve pointed out the common leadership. Penn State leadership enabled both. Focus your disappointment on them.

  35. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 6:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, as to the academics defending the indefensible till up is down and black is white:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Carleton_Gajdusek

    Chris Brand, well known author from the esteemed “London School of Psychology”, testified in court for the defense. To this kind of academic, it is not only ethically acceptable to sexually assault the study subjects, but can be quite helpful.

  36. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 6:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Academics can find any excuse to support their causes, no matter how deep they need to dig.

    In “The God Shaped Hole” article, Richard Dawkins minimizes the effect of sexual assault and talks about little harm done to infants by the more minor assaults ( while in fact most of the victims were 11 years old an up ).
    He characterizes the assaults as “”accusations” ( some time after admissions and convictions had been coming in ).

    So it’s worse to take your child to church once a week than to deliver the child to a “gentle” molestor once a week.

    http://www.thedubliner.ie/the_dubliner_magazine/2007/04/the_god_shaped_.html

    “… Regarding the accusations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, deplorable and disgusting as those abuses are, they are not so harmful to the children as the grievous mental harm in bringing up the child Catholic in the first place. I had a letter from a woman in America….”

  37. Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There are substantive complaints about the procedure for Penn State’s inquiry re: Mann. Added to that, the institution management for the term of Spanier’s tenure is discredited. The inquiry into Mann falls into this period.

    None of this represents evidence against Mann per se, but it does present an excellent argument that the Mann inquiry needs to be revisited.

    From Penn State’s POV, the Mann situation is very delicate. They need to appoint someone else, but if the Mann situation is revisited, it brings the entire administration into disrepute. They all stood by while this happened and/or were appointed under the discredited president. That means that there cannot be a cleaning of the Augean Stables. However, if there are hearings into the affair, it’s an opportunity for a AGW-sceptic politician (especially a lawyer with prosecution experience) to create a reputation by blowing the whole affair wide open. All he has to do is start from “what were the terms of refereence?” and the counter-party is in an impossible position.

  38. justbeau
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 8:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This essay seems fairly germane to climate auditing. Penn State U did a ridiculously weak investigation of Mann. Investigation of a football coach was a failure too. The head of the University spoke out in support of the two indicted administrators instead of taking a more cautious, wait and see what is revealed approach. From the top of the university, there has not been ethical leadership and a commitment to finding out facts, so changes were warranted.

  39. Mark T
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 10:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I wonder if such revelations will be of benefit to Tim Ball’s legal issues.

    Mark

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I can almost assure you the topic will be raised in the court room.

  40. theduke
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Yet another chapter in the upcoming voluminous book “Too Big To Fail.” Large institutions tend to become a law unto themselves. When the reputation (or survival, which can be the same thing) of the institution is at stake, trivial matter like adherence to the law get tossed out the window.

    Of course, I’m biased. I went to a college that had 750 students at the time.

  41. Ron Cram
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think the comparison is completely justified. Mann got off because he generated revenue in the form of research funding. I hope the new president of Penn State will be willing to revisit the Mann investigation because he wants to show a higher level of accountability.

    • ChE
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I wouldn’t count on that. Child molestation is sensational. The National Enquirer crowd understands that. That gets attention. Especially when it involves college football, which that same bunch also comprehends. Mann’s issues are far more subtle and esoteric.

      • Ron Cram
        Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I am not guessing anything graphic will be in the court room, but if Mann tries to claim that several investigations have cleared him – then Ball’s attorneys should respond with appropriate vigor and all the dirty laundry they can gather.

  42. Doug Proctor
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I wonder if anyone with authority will also wonder what other things Spanier decided not to investigate…

  43. Bob Koss
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 2:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Here is the Grand Jury report if anyone is interested. Eight unnamed victims are mentioned.
    http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/Press/Sandusky-Grand-Jury-Presentment.pdf

  44. Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    No advertiser or politician will ever again want to be associated with Penn State – and not only will the football team vanish – but so will the University…

    …and therein lies a lesson for the highly paid white washers and decline hiders of the world.

