Pennsylvania State University: The Jerry Sandusky Scandal Pennsylvania State University: The Jerry Sandusky Scandal Recently Penn State University experienced traumatic events when Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator for Penn State football, was accused of child molestation and endangerment. Not only did the accusations of Jerry Sandusky make the news nationwide but also the unethical actions of athletic director, Tim Curly, head football coach, Joe Paterno, and University Senior Vice President at the time, Gary Schultz.
The following will define the issue and its basis, ground rules that manifested the situation, what brought the issue about, how did key individuals come into play and the ethical systems at work of these key individuals. There will also include a proposed plan for revising the ethical decisions made of this issue. Unethical Issues On Friday, March 1, 2002 Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant of Penn State, entered the locker room at the Lasch Football Building to place new sneakers in his locker ("Penn State Scandal," 2011). During the time Mike McQueary was in the locker room he heard noises coming from the shower.
When Mike McQueary peered into the shower, he claims to have witnessed Jerry Sandusky naked in the shower and performing inappropriate actions with who appeared to be a 10-year-old boy ("Penn State Scandal,” 2011). After leaving the locker room Mike McQueary notified his father of the actions, he witnessed. After hearing this news Mike McQueary’s father stated that Mike must inform head football coach Joe Paterno. On Saturday, March 2, 2002 Mike McQueary notified Joe Paterno of the incident the previous night ("Penn State Scandal,” 2011).
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Upon hearing this news Joe Paterno made a decision to notify his immediate superior, athletic director Tim Curly. Upon hearing this news from Joe Paterno, Tim Curly informed University Senior Vice President, Gary Schultz. More than a week later, Gary Schultz called Mike McQueary into his office to have Mike explain the details of what he witnessed to Gary Schultz and Tim Curly. Joe Paterno was not present during the meeting. Actions Gary Schultz and Tim Curly instituted toward Jerry Sandusky were the confiscating of the locker room keys and an incident report sent to The Second Mile, an organization Jerry Sandusky formed to elp young children. Mike McQueary, Joe Paterno, Tim Curly, and Gary Shultz never reported the incident to University Police. Basis of the Issue Tim Curly and Gary Schultz never reported the incident to police because they claim that Mike McQueary only reported “inappropriate conduct” that made Mike McQueary “uncomfortable,” but never mentioned any sexual activity ("Penn State Scandal,” 2011). Thus, Tim Curly and Gary Schultz believed their solution to confiscate Jerry Sandusky’s locker room keys and inform The Second Mile organization was sufficient.
Since both Tim Curly and Gary Schultz executed this decision, and without any knowledge of sexual crimes committed by Sandusky, there was no need to notify University Police (Curry, 2011). Joe Paterno believed at the time his decision to inform his immediate superior was the most ethical decision but realizes he should have informed authorities also. Situation Manifestation Any university must have ethics and ground rules to follow; however people must to follow anyway of proper conduct at home, professional, and to be a good citizen.
No Adult in any situation or under any circumstances to have any sexual intercourse. A communication breakdown with official and the University of Pennsylvania University concerning about the sexual scandal with former football coach “Jerry Sandusky. ” According to the Mike McQueary testimony that he testified when he first told Pennsylvania State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice-President Gary Schultz what he had seen Jerry Sandusky doing to a boy in the football shower, back in March 1, 2002.
According to Twitter accounts of McQueary's testimony from this morning provided by the Patriot-News, McQueary said that he had gone to the Lasch Football Building that night to pick up a pair of sneakers and a football game film from his locker; he heard a "rhythmic slapping sound" and saw in a mirror Jerry Sandusky in the shower with a boy who appeared to be 10 or 12. He believed Sandusky was "molesting the boy": (Don Walvelton pp3, deadspin) McQueary told them that Sandusky was extremely sexual involved with minors, but they told McQueary that they will investigate and meanwhile Sandusky cannot be on football showers or close to a minor.
However, Sandusky still showed up after the warning, McQueary was told by Curley and Schultz not to discuss the incident. McQueary should have handled this procedure differently not just calling his father, but he should have called the authorities. He should have looked for internal help from the university. It seems official overlooked the possible problems and possible future issues or the damage to the Pennsylvania State University image. The officials were charged with perjury because they did not pursue the investigation with diligent.
This sexual abuse behavior of Sandusky could be preventing it by the first sign of sexual abuse, but the missed miscommunication and the allegations brought it up was extremely delicate. Another judge was point to the case because of conflict of interest. Evaluation of Ethical Systems No ethical systems were at work for any individual involved in the scandal at the organization of Penn State. The ethical dilemma was going on for more than 10 years. A few individuals had the chance to report information to a higher authority but did not, which became unethical business behavior.
Mike McQueary used duty-based ethics by telling the Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice-President Gary Schultz what he had seen in the shower the night of the incident. After McQueary informed the athletic director and vice-president he should have gone to a higher authority. The issue could have been handled better if there were ethical guidelines and protocols in place. It would have also helped if there was a formal documented interview with Jerry Sandusky and Mike McQueary along with all pertinent authorities.
