Friday, February 12, 2016

Penn State Paydays

Tuition-payers at PSU won't like a report in Monday's Harrisburg Patriot that says former top officials engulfed in scandal continue drawing pay.

Penn State Paydays

Folks and families paying tuition at Penn State likely won't like a report in Monday's Harrisburg Patriot-News.

The newspaper, which won a Pulitzer this year for its coverage of the PSU child-sex scandal, says former university president Graham Spanier and former athletic director Tim Curley continue drawing pay checks from the school.

That's because Spanier, who was ousted after the scandal broke last year, is a tenured professor, and Curley, awaiting trial on criminal charges related to a cover-up of the scandal, is on leave with pay.

(Another former top PSU official charged in the case, former VP Gary Schultz, retired.)

According to The Patriot, two sources close to the PSU board assert that Spanier continues to draw a salary at or near his base pay as president last year -- $620,000.

(His total compensation topped $700,000. Spanier has not been charged in the case.)

The newspaper says since Curley was not among the top 25 salaried university employees, his pay never was made public. But it notes the current AD, David Joyner, is making $396,000.

Many of the PSU's top-paid employees are physicians at its Hershey Medical Center.

But the university is pretty much mum about paying Spanier and Curley. And attorneys for both men would not take questions on the issue.

While PSU spokesman David La Torre said the employment status of Spanier and Curley is "under review," he also said that since it's an "employment matter" further comment is not appropriate.

This is part of PSU's problem: its insulation and self-protective positions.

Any institution getting hundreds of millions of tax dollars every year should be far more open about its finances, including all details related to who it's paying how much, for how long and why.

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Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

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