    • Rhoda Ramirez
      Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 5:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I doubt that Penn State will dissappear. They’re on everyone’s ****list for now, but the next scandal will knock them off (or move them so far down the memory hole as to disappear) and ten years from now very few people will remember this.

      • Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 5:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I’m not sure there will be many applying or wanting Penn State on their resumes now – and I’m sure that the surviving seven figure whitewashers are consulting their branding gurus. (I wonder when they’ll be calling in Neil Wallis?).

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

          Neil Wallis :)

          You’re right. Penn State should have got him involved.

  45. Scott
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ia this a required or elective course at Penn State?

  46. dougieh
    Posted Nov 11, 2011 at 6:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, as you note from quotes -

    “This level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research…

    Had Dr. Mann’s conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from scientists who may or may not agree with his scientific conclusions…

    Clearly, Dr. Mann’s reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of accepted practices in his field.”

    and this

    “This level of success on the football field and revenue generated from it, clearly places Coaches Paterno and Sandusky among the most respected professionals in their field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of their profession in operating a football program…

    “Had Coach Paterno or Coach Sandusky’s conduct of their program been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for them to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from peers who may or may not agree with his program … ”

    implies, no thought, no integrity, no need to investigate, all’s well as long as the money comes in, how sad & does spill over to Mann.

  47. Ursus Augustus
    Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 12:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    We can all just imagine the hue and cry if Penn State were a RC university run by priests. [..]

  48. Marcel Kincaid
    Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 2:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This dogwhistling is what passes around here for science.

    • tomdesabla
      Posted Nov 14, 2011 at 12:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

      It’s a blog, dude. It’s mostly science, but McIntyre is human and has opinions about other things too. Besides, this Penn State scandal is clearly related to climate as the same people at PSU that looked the other way for Sandusky also looked the other way on Climategate.

      Worth discussing I’d say, and really disturbing too. We can take a short break from ordinary least squares regressions, and kriging (?!?) for a few minutes I think.

      You have some sort of agenda here Marcel?

  49. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 2:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Matthwe W writes “All about the PR now. They can’t afford to make any mistakes.”

    Matthew, PR IS a mistake. Circular logic?

    I do not recall the name “Lasaga” as an eminent geochemist when I was in the trade. It would also be unusual here Down Under for an official hearing to be swayed by the “loss of a leading scientist if imprisoned” argument. One soon becomes an ordinary Joe when before a Court. Perhaps these stories grow with time in the urban myth style.

  50. Myk Taylor
    Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 4:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There is a political satire programme on UK tv called Yes Minister. Sometimes it is too close to the truth to be really funny.

    On the subject of public enquiries, the following was the advice given by the senior civil servant to the minister.
    The purpose of a public enquiry is not to investigate the facts, it is to protect the reputation of officials.
    This is done by selecting the enquiry team from those who owe you something, want something from you, have a vested interest in giving you the answer you want, and setting the terms of reference of the enquiry to avoid looking at the issues you don’t want examined.
    This way any public enquiry or official investigation will always result in giving the authorities the answer they want

  51. Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 6:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    None of the three Lasaga supporter is known for being skeptical on climate change. Holland was an “early adopter” of environmental alarmism http://www.amazon.com/Living-Dangerously-Heinrich-D-Holland/dp/0691032661

    I have checked this because OF COURSE if any of these paedophiles and associates were found to be a skeptic of any sort, then we would be submerged by blogs upon blogs “demonstrating” that the equivalence between skepticism and child molestation. 8-(

    And no, I do not understand the criticisms against Steve here. There is no parallel between Mann and Sandusky, or even Mann and Paterno. The issue is that if Spanier had no qualms in letting a paedophile run amok at Penn State, he would have thought even less of letting people do enormously smaller crimes such as being guilty of dubious research practices.

