Penn State Trustee Steve Garban Resigns Over Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Penn State is still reeling from the Jerry Sandusky scandal which claimed yet another PSU supporter on Friday after longtime trustee Steve Garban stepped down as a member of Penn State’s Board of Trustees. The resignation comes after several trustees became angered by Garban’s failure to inform them about the Jerry Sandusky criminal investigation in April 2011.

According to ESPN:

The trustees have become increasingly alarmed this week that the NCAA will hand down an extreme punishment, possibly the death penalty for its football program. … Several trustees flatly argued in private sessions this week that Garban’s resignation was needed to show the public that the board was serious about “moving forward.”

In a letter sent to chairwoman Karen Peets, Garban proclaimed:

“It is clear to me that my presence on the board has become a distraction and an impediment to your efforts to move forward.”

“These past months have been some of the most painful of my life. After absorbing the findings of the Freeh Report last week, the Board of Trustees accepted responsibility for the failures of governance that took place on our watch. Following the release of the report, you also asked each member of the board to evaluate our individual paths forward.”

Trimming out any members who may have concealed information about the Jerry Sandusky scandal is an important move for the PSU board of directions as the NCAA tries to determine if severe penalties should be given to the program over its loss of institution control.

Here is the full resignation letter Steve Garban sent to Karen Peetz:

“Dear Chairman Peetz,

These past months have been some of the most painful of my life. The horrific allegations that came to light in November have haunted us all, but nothing we have experienced compares to that of Jerry Sandusky’s victims. My thoughts and prayers will remain with them always.

After absorbing the findings of the Freeh Report last week, the Board of Trustees accepted responsibility for the failures of governance that took place on our watch. Following the release of the report, you also asked each member of the Board to evaluate our individual paths forward.

It is clear to me that my presence on the Board has become a distraction and an impediment to your efforts to move forward and continue the Board’s most important work: ensuring that Penn State remains a top choice for students, faculty and employers; strengthening the University’s position as a globally-recognized leader in teaching, research and service; and a serving as a national example of public higher education at its finest.

I had not planned to run again when my term expires next year, but I now feel it is best for the Board and the University that I submit my resignation from the Penn State Board of Trustees, effective immediately. This is not a decision I have come to lightly. It is a decision that is my own.

I officially joined the Penn State community in 1955 as a freshman. I joined the Board of Trustees in July 1998, and I was honored to serve as chair in 2010 and 2011.

I have devoted my entire adult life to Penn State University. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the university that has done so much for me. Indeed, it is precisely because of my deep gratitude to and respect for my beloved alma mater that I now step aside.

I wish nothing but the best for the Board. Your decision to take on the responsibilities of Chairman in January was a clear sign you can provide the strong leadership we need. For the past few months you and Keith have undertaken a monumental task and I applaud all your efforts. I will continue to fully support your work as you chart the next chapter of this great university’s future, and I stand ready to support you however I can.

Best regards,
Steve Garban ’59”

Garban graduated from Penn State in 1959 and was one of Joe Paterno’s closest adversaries.