Members respond to the letter Board of Trustees Chair Karen Peetz sent to all Penn State alumni that included a response to the recent alumni survey conducted. Read the responses that some of our members prepared as a result of this letter
James Riehl prepared this satire of Karen Peetz’s letter to alumni.
(Faux) Letter to Alumni from Board of Trustees (without the PR Filter)
June 8, 2012
Dear Penn Stater,
The last eight months have been difficult for your Board members . . . largely as a result
of our rush to judgment concerning Joe Paterno. While a solid 13% of respondents in the
recent Alumni Association survey still express trust in the Board, a sorry minority of 87%
expressed little or no trust in the Board. (These 87% would be, we suppose, “. . . those
who may disagree.”) In addition a resounding 2% of respondents labeled the firing of Joe
Paterno as an example of one of the correct actions that we took. As a result and as we
expressed in our stellar NY Times interview, we grow weary of the criticism. But we
look forward. We continue to avoid any kind of unconditional apology to the Paterno
family and even though Sue Paterno has left the fold, we would welcome her back if only
she would admit that she left. Hopefully, when the Freeh Report is issued there will be
some shred of evidence that we will be able to use to justify the firing of Joe Paterno.
Continuation of our communications avoidance program remains a top priority. As you
may have noticed, we have updated our web site to include a whole bunch of pretty
pictures without adding any substantial new content or e-mail features. As stated in Q6 of
the FAQ attached to the June 4 announcement of the new PSU Progress web site, we
have been able to avoid using “modern technology and functionality” by prohibiting
reader comments. While the Board’s new web site is pretty, there is still no statement of
communications policy, no information on how to reach Board members via e-mail, no
explanation of what the new committees are doing or when they are doing it, and no links
to the individual committees or their members. We continue to avoid having to deal
directly with “various constituencies.”
Of course, we will have to consult with our public relations pooh-bahs to see just how
fast or if we might want to implement any e-mail links to Board members or committees.
It only took us about 8 months to add the pretty pictures to our web site. We hope that as
soon as the contracts with Edelman and La Torre expire we will have something else to
announce. If we don’t, we will, of course, extend the PR contracts and/or hire new PR
flacks to guide us and continue our promises. As you may have also noticed, we have
designated David La Torre as the new PSU spokesman so that none of us have to deal
with any of this crap. We plan also to continue to enrich as many public relations firms as
we can before this brouhaha dies down.
Plan B is that if we are left without any PR support, we will (as we evidently have in the
past) ask Tom Corbett to tell us what to do. Tom is a no nonsense decider. Of course,
there is that nagging little problem of how Tom’s failure (while Attorney General) to get
Jerry Sandusky off of the street as soon as he could have is any less of a “failure to do
more” or moral leadership failure than we have labeled Joe Paterno’s actions. We might
have to hire another PR firm to deal with that question or maybe we can avoid it forever.
In the future, as far as providing a clear communications policy is concerned, we promise
to move towards a little bit of change, a little bit of reform, and a little bit of
transparency. Maybe day-by-day . . . maybe month-by-month . . . maybe year-by-year . . .
maybe when Tom tells us to . . . or when the Walt Disney/ESPN led pitchfork brigade
yells at us. We promise to continue our search for more pretty pictures to post on the web
site without getting too bogged down with modern technology and functionality and
those pesky reader comments.