By Mark Shade
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Pennsylvania's elected fiscal watchdog is calling for sweeping changes in the way Penn State University governs itself following the child sexual abuse conviction of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The university should strip the president of some powers, shrink the school's board of trustees, and make the school more transparent to the public, Auditor General Jack Wagner said on Wednesday in a report offering nonbinding recommendations.
The university's image was tarnished by the Sandusky scandal and criminal charges of cover-up by Penn State leaders, including former President Graham Spanier.
"By its very design, the structure of Penn State's governance vests too much control and power in the position of university president, no matter who held that position in the past or who holds it now," Wagner, a Democrat, said in his report.
Sandusky, 68, is serving 30 to 60 years in a maximum-security prison for molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period, some in the campus football showers.
Spanier, former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice President Gary Schultz will face a preliminary hearing next month in Harrisburg on child endangerment, perjury, criminal conspiracy, failure to report suspected child abuse and obstruction charges in connection with the Sandusky case.
"We call for reforming the conflicted and contradictory structure by which the president holds plural roles that compromise reporting relationships and undercut the board's ability to govern as leaders," Wagner said. Continued...