    So Mann is actually a victim in this case because unless and until everything is properly investigated, his work will remain forever tainted by Spanier’s cavalier attitude to do what is right, let alone what is legal.

  52. David L.
    Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 6:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The instant I heard about the Sandusky issue at Penn State I immediately thought of the Mann whitewash. Definitely a consistent theme in Happy Valley…. protect your own amd cover up.

    I spent a lot of years in various colleges and universities as a scientific researcher successfully garnering grants. I will say that this condition of the “good ole boys network” is pandemic to academia and is in no way unique to Penn State. None of this (Spanier, Paterni, Mann) surprises me in the least. In fact, it’s worse than you think.

  53. Encourage Whistleblowers
    Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Financial Times reports that PSU’s bond rating is under review.

    Conspiracies and criminal cover-ups are almost always revealed by whistleblowers.

    The Climategate emails were revealed by a whistleblower.

    The PSU child molesting scandal was revealed by whistleblowers.

    snip

    Note that FT reports that PSU receives 9 times more revenue from federal research grants than from its football program. Think that might explain the whitewash of the Mann investigation?

    If they’re willing to go to great lengths to cover-up children being raped in the locker-room for $50 million, how much greater lengths would they be willing to go to for $450 million?

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6931fd44-0cb6-11e1-a45b-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1dVPcAxDS

    “Penn State’s football programme contributes about 2 per cent of revenues. Additional large contributors are tuition and other student-based revenue at 40 per cent and federal research grants at 19 per cent. The university receives 7 per cent of its operating revenue from the state government of Pennsylvania.”

  54. Big M
    Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I certainly don’t know all the details of this, apparently covering years, and they probably will never completely come out. However, anybody should be able to figure out why Spanier failed to carry out any investigation.

  55. EdeF
    Posted Nov 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The wise judge must decide that in bringing in evidence concerning the defendent from
    other actions not related to the immediate case, whether or not this may be seen
    as being too prejudicial to the case. Of course the D.A. wants to bring in everything
    including the kitchen sink. In the case of the Penn State climate inquiry, I would
    argue that bringing in accusations regarding Penn State administrators regarding
    actions by the football coaches may be too prejudical to the hearing of the complaints
    regarding the inquiry, and for that reason I would separate the two issues, and would
    counsel that strategy on this site. Respectfully, EdeF.

  56. Posted Nov 13, 2011 at 7:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Wondering where Graham Spanier’s professional expertise lies? Here is one of his more respected academic pieces:

    “Introduction to Mate-Swapping: A Review.” Cole, Charles L. and Graham B. Spanier, 1973.

    • Posted Nov 13, 2011 at 8:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

      In this piece of psycho-babble/profound medical research, Spanier explains:

      http://www.springerlink.com/content/g18580h5t244324u/fulltext.pdf

      “We [Spanier and Cole] choose to view deviant behavior simply as behavior that some value and others consider wrong. An individual’s behavior becomes deviant only when others define it as deviant. Much of an individual’s behavior can be viewed as a response to this “labeling.” Mate swapping, then, can be viewed as either deviant or normal behavior, depending on who is viewing it and from what perspective it is being viewed.”

      Clearly a flexible thinker was appointed to run mighty Penn State (I wonder what he had on the board of trustees?)

      • kuhnkat
        Posted Nov 13, 2011 at 11:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

        ZT,

        he didn’t need to “have” anything on the Board if they believe the same way he does. In fact, common beliefs are always a reasonable way to select associates, friends, employees… It is just when those beliefs conflict with the standards of the society that it gets sticky.

        • Posted Nov 14, 2011 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

          The link on ‘swapping’ is definitely worth a look. Neil Wallis would be intrigued. Clearly Spanier et al are able to view almost anything as ‘normal’ behavior. Probably Mann’s activities were categorized as ‘mundane’ by this crew.

  57. Sam King
    Posted Nov 13, 2011 at 9:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I guess I cannot be surprised at how desperate you’ve become Mr. McIntyre. Your post was lower than low.

