Letter to the editor | Overcompensated

February 20, 2014 

I can think of no institution more in need of a competent but modest reformer than Penn State, which is still attempting to overcome the damage inflicted by a serial child rapist many think was aided and abetted by criminal conspirators who looked the other way.

It is already clear that newly named president Eric Barron is not the right person to lead the institution. Demonstrating a continued tin ear, the board of trustees has agreed to provide, and Barron has chosen to accept, a lavish contract that will provide him an $800,000 base salary and $200,000 “transition payment.”

Deposed and disgraced President Graham Spanier alienated many by using tuition payments and tax dollars to become a multi-millionaire. He was succeeded by Rodney Erickson, who accepted a base salary of $515,000.

Barron will make Erickson’s compensation package seem small by comparison.

It is difficult for the average man and woman to understand why those who occupy publicly funded positions must be provided compensation packages that consist of an embarrassment of riches (yet none of the takers seems to be embarrassed).

Barron comes to his position at a great disadvantage in the minds of fair-minded members of the public, and Penn State has once again elected to expectorate in the faces of students and taxpayers.

Oren Spiegler

Upper St. Clair

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