WBAL's Jayne Miller could be headed to Penn State board of trustees

The Baltimore Sun

Jayne Miller, WBAL-TV's chief investigative reporter, might be taking on a new role shortly as a member of the board of trustees of Penn State University.

The troubled school is expected to publish a ballot online later today with a slate on nominees for the board that runs the school, and Miller will likely be on it.

The 1976 journalism graduate has been nominated by 50 Penn State alumni.

"I really would like to do it," Miller said Wednesday morning when asked in a telephone interview whether or not she will serve on the board if alma mater calls. "The university is at a very critical point, and it has to make the right moves. And it has to be absolutely transparent in those actions."

Here's how Miller described her Penn State connections and feelings about the child abuse scandal that has rocked the institution in a November post on her Blog, "In Jayne Miller's Mind."

Penn State is in my DNA. My grandfather played football there. My father played on the baseball team. Aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews – all of us are Penn State graduates and consider ourselves better off for the education and experience we received.

But the scandal that now clouds this proud institution demands swift, firm, and yes, painful action.

The Board of Trustees should order an internal investigation to determine who knew what about the allegations concerning Jerry Sandusky and what did they do about it. The goal of this investigation is not to mimic the criminal case. It is to unravel what is apparently a culture of silence, of looking the other way, of protecting careers and reputations regardless of the harm that might be inflicted on others — in this case, vulnerable children.

At the same time, the Board must decide whether President Graham Spanier, who was informed of an alleged incident in 2002, can truly lead Penn State in what is arguably its most trying moment. If Spanier himself participated in the cover up, how can the university possibly convey an image of integrity and transparency?

For what it is worth, I think Penn State is lucky to have an investigative reporter like Miller who is willing to put her reputation on the line by joining the board as the school seeks to restore its credibility.

Joining the board, Miller says, would not affect her work at WBAL, and she sees no conflict in that WBAL does not regularly cover the school.

Here's a link to a Miller Facebook page with more information on her nomination as a trustee.

UPDATE: STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - February 29, 2012 (WPVI) -- An unprecedented 86 candidates are running for three seats on Penn State's Board of Trustees, which has been scrutinized by some alumni for decisions in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against a retired assistant football coach.

Typically about six to nine candidates run. The slate has included as many as 15.

Interest is up this year because of the board's actions after Jerry Sandusky was arrested in November, including the firing of late head coach Joe Paterno.

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