Last updated: February 19. 2013 10:09PM - 153 Views

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A bipartisan plan to extend the state's Right to Know laws to Penn State's leadership is easy to support. Penn State's leadership problem, well-documented during the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, has local ramifications. The system's misguided plan to phase out first-year students at Dickinson School of Law, after it signed a contract promising that would never happen, is a prime example of why more transparency is needed.

Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, has proposed reforms to Penn State's governing body. He's proposing that the state's Right to Know laws extend to Penn State, Lincoln, Pitt and Temple. He also wants trustees to comply with the state's Ethics Act, including financial-disclosure provisions. Penn State's reputation was badly damaged in the wake of the scandal involving retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Closer to home, the school badly mangled a plan involving the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. Despite signing a long-term contract to keep the school year, Penn State has pushed a plan to require all first-year students to start their law-school program in State College, not Carlisle. The Carlisle school would need students to arbitrarily decide they want to transfer their sophomore year to our school.

It's hard to imagine a more dysfunctional governing body than Penn State's. Many of us probably were surprised the school already wasn't subject to the state's Right to Know laws. That its trustees aren't already required to comply with the state's Ethics Act is equally stunning, and saddening.

It's a shame a public-relations nightmare is what it took to hold Penn State's leadership accountable. Little good has come from the Sandusky scandal, but it appears steps are being taken to create a silver lining.

It's hard to imagine a more dysfunctional governing body than Penn State's.

The Sentinel (Carlisle)

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