Penn State President Rodney Erickson is trying to address the perception that the university isn't being as open and honest as it could be in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
We would submit that Erickson got off on the wrong foot in that mission when he told a gathering of PSU alumni: "My greatest disappointment with the media and how it is being handled - this tragedy, it grieves me when people say, 'the Penn State scandal.' This is not Penn State. This is the Sandusky scandal."
The Pennsylvania State University, one of the great universities that has prepared many of the nation's leaders over its lifetime, is, indeed, embroiled in an institutional scandal.
Jerry Sandusky, the former PSU football assistant coach charged with sexually abusing numerous young people on the Penn State campus, will be judged in a court of law.
How Penn State's administration handled the situation from the time the first incident was reported to former coach Joe Paterno to the time the whole affair ended up in the public venue will be judged in the court of public opinion.
To deny that there are serious questions about the administration's performance in the Sandusky affair or that those questions don't run to the heart of the university's image and reputation is to deny the obvious.
We have to believe that the university's Board of Trustees and its new president are working diligently to get to the bottom of what happened, determine what went wrong and correct any systemic problems. Just as important, the new administration needs to take a long, hard look at the organizational culture that may have promoted those problems.
Yes, this is a Jerry Sandusky scandal; it is also a PSU scandal. There is action to be taken in both cases.