Leadership & Governance

Penn State Paid Spanier $3.3-Million in 2011

November 28, 2012

Graham B. Spanier, who was fired as Pennsylvania State University's president last November amid a child sex-abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach, received nearly $3.3-million in salary, severance, and deferred compensation in 2011, the university announced on Wednesday.

Mr. Spanier's compensation included his $700,000 annual salary, $1.2-million in severance pay, and $1.2-million in deferred compensation earned over his 16 years as president.

David La Torre, a university spokesman, said in an e-mail on Wednesday that Mr. Spanier had been "terminated without cause" and the university was "legally bound" to honor his existing 2010 contract.

Mr. Spanier was charged this month with conspiring to cover up child sex-abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach, who was convicted in June on 45 counts tied to sexual molestation.

In light of the charges, Penn State placed Mr. Spanier on paid leave from his position as a tenured faculty member. He earns $600,000 as a professor, and he received $700,000 for a one-year sabbatical that ended on November 9. That compensation is in addition to the $3.3-million in payments the university disclosed on Wednesday.

More than a year after his termination, Penn State officials still have not said where Mr. Spanier is assigned as a faculty member, even as he earns a six-figure salary as a professor. Given his background as a child and family therapist, Mr. Spanier would logically take an appointment in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development.

"He has not been assigned since he is on leave," Mr. La Torre said on Wednesday.