Graham Spanier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Graham Spanier
Graham Spanier.jpg
16th President of Pennsylvania State University
Term1 September 1995 – 9 November 2011
PredecessorJoab Thomas
SuccessorRodney Erickson
Born(1948-07-18) July 18, 1948 (age 65)
Cape Town, Union of South Africa
Alma materNorthwestern University
SpouseSandra Spanier
ChildrenBrian, Hadley
Jump to: navigation, search
Graham Spanier
Graham Spanier.jpg
16th President of Pennsylvania State University
Term1 September 1995 – 9 November 2011
PredecessorJoab Thomas
SuccessorRodney Erickson
Born(1948-07-18) July 18, 1948 (age 65)
Cape Town, Union of South Africa
Alma materNorthwestern University
SpouseSandra Spanier
ChildrenBrian, Hadley

Graham Basil Spanier (born July 18, 1948) was the president of Pennsylvania State University from September 1, 1995 to November 9, 2011, when he resigned from his post following criticism of his actions regarding the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.

Spanier is currently a tenured faculty member at Penn State, but has been placed on leave with pay following his indictment in November 2012 on charges of perjury, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice[1] in the Sandusky sex abuse case.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Spanier was born in South Africa and grew up near Chicago,[3] in the suburb of Highland Park, where he graduated from high school.

He attended Iowa State University, where he earned both a bachelor’s degree (in 1969)[4] and a master’s degree (1971).[4] Iowa State also honored him with the Distinguished Achievement Citation and an honorary doctorate (2004).[4]

He then attended Northwestern University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and earned his Ph.D. (1973)[4] in sociology.[5]


From 1973-1982, Spanier was a member of the Penn State faculty, and served in three administrative positions in the College of Health and Human Development. He held academic appointments as professor of human development and family studies, sociology, demography, and family and community medicine.[5]

Spanier also served as:

Penn State University President[edit]

During his tenure, the Penn State campus expanded considerably, with the addition of:

In 2006, Spanier earned an annual salary of $545,016, with a total annual package in excess of $800,000, and was the fifth-highest-paid university president in America.[6] Though he fought a multi-year battle to keep the salaries of his and many other university officials, including Joe Paterno, private, the State Supreme Court ultimately ruled the information falls duly under right to know law.[3][7] In December 2012, the Board of Trustees approved a retroactive pay increase of $85,000 for temporary incumbent Rodney A. Erickson.[8]

Research and Publications[edit]

As a family sociologist, demographer, and marriage and family therapist, he was the founding editor of the Journal of Family Issues,[9] and contributed to the publication of ten books and over 100 scholarly journal articles. Spanier's body of published work includes:

An article was based on sociological data obtained through interviewing 579 married adults from a community of 40,000 about their perceptions, participation in, and approval/disapproval of the phenomenon of Swinging, or mate swapping.[10]
An article based on a study of respondent reports to investigate how formal and informal sex education influences premarital sexual behavior during college.[11]
A chapter discussing the history and status of remarriage in different societies.[12]
A chapter in which Spanier "address[es] some of the larger social and demographic issues suggested by the growing imbalance in the path to marital disruption as well as present[s] some thoughts about future research needs."[13]

Board memberships[edit]

Schreyer Honors College Dean Christian Brady (left) and Graham Spanier (right), at the Schreyer Honors College medal ceremony on December 17, 2010.

Graham Spanier served as a board member for the following national boards of directors/trustees:

In addition, Spanier served on the Board of advisors for the President at the Naval Postgraduate School and Naval War College.[16][19]

Penn State child sex abuse scandal and Graham Spanier's resignation[edit]

