News Analysis: Virginia and Penn State Boards Showed Perils of Secrecy
By Jack Stripling
What a bruising summer for governing boards.
In the space of just a few weeks, the boards at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Virginia both came under fire for highly public missteps. While no one should equate the tragedy of Penn State’s sex-abuse scandal with the forced ouster and subsequent rehiring of Virginia’s president, both stories put boards on the defensive and offered lessons for trustees everywhere.
Different as they are, the controversies at Penn State and UVa share an ironic thread. In both instances, key decision makers appear to have concluded that shielding details from the public would best protect the reputations of individuals and institutions. The opposite proved true.