News Column

Penn State's Spanier Earned $3.2 Million in 2011

Nov 28, 2012

Adam Smeltz

Penn State University owes $2.47 million in severance pay to ousted President Graham Spanier but won't release the money until 2017, the school announced Wednesday.

University trustees removed Spanier, 64, from his 16-year presidency on Nov. 9, 2011, several days after prosecutors charged former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky with child sexual abuse. Spanier faces charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and child endangerment in connection with the case.

Spanier remains on the university payroll at $600,000 a year, spokesman David La Torre has said. The former president collected $700,000 on a paid sabbatical that ended one year after his firing, according to the university.

In releasing new details Wednesday, Penn State said it reported total taxable income for Spanier at $3,255,762 for 2011. The tally includes the $700,000 in sabbatical pay, $82,557 in taxable benefits and the $2,473,205 in severance pay, the university noted.

But the "contractually entitled severance payments" won't be delivered to Spanier until June 2017, La Torre said.

"The university previously only released such information in May through its annual Right to Know filing," La Torre wrote in an email message. "This information (about Spanier's pay) will be included in the next filing as well but it was released today as part of the university's ongoing commitment to be more open and transparent."

Spanier was in the first year of a five-year contract when he stepped down.

He remains a tenured university professor.

A preliminary hearing for Spanier and two other former school administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, is scheduled for Dec. 13 in Dauphin County. Prosecutors contend they engaged in a "conspiracy of silence" that enabled Sandusky to abuse children.

Spanier, Curley and Schultz maintain their innocence and asked for a delay in the preliminary hearing.

Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence in the State Correctional Institution at Greene, in Greene County. Centre County jurors convicted him in June on 45 of 48 counts, finding him guilty of abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

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