Penn State's Scandal and the Truth about Power in Academia

The sexual abuse scandal at Penn State gives us a glimpse into power -- the power with which universities arrogantly operate and how they consider themselves islands quarantined from the legal and moral concerns of the larger society.    Universities are fiefdoms.  In many locales, they are the largest employers.  Their press releases are faithfully transmitted by many local newspapers as real news.  Few local newspapers dare to have someone assigned to the campus, the way reporters are assigned to monitor the police, courts, or other institutions.  Campus scandals are routinely hushed up, and the intrepid young reporter who will investigate a campus scandal, even on his own time, will often find that his paper will not run it. The only time a scandal makes news is when it escapes into the public domain.  Penn State football coach Joe Paterno followed the norm adhered to by nearly all faculty and staff within universities: keep within the...(Read Full Article)