STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - With Gov. Corbett in attendance, Pennsylvania State University's Board of Trustees today established a committee to pinpoint responsibility for the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the institution to its very foundation.
At the board's first public meeting since the scandal erupted a week ago, Chairman Steve A. Garban said the panel would be headed by Kenneth Frazier, president, and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., and State Education Secretary Ron Tomalis.
Frazier, who will serve as chairman, promised an "impartial, open and transparent" inquiry that will document the failures that occurred, identify who was responsible and recommend any needed measures to insure it never happens again.
The committee will be composed mostly of trustees and the process of identifying other members will begin today, he said.
Earlier, Interim University President Rodney Erickson was greeted with a standing ovation from the board and said he would work to restore the university's integrity and confidence.
"This is a tragedy for many lives, and it will take all of us some time to come to grips with the full magnitude of all the damage that has been done," he said.
"I know we can do this," Erickson said. "We are resilient. We are a University that can rebuild the confidence that so many people have had in us."
"Healing cannot occur until we understand how responsibilities to these children failed," Erickson said.
The board meeting came two days after it ousted Penn State's legendary football coach Joe Paterno and University President Graham Spanier in the Paterno and Spanier were fired Wednesday in the fallout of a grand jury report alleging retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted boys as young as 10.
Many of the alleged assaults happened on Penn State's campus, where Sandusky maintained an office as an emeritus professor.
Tempers ran high before the board meeting as PSU officials said there was no room for all the TV cameras trying to get inside.
Print reporters and others with minimal equipment squeezed into the ballroom of the Nittany Lion Inn on the State College Campus.
The meeting - and Corbett's attendance - was planned in advance of last week's grand jury report and mentions of its allegations were set aside until the end while the board discussed scheduled business.
Among the details to be reported was that Penn State had $9.2 billion in assets as of June 30.
The investigation into alleged child sex abuse by a Sandusky is expanding as state authorities explore new allegations against him and Texas police opened a probe into claims he molested a boy there twice in the 1990s.
Pennsylvania state troopers have interviewed at least two new accusers since Sandusky's arrest last weekend and were girding for more, according to a source close to the case but unauthorized to publicly discuss it.
Police believe the national spotlight will spur more victims to break years of silence, much like Catholic church sex-abuse scandal did, the source said.
A San Antonio police spokesman confirmed that detectives there were exploring charges against Sandusky for allegedly sexually abusing a boy during trips with Penn State's football team to bowl games in 1998 and 1999. "We are going to be taking what action we can to see if a case can be built," prosecutor Cliff Herberg told a local radio station, WOAI-AM.
The boy in that case is one of eight that Sandusky, 67, allegedly molested at his house, on campus, and on road trips between 1994 and 2008. He stepped down as Paterno's defensive coordinator in 1999 but maintained an office at the football complex and ties to the university through his foundation for underprivileged boys and camps it ran at Penn State.
Prosecutors have also charged two school administrators, athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz, with covering up an alleged 2002 campus assault by Sandusky and later lying about it to authorities.
All have denied the charges.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association said it would investigate whether actions by Penn State officials violated its bylaws. NCAA president Mark Emmert told ESPN the Sandusky case was "easily the worst scandal" he had ever seen in college sports.
According to the grand jury, a graduate coaching assistant said he saw Sandusky raping a young boy in the team showers one night in 2002 and reported it to Paterno and other administrators.
No one passed the information to law enforcement, even though Sandusky had been investigated at least once before for alleged inappropriate conduct with a boy.
Paterno and Spanier have denied any wrongdoing. The graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, is now a receivers coach for the team.
McQueary has been the focus of increasing public scrutiny and criticism for not notifying law enforcement of what he had seen. Thursday night, the university reported he had been the target of threats. In a statement, the university said "it would be in the best interest of all for Assistant Coach McQueary not to be in attendance at Saturday's Nebraska game."