On 5 November 2011, former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 52 counts of child sex abuse.[20] Sandusky retired from coaching in 1999, and was indicted based on Aaron Fisher and seven other victim's cases. One of the key incidents, and what ultimately led to Graham Spanier's resignation, involved Mike McQueary, a then graduate assistant and later assistant coach. McQueary testified to Pennsylvania's 30th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury[21] and later on 16 December 2011 in the perjury trials of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, that he was in the Lasch Football Building on the University Park campus on a Friday night in March 2002. [Note: In this testimony, Mike McQueary got the month and year wrong. On 7 May 2012, the AG's office corrected the date of the incident to February 2001, estimating it occurred on or about February 9.][22] McQueary testified he heard slapping sounds and saw Sandusky directly behind a boy whose hands were up on the wall in the men's shower room. McQueary was distraught, left the building, and subsequently called his father John McQueary, who told Mike to come over to his house right away and talk to him.[23]

While Mike McQueary was on the way to his father's, John McQueary called Dr. Jonathan Dranov, his boss and family friend, seeking his advice.[24] As President of Centre Medical and Surgical Associates, Dr. Dranov was a mandated reporter in the state of Pennsylvania. It is yet undetermined whether John McQueary was a mandated reporter himself. It is believed that Mike McQueary was also a mandated reporter by virtue of his work with youth organizations. Dr. Dranov testified that he questioned Mike three times about what McQueary saw, and each time McQueary kept going back to what he heard.[25] Because there was no clear crime witnessed by McQueary, Dr. Dranov and John McQueary recommended McQueary talk to head football coach Joe Paterno.[26]

On Saturday morning, McQueary called Paterno to arrange a meeting, and the two met at Paterno's home later that same morning. McQueary testified he gave a rough report of what he had seen, but that out of respect, he did not share more intimate details.[27] Paterno left for Pittsburgh to attend an awards ceremony shortly after meeting with McQueary,[28] and did not return to State College until late Saturday night or Sunday morning. On Sunday morning, Paterno called then athletic director Timothy Curley regarding the incident. Curley, along with then university Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz both went to Paterno's home that same day, and Paterno told them what McQueary had reported to him and advised them that because McQueary had not provided details to Paterno, he recommended that they speak directly to McQueary.

On Monday, Curley and Schultz reported the incident to Graham Spanier, who was President of Penn State University at the time. Spanier told them to meet with the graduate assistant. He was not told the identity of this person to be McQueary. Nine or ten days later, the date is unknown, McQueary received a phone call from Curley regarding the incident, and set up a meeting with Curley and Schultz in the Bryce Jordan Center either that same afternoon or the next day to go over the details of what had happened in the shower room.[29] Curley then met with Sandusky and told Sandusky he was not to be using Penn State's athletic facilities with any young people, and Curley reported the incident to Jack Raykovitz,[30] who, as the CEO of The Second Mile (a state-licensed charity for disadvantaged youth established by Sandusky), was a mandated reporter, and also Sandusky’s boss at the time.[31] The Second Mile fell under the direct supervision and authority of Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare and was a contractor of the local county office of Children and Youth Services. Raykovitz was also a highly trained professional on handling such allegations. Raykovitz reported the incident to two Board Members of The Second Mile, Bruce Heim and Bob Poole, and told Sandusky to wear shorts in the shower in the future.

Spanier, along with Curley, Schultz, and Paterno testified before the same grand jury which heard McQueary's testimony. Because the 30th grand jury did not recommend charges based on the testimonies, then Attorney General Linda Kelly prepared a presentment for a newly impaneled grand jury. In Pennsylvania, the grand jury does not have the authority to indict.[32] This subsequent grand jury, the 33rd statewide investigating grand jury, having never heard the testimony, signed off on the AG's presentment charging Spanier, Curley and Schultz with perjury for their testimonies before the previous grand jury and for failure to report the 2001 incident. It is important to know that the presentment, signed by this 33rd investigating grand jury was full of credibility determinations about testimony before a previous grand jury. Graham Spanier issued a public statement in support of both Curley and Schultz, saying they had his "complete confidence",[3] and they "operate at the highest levels of honesty."[33]