    I used to argue with 9/11 truthers and watched the same thing happen with them. Denialism implodes from it’s own irrational contradictions no matter what you try. It is sad to watch otherwise intelligent beings self-destruct as you are doing now, however.

    • kuhnkat
      Posted Nov 13, 2011 at 11:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Well Sam,

      would you please stop with the arm waving and show us where the investigations were handled correctly?? If not, I guess Steve may be correct.

    • Bob Moss
      Posted Nov 17, 2011 at 10:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Well Sam,

      There appears to be a growing consensus that the Pennsylvania State University was the one into denialism and it has definitely imploded. So while your theory is arguably correct your data coordinates are in the wrong country.

  58. Craig Loehle
    Posted Nov 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Judge who freed Sandusky on bail volunteered for his charity
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/who_he_to_judge_Pa1u7dlj5Qczv6zSDt5aML

  59. J Bowers
    Posted Nov 14, 2011 at 8:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The National Science Foundation has cleared Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann of any misconduct in the 2009 “Climategate” controversy.

    Nothing to do with PSU, Spanier, Paterno or child abuse.

    • John M
      Posted Nov 14, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Nor anything with participating in an effort to delete e-mails to avoid FOI either. Oh, but the NSF didn’t address that, now did they?

      • J Bowers
        Posted Nov 16, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Are you sure?

  60. Fred Harwood
    Posted Nov 15, 2011 at 3:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    http://chronicle.com/article/Spaniers-National-Footprint/129785/

  61. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Nov 17, 2011 at 7:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Spanier resigns from the Naval Post Graduate Advisory Board.

    Read more: http://www.ksbw.com/news/29795486/detail.html

  62. Posted Nov 19, 2011 at 8:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Anybody wondering about the trackback from an Italian blog “Ocasapiens”, it’s a site written by a journalist working for a national newspaper.

    She’s opining about what a bunch of lowlifes me and Steve are in mentioning Mann next to Lasaga and Sandusky (yes, the hockey-sticker has a cult following in Italy too).

    Well, the lady is either paid to publish a certain number of posts about me before receiving rightful salary, or on a multi-year-long campaign to increase the amount of deranged, fictional, misleading content at her website demonstrating an overwhelming inability to understand the written word (given also the fact that I’m definitely not a nationally-known figure in Italy or anywhere else).

    Some would call it a serial attempt at bullying (and a pretty idiotic one at that), I can only thank the lady for the fleeting notoriety she’s been providing me.

  63. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Nov 20, 2011 at 2:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/manufacturing/story/2011-11-15/Ex-Penn-State-president-quits-US-Steel-board/51219426/1?csp=obnetwork

    Spanier was a busy guy.

  64. John M
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The irony…it burns…

    “Spanier files suit seeking Penn State emails”

    http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12146/1234603-143.stm

    Former Penn State University president Graham Spanier has filed a civil lawsuit to force the school to release emails related to its investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    The lawsuit says Mr. Spanier wants the emails so he can better recall events, citing emails sent between 1998 and 2004.

  65. John M
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The irony grows…

    …he first was told Penn State e-mails from before 2004 didn’t exist and that he recently learned at least some of those e-mails have been retrieved but the school refuses to allow him to see them.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-05-26/penn-state-lawsuit-jerry-sandusky-case/55217426/1

    Maybe PSU ought to produce a “zip archive” with their own explanation of what it contains, and then Spanier’s attorney’s could just accept that at face value.

  66. sue
    Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mike Mann is suing for defamation over a recent article questioning the Penn State “investigation”: http://climatecrocks.com/2012/07/22/mike-mann-calls-out-slime-vending-conservatives-at-national-review/

    The letter from his attorney is interesting…

    • Bob Moss
      Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 5:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Well sue,

      Your claim would ring true if there were indeed a suit.

      But stripping away the robust bluster you are left with only bark, no bite.

