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A New Penn State President Means Erickson's Exit

by on February 15, 2014 11:45 AM

With the pending announcement of a new president for Penn State University, it appears current President Rodney Erickson will be ending his temporary position in the near term.

Erickson assumed responsibilities as president of Penn State on Nov. 9, 2011, following the indictment of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Previously, Erickson served as Penn State's executive vice president and provost.

Erickson replaced Graham Spanier following Spanier's Nov. 9, 2011 exit. Spanier served as president for 16 years.

"Penn State and its board of trustees are in the throes of dealing with and recovering from this crisis, and there is wisdom in a transition in leadership so that there are no distractions in allowing the university to move forward," Spanier said in a statement following his departure.

Spanier, along with former Athletic Director Tim Curley and retired Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz face multiple criminal charges, including perjury and failing to report child abuse related to Sandusky.

A judge later sentenced Sandusky to 30-60 years in prison for sexually abusing boys.

Erickson's short-term contract with Penn State, dated Nov. 10, 2011, ends June 30, 2014, or earlier if both parties agree. The contact included a $515,000 annual salary, which increased following a Board of Trustees evaluation. Erickson's salary increased in December 2012 by $85,000 to $600,000.

Erickson is perhaps best known for signing the consent decree between Penn State and the NCAA, which was an agreement to harsh university sanctions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.

The sanctions included a $60 million fine that is slated to go toward prevention of child sexual abuse and assist victims, a four-year ban on participation in bowl games, and a reduction in football scholarships.

As provost, Erickson was chief academic officer of the university, responsible for administration of the university's instruction, research and continuing education, and for the general welfare of the faculty and students. As executive vice president, Erickson served as the chief executive officer in the president's absence.

Related Stories:

Florida State Leader to be Named New Penn State President

Penn State Trustees Voice Support for Rodney Erickson, Take No Vote

Fate of Penn State Bennett Center Lies in President Erickson's Hands

Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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