Ex-Illinois President Believes Penn State Can Recover From Scandal

Tim Goral's picture

Stanley Ikenberry can't seem to get away from scandals involving university boards. Two scandals within three years.

Ikenberry served as interim president of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign following an admissions scandal in 2009 in which well-connected students received extra consideration for acceptance.

Then in November, after Ikenberry moved to a research role with Penn State, where he formerly served as senior vice president for a stint in the '70s, the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal rocked the university.

In Illinois, the solution was ultimately a clean wash. Gov. Pat Quinn removed all trustees from the board.

"Penn State's case is quite different," Ikenberry, professor and senior scientist at the Penn State Center for the Study of Higher Education, told the Mirror.

But the scandals at the Big Ten schools have some similarities. In both cases, the governor is a member of the board but only takes a voting measure in times of crisis. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has maintained he and the board were justified in removing Joe Paterno, The Associated Press reported last week.

But the board's failure was in the oversight leading up to dismissing Paterno and Spanier, Penn State community members including alumni said.

Read more