Early in the day on November 9, 2011, The Express-Times of Easton reported the Penn State Board of Trustees had given Spanier an ultimatum: resign before that night's meeting or be fired.[34][35] Later that evening, the Board of Trustees announced that Spanier had resigned and head football coach Joe Paterno had been fired – both effective immediately.[36] Several sources told and The Patriot-News of Harrisburg that Spanier and Board of Trustees vice-chairman John Surma mutually agreed that the best way forward for all involved would be for Spanier to resign "voluntarily and with grace."[37][38]

On March 12, 2012, due to pressure from the Penn State community, the Board of Trustees issued a statement detailing their reasoning behind the decision to remove Spanier from his position as University President, stating they determined "he failed to meet his leadership responsibilities to the Board and took insufficient action after learning of a 2002 incident involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and a young boy in a Penn State facility".[39]

A member of the board later told The Morning Call of Allentown that the board was very angry about his statement of unconditional support for Curley and Schultz.[40] The Penn State Board of Trustees named provost Rodney Erickson as Spanier's successor.

On May 25, 2012, the Centre Daily Times reported that Spanier is suing the university to turn over some emails related to the Sandusky scandal. The report states his attorneys say he needs these e-mails to refresh his memory. It did not make reference to either the grand jury investigation or the internal investigation initiated by Penn State. The report in the Centre Daily Times also contained a statement prosecutors updated the date McQueary reportedly witnessed Sandusky sexually abusing a ten year old boy from February 2001 to March 2002.[41]

The Penn State Board of Trustees hired Louis Freeh to conduct an external investigation into the handling of a 1998 incident regarding Jerry Sandusky. The Freeh Report concluded that Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and Paterno "concealed Sandusky's activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities." In addition, the report said that the four men "exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky's victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being" and that they "empowered Sandusky to attract potential victims to the campus and football events by allowing him to have continued, unrestricted and unsupervised access to the University's facilities and affiliation with the University's prominent football program."[42][43]

Spanier and his attorneys have since disputed the accuracy of Freeh's findings.[44]

On November 1, 2012; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and NBC News, citing sources close to the investigation, reported that Spanier would be formally charged for his alleged role in covering up Sandusky's crimes.[45][46] Later that day, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly announced that Spanier had been indicted for grand jury perjury, obstruction of justice, child endangerment, failure to report child abuse and conspiracy in connection with the scandal. Curley and Schultz were also indicted for these charges in a superseding indictment.[47]

On November 7, 2012, Spanier was arraigned and released on bail on charges he lied about and concealed child sex abuse allegations involving Jerry Sandusky.

It was reported on December 4, 2012, that Spanier was seeking lighter bail restrictions that would allow him to travel outside of Pennsylvania. In addition he wanted his passport back for the duration of several foreign travel trips that he desires to take in Europe while on bail.[48] As of February 2013, Spanier had been granted permission to travel outside of Pennsylvania, but not to foreign countries.[49]

On July 30, 2013, Judge William Wenner found sufficient probable cause to hold Spanier on the felony obstruction, conspiracy, and child endangerment charges.[50]

The pretrial for these allegations began on December 17, 2013. Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover ruled that Cynthia Baldwin, who purportedly represented Spanier, Curley, and Schultz in the grand jury testimony, would not be allowed to testify on claims she violated attorney-client privilege. Baldwin was given an immunity deal by former Attorney General Tom Corbett. Judge Hoover ruled he would also be unsealing documents.[51] On December 18, the grand jury testimony transcripts of Baldwin, Spanier, Schultz, and Curley were unsealed.[52]

Paul McLaughlin[edit]

Unrelated to the Sandusky scandal, but in the wake of its revelations, a Phoenix private investigator named Paul McLaughlin came forward, charging he was sexually abused by a Penn State professor named John R. Neisworth in the late 1970s and early 1980s. McLaughlin says he secretly taped a telephone conversation with Neisworth which contains a purported confession. He alleges he reported this to Spanier in March 2002 (university spokesman Bill Mahon said there is no way to know if the call took place because there are no phone records of calls to Spanier), and offered to send him the tape, and says Spanier responded "Don't bother." He says Spanier told him Penn State wasn't interested unless Neisworth was convicted of a crime. The charges against Neisworth were dropped in 2005.[3]

Internet and copyright issues[edit]

Then-Penn State President Graham Spanier hosts a diversity summit in his residence on October 18, 2003.