The organizational leadership was marginal at best, and it would be thought that leadership is something that every football team is taught to be a leader and team player. In this case the management did not show leadership. To have organizational leadership the organization must constantly be supervised with weak points identified. After investigating the incident the athletic director and vice president should have been leaders of the organization and forwarded the issue to the proper authorities. They failed to see the magnitude of the situation as well as the level of involvement an issue like this calls for.
This is how the ethical behavior and responsibility differed between the employees and management. Mike McQueary’s responsibility was to tell the athletic director and vice president. Once management was notified, it was their responsibility to forward the issue on to the proper authorities for a proper investigation. Joe Paterno should have been notified constantly from Coach Mike McQueary, especially if the ethical dilemma continued to take place. Involving the head coach could have prevented secrets from being held back, and could have also kept jobs from being lost.
Revising Ethical Standards These tragic events have led to the evaluation of the University’s Ethical Standards and Guidelines. As ethics become a more prevalent part of the academic system, Penn State has recognized the need for reform. Their current standards and guidelines are out-of-date and require attention. In order to effectively issue and implement changes, Penn State officials will need gather resources and assemble a plan. With any situation of this magnitude, the timeline between the event and the organizations response is crucially important.
Penn State officials will need to address the matters in a timely manner to show their dedication to upholding the pride and principles Penn State was founded on. The first step in this plan should include a clear and precise set of regulations, guidelines, and principles. The essence of these materials should be detailed in nature while addressing every potential person or party that participates in the University’s program. This will aid in helping individuals make the correct decisions when they encounter ethical dilemmas such as this.
As stated earlier, many of the individuals involved in this case felt as if they took the necessary actions toward the situation. Unfortunately, they were mistaken, but if they had a solid set of guidelines to refer to they would not be questioning the extent of their involvement as the guidelines would take them step by step through the proper protocol. After the compilation of the Ethical Standards and Guidelines, the next step would be to inform. Many organizations have such standards in place; however, not all organizations make this information readily available.
In junction with making the newly developed Ethical Standards and Guidelines accessible to all members, Penn State should implement an educational training program mandatory for all members of its organization. This makes sure that every individual involved with campus activities is aware of basic ethical standards, methods of obtaining all ethical standards and guidelines, the severity of ethical misconduct, as well as resources should they have any questions or concerns about ethical dilemmas. The Penn State Scandal has become a media feeding frenzy.
This is unfortunate as the school is very well renowned and based heavily on traditional values and principles. As a university with this level or prestige it is important to show the public their focus and determination in correcting these ethical shortfalls. Organizations that own up to their faults and go above and beyond in correcting them, receive more positive feedback from the public. This allows them to reclaim their dignity and rebuild confidence among the organization. The last step in this cycle is the evaluation of both short-term and long-term compliance.
All ethical dilemmas should be reported to a committee or appointed group so the issues can be tracked, monitored, and learned from. If the revised Ethical Standards and Guidelines do not show a decrease in overall ethical issues these standards and guidelines should be carefully reevaluated. An organizations ethical system is always changing. As society changes so does our ethical system and ideal compliance. An organization should keep up with these changes and consistently monitor their own ethical system to ensure that it is operating efficiently.
Ethics has long been overlooked, but the events over the past decade have forced all of America to reevaluate our ethical standards and systems. American Society will continue to change and events like the Penn State Scandal will open the door for many other victims to speak out. This will increase the importance of sound ethical practices within an organization. Organizations that want to grow and enjoy continued success will identify this trend and increase their focus on ethical standards.
Although these three men believed at the time that each was making the most ethical decision, the decisions each man made was not enough. Whenever an incident occurs with children, no matter how innocent it sounds, authorities need to be notified. The choice not to involve authorities has had an extreme impact on the university, faculty, students, alumni, and surrounding community. Although these events are tragic, the University of Penn State must push forward and focus on rebuilding their ethical principles.
With dedication and support from their students and faculty, Penn State will rebuild and establish a new set of traditions that teaches, informs, and pursues the act of ethical decision making. References Concertino, D. (2011). Penn State Scandal. Retrieved from http://deadspin. com/5868802/penn-state-witness-mike-mcquearys-testimony-some-kind-of-intercourse-was-going-on? tag=penn-state-scandal Curry, C. (2011). Joe Paterno Said to Delay Sex Assualt Report to Avoid Ruining Weekend. Retrieved from http://abcnews. go. om Penn State Scandal. (2011). Retrieved from http://espn. go. com Trevino, L. K. , & Nelson, K. A. (2007). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. University Ethics. (2011). Retrieved from http://www. universityethics. psu. edu/ Wolverton, B. (2011). Failure to Alert Board Cost Penn State's Leadership Dearly. Retrieved from http://ehis. ebscohost. com/eds/detail? sid=b0f76a79-d87a-4deb-b3cb-c855305cbb33%40sessionmgr15&vid=3&hid=6&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=f5h&AN=67758895
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