Mark Emmert and Vicky Triponey, Continued

    • Hmmmmmm Wichita State. Louisville. Michigan. Syracuse.

      These will be the four schools squaring off today to decide which teams will make up the national title game Monday night.

    • Mark Emmert‘s Final Four news conference even had little to do with the upcoming national semifinals. It was mostly him defending his past after a troubling report about his career as a university president was released earlier this week. The NCAA president even got into it with CBS Sports reporter Dennis Dodd, who has said in recent months that Emmert should step down. Wichita State, Huh–Emmert and Triponey!! Syracuse, hey Bernie!!–
      • Guess who was the President of the Middle States in 2012 that threatened Penn State? Barbara Gildenstein, president of the College of New Jersey under whom Vicky Triponey serves as Vice President of Student Affairs.  Middle States accuses Penn Sate of potentially violating four different areas of their accreditation requirements, relating to the following:
        ■Compliance with all applicable government policies, regulations, and requirements. (Affiliation 5)
         ■Institution’s governing body responsibility for the quality and integrity of the institution, for ensuring that the institution’s mission is being carried out, and for making freely available to the Commission accurate, fair, and complete information on all aspects of the institution and its operations. (Affiliation 9)
        ■Leadership and Governance (Standard 4)
        ■Integrity (Standard 6)

One email from Triponey, to Spanier said “please do something to stop this atrocious behavior before this team and an entire generation of Penn State students leave here believing that this is appropriate and acceptable behavior within a civil university community.”
Triponey was a lightning rod for controversy due to her  policy implementations at both Penn State and before that the University of Connecticut.  Spanier hired Triponey in 2003 knowing her controversial background at UConn (hired by Mark Emmert); he supported her actions vis-a-vis Paterno for a time; and the biggest clashes came after the 2004 season when Spanier had tried to strong-arm Paterno’s resignation, or at least get Paterno to plan a retirement timeline. The team started winning again in the 2005 season, and after that Spanier appears to have stopped supporting Triponey, i.e. he gave up trying to get Paterno to retire, for the time being at least. By 2007 Triponey was out at PSU.
In one email to Spanier in Sept. 2005 she wrote, “I do not support the way this man is running our football program.” Um, whose football program?
Did Paterno cause Triponey’s demise at Penn State? Almost certainly.
Did Paterno have a reputation for using his power to fire people, or get them fired? No, he didn’t.
Could Paterno wield his clout forcefully? Yes.

What Do Vicky Triponey and Mark Emmert Have in Common?? Joe Paterno!

Vicky L. Triponey of Wichita State University has been named vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Connecticut,  Chancellor Mark Emmert has announced.  Triponey, who is interim vice president for student affairs at Wichita State, will join UConn March 31. She will report to Emmert.

2003  Vicky Triponey came to Penn State from UConn

Triponey was hired in 2003 by Graham Spanier after a rocky and controversial stint at the University of Connecticut. Within months of her arrival at Penn State she began a campaign aimed at consolidating power within her Office of Student Affairs and crushing or eliminating anything or anyone that challenged that power. (note:  this is also Mark Emmert’s tenure which is now under review and scrutiny by USAToday).

In a series of emails to Dr. Spanier, Triponey insisted that she alone had the responsibility to discipline the players involved and indicated that suspension or expulsion was called for. Joe Paterno pointed out that since the incidents were off-campus and everyone involved was facing criminal trials, it was necessary to wait for DUE PROCESS to take its course


When I served as the Graduate Student Association president, I was a very outspoken opponent of FAB. In particular that these students were not elected, and that university employees would hold 40 percent of the voting power. That meant that they had only to convince 20 percent of the students to agree with their voting bloc.

Not only did I voice my concern as a member of the Cabinet of Student Leaders, but I also put every monkey wrench in the system that I could as a member of the Student Activity Fee Board. In order for Triponey to wrestle control of student money away