      • sue
        Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

        OK Bob, first step to a suit? I think every “investigation” handled by Spanier should be looked at again, since he failed miserably with the Sandusky case.

        • Bob Moss
          Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

          Hmmm. I took your name and post as a veiled threat to our esteemed host.

          If I have things upside down I am man enough to admit it.

        • sue
          Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

          upside down :) the article that Mann wants removed is stating that Spanier mishandled the Sandusky case and therefore Mann’s investigation should be looked at again too. His attorney’s letter references other “investigations” that never looked at the science, took his word that he didn’t delete emails, etc. It will be *interesting* to see how/if this moves forward.

        • sue
          Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

          Oh and my given name is Susan but I’ve always gone by Sue, so… sue me! ;)

    • JCM
      Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Fire up the ovens and call the bakers in, this promises to be one long bun fight.

      • Jeff Norman
        Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 8:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Michael Mann, the world’s number one claimant scientist.

    • Tom Anderson
      Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Heads up to David Karoly, If you want to threaten legal action, this is how you do it. From your attorney, “we intend to pursue all legal remedies” yada, yada, yada. Let Mike Mann show you the light.

18 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Penn State President Fired [...]

  2. [...] story here Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditDiggEmailLike this:LikeBe the [...]

  3. By In Case You Were Wondering « the Air Vent on Nov 11, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    [...] Steve McIntyre wrote a post on it recently which has this quote on Climategate: Clive Crook of the Atlantic Monthly mercilessly criticized Penn State for their fatuous findings that success in bringing revenue to the university and accolades from peers necessarily meant that misconduct was precluded: [...]

  4. [...] since the supeficial climategate email investigations also appear to have been a covered up…..click here. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); [...]

  5. [...] wasn’t just child molestation: Although State Senator Piccola had written to Penn State President Spanier asking him to ensure [...]

  6. [...] also the home of Michael Mann, of “Mann-made global warming” fame. And it appears investigations into [...]

  7. By Penn State President Fired � Climate Audit on Nov 12, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    [...] post by Steve McIntyre and software by Elliott [...]

  8. [...] Paterno. Is dat te ver gezocht? Steve McIntyre denk van niet. Interesse in deze materie? Lees dan zijn blogartikel over de kwestie./*//>*/Aanverwante berichten:Penn State onderzoek pleit Michael Mann vrijPenn State [...]

  9. [...] Penn State President Fired « Climate Audit. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); [...]

  10. [...] McIntyre of Climate Audit has thoughts here and here. var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="What else has Penn State [...]

  11. [...] i fans plaudenti, l’ing. Morabito trova particolarmente spassosa l’equivalenza tra l’inviso e il geologo in carcere: Lasaga was [...]

  12. [...] a inquadrare post e commenti anglofoni su Climagate II, va precisato che la settimana scorsa Steve McIntyre et al. equiparavano le infrazioni delle regole dell’onestà scientifica – di cui [...]

  13. [...] a inquadrare post e commenti anglofoni su Climagate II, va precisato che la settimana scorsa Steve McIntyre et al. equiparavano le infrazioni delle regole dell’onestà scientifica – di cui [...]

  14. [...] Paterno. Fait intéressant, le directeur de l’Université, Graham Spanier, a également été congédié pour ne pas avoir assuré une enquête convenable en lien aux allégations de pédophilie qui pesait sur le célèbre coach. Spanier était [...]

  15. [...] finally, the “dishonorable” mention of the year goes to Steve McIntyre for his despicable smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University (and to Anthony Watts for amplifying [...]

  16. [...] finally, the “dishonorable” mention of the year goes to Steve McIntyre for his despicable smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University (and to Anthony Watts [...]

  17. [...] finally, the “dishonorable” mention of the year goes to Steve McIntyre for his despicable smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University (and to Anthony Watts [...]

  18. [...] this was a bold-faced lie. Incredibly, Spanier saw to it that his “investigation committee” did not investigate three of the four charges [...]

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