Graham Spanier has an interest in internet technology as is indicated by his founding membership of the Internet2 board. He was recognized by Al Gore in 1997 for his work on the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID).[53] More recently Spanier became an outspoken critic of unmonitored online file sharing, and testified before Congress in 2002 about the issue.

Spanier was the first University president to collaborate with music companies in an effort to halt illegal file sharing among students when Penn State signed a contract with Napster that provided all students access to Napster's music catalog.[citation needed] In 2007, he signed a contract with Ruckus Network, which provides ad-supported access to millions of songs and videos to Penn State students. He served as co-chair of the Committee on Higher Education and the Entertainment Industry.[5]

Colleges and universities are collaborative communities. In that spirit, many different segments of academia have contributed their views and perspectives on how higher education should address the issues posed by illegal file-sharing. And we have some level of responsibility for the well being of millions of young men and women who, while in the transition from adolescence to adulthood, are massive consumers of entertainment products at the same time they are developing personal value systems.

— Graham Spanier, "Peer to Peer Piracy on University Campuses: An Update"[54]

Personal life[edit]

Spanier and his wife Sandra have two children, Brian and Hadley. Both their children have attended Penn State University. His wife Sandra is a professor of English at Penn State.[55]


  1. ^ "Grand Jury Presentment Nov 1, 2012". 
  2. ^ "Graham Spanier charged in ‘conspiracy of silence’ on Penn State sex abuse". Associated Press. Omaha World-Herald. November 1, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Pérez-Peña, Richard, "Rich in Success, Rooted in Secrecy", The New York Times, November 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
  4. ^ a b c d Anderson, John (2004-04-13). "Iowa State honors alumni and friends in new ceremony". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on 2006-09-06. Retrieved January 23, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "GRAHAM SPANIER (1995-2011)". Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Smeltz, Adam (2006-11-21). "Spanier gets top dollar". Centre Daily Times. Retrieved January 23, 2007. [dead link]
  7. ^ Penn State: The Kingdom and the Power (Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 11, 2011)
  8. ^ "Penn State Board approves pay increase for University president". Penn State News. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Editorial Board". Journal of Family Issues. SAGE Publications. Retrieved January 23, 2007. 
  10. ^ Graham B. Spanier Ph.D.; Charles L. Cole Ph.D. (March 1975). "Mate swapping: Perceptions, value orientations, and participation in a Midwestern community". Archives of Sexual Behavior 4 (2): 143–159. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  11. ^ Spanier, Graham B. (January 1976). "Formal and informal sex education as determinants of premarital sexual behavior". Archives of Sexual Behavior 5 (1): 39–67. 
  12. ^ Graham B. Spanier Ph.D.; Frank F. Furstenberg Jr. (1987). II. "Remarriage and Reconstituted Families". Handbook of Marriage and the Family. pp. 419–434. 
  13. ^ Spanier, Graham B. (1992). V. In Terri L. Orbuch. "Divorce: A Comment About the Future". Close Relationship Loss: Theoretical Approaches (Springer New York). pp. 207–212. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "About the Speaker: Graham B. Spanier". Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "NCFR Past Presidents". NCRF. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "Graham Spanier: Executive Profile & Biography". Businessweek. 
  17. ^ "FBI Director Appoints National Security Higher Education Advisory Board". National Press Releases. 15 December 2005. 
