Letter to the editor | Mission should be to educate

January 4, 2014 

Over the past two years, Penn State has experienced near-fatal blows in efforts to educate young people.

Clearly, little skill is required to conclude that the Jerry Sandusky scandal and its details have brought attention to the university, its people and the community. This attention and the criticism may be deserved or undeserved, but the most important thing now is to move forward.

Who knew what when has become a historical discussion of little operational benefit.

Knowing the unvarnished truth serves no purpose going forward. To convene another commission, perform a study or initiate an evaluation has no value.

Most important is how to improve overall performance in providing the best affordable educational experience for the kids of Pennsylvania.

Whether I am right or wrong, I think everything the university does for the next decade should answer the question “How does this help better prepare kids to be citizens in the state?”

No analysis required; simply drive around the state and see that we have an aging population, few bright spots in several old industries, an exodus from rural communities and limited job opportunities for graduates.

The answers lie in a refocus and a unified effort to rebuild. Dismiss who was right or wrong, place your shoulder against the wheel and push — it is no more difficult than that.

The past 15 years brought us here. It cannot be fixed overnight, it cannot be repaired cheaply or poorly. It must be fixed permanently, and it must be done well.

William Early, Merion

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