Graham Spanier, ousted as president of Pennsylvania State University over the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, has taken a national-security job working with the U.S. government, a university spokesman said.
David La Torre, the school’s spokesman, described the job in an e-mail yesterday as a part-time consulting position and declined to provide further details. Spanier and his lawyer, Peter Vaira, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Spanier, 64, served as Penn State president from 1995 until his firing in November. A July 12 report by former FBI director Louis Freeh said Spanier, ex-football coach Joe Paterno, and other university officials failed to protect children from sexual abuse by Sandusky, a former assistant football coach. Sandusky, 68, was convicted last month of 45 criminal counts tied to abuse of boys over a 15-year period.
While serving as Penn State president, Spanier led a board that coordinated communication on national security matters between universities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Through the panel, created in 2005 and known as the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, university presidents and the FBI discussed sensitive research that might need to be protected from foreign espionage, according to the FBI.
Because Spanier is no longer a university president, he isn’t affiliated with the board, Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, said yesterday.
Spanier said in an interview earlier this year that his interest in working with the FBI stemmed from when he became Penn State’s president and read about a president at another state university being shocked that a faculty member was under investigation for terrorist ties.
He said he resolved not to be caught off guard in the same way and sought a closer collaboration with law enforcement.
Spanier arranged a meeting with representatives of national security agencies including the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, Secret Service and Naval Criminal Investigative Service, he said.
“This had never occurred before,” Spanier said. “Nobody from higher education had reached out.”
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