  18. ^ "Graham Spanier resigns from U.S. Steel board". The Associated Press. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c Stripling, Jack (14 November 2011). "Spanier's National Footprint Fades". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  20. ^ Chappell, Bill (21 June 2012). "Penn State Abuse Scandal: A Guide And Timeline". NPR. NPR. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  21. ^ Blehar, Ray (24 July 2013). "Sandusky Scandal Report 3". p. 7. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  22. ^ Erdley, Deborah (7 May 2012). "Prosecutors: Wrong year cited for incident in Sandusky case". TribLIVE. Trib Total Media, Inc. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  23. ^ "Preliminary Trial Transcript". Dauphin County. 16 December 2011. pp. 7–21, 72–73, 80–81. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "Preliminary Trial Transcript". Dauphin County. 16 December 2011. p. 65,131,140–141,144. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  25. ^ Ganim, Sara (11 December 2011). "Another version of Mike McQueary's story about Jerry Sandusky surfaces". The Patriot-News. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "Preliminary Trial Transcript". Dauphin County. 16 December 2011. p. 22. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "Preliminary Trial Transcript". Dauphin County. 16 December 2011. pp. 21–26,71–. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Paterno To Be Inducted Into Pittsburgh Hall of Fame on Saturday". Penn State Official Athletic Site. CBS Interactive. 9 February 2001. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "Preliminary Trial Transcript". Dauphin County. 16 December 2011. pp. 30–31, 76–77. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "Preliminary Trial Transcript". Dauphin County. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  31. ^ Penn State Grand Jury Presentment
  32. ^ Template:Url=
  33. ^ "Spanier: Curley, Schultz 'Operate at the Highest Levels of Honesty'". 
  34. ^ "Penn State President Graham Spanier will quit or be fired today in wake of Sandusky charges". The Express-Times. November 9, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  35. ^ Simpson, Ian (November 9, 2011). "UPDATE 3-Paterno retires, Penn State president may be next". Reuters. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  36. ^ Penn State trustees oust football coach Joe Paterno, president Graham Spanier
  37. ^ Former Penn State president Graham Spanier volunteered to resign, wasn't fired, report says. The Patriot-News, 2011-11-17.
  38. ^ Smeltz, Adam. Sources: Spanier Volunteered to Step Aside at Penn State, Was Not Fired., 2011-11-16.
  39. ^ "Report of the Board of Trustees concerning Nov. 9 decisions". March 12, 2012. 
  40. ^ Kennedy, Sam; McGill, Andrew. Trustee: Media frenzy forced board's hand. The Morning Call, 2011-11-10.
  41. ^ Danahy, Anne (May 25, 2012). "Former Penn State president Graham Spanier suing university Read more here:". Centre Daily Times. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  42. ^ Report of the Special Investigative Counsel Regarding the Pennsylvania State University Related to the Child Sexual Abuse Committed by Gerald A. Sandusky. Jul 2012. p. 14-15.
  43. ^ Ganim, Sarah (July 12, 2012). "Joe Paterno, others covered up Jerry Sandusky abuse of children, PSU-Freeh report says". The Patriot-News. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Graham Spanier's attorneys to rebut Freeh Report findings". Associated Press. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  45. ^ Ward, Paula Reed (2012-11-01). "Spanier facing charges in abuse case at Penn State". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  46. ^ Isikoff, Michael (2012-11-01). "Former Penn State president Graham Spanier facces charges tied to child sex abuse scandal". NBC News. 
  47. ^ Ganim, Sarah (November 1, 2012). The Patriot-News (PennLive) |url= missing title (help). Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Graham Spanier seeks bail change". Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  49. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  50. ^ "Judge orders 3 former Penn State officials to stand trial in Sandusky scandal". FOX News. July 31, 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  51. ^ "Judge opts against testimony in Penn State case". ABC Action News. December 17, 2013. 
  52. ^ "Unsealed documents show strategy for preserving Cynthia Baldwin's testimony in alleged Sandusky cover-up case". December 18, 2013. 
  53. ^ Wood, Greg (1997-10-01). "New national networking organization established by 112 U.S. research universities". Internet2. Retrieved January 23, 2007. 
  54. ^ Spanier, Graham (2004-10-05). "Peer to Peer Piracy on University Campuses: An Update". Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property By the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities. Office of the President. Penn State University. Retrieved January 20, 2007. 
  55. ^ Sandra Spanier, Professor of English and General Editor, Hemingway Letters Project, bio.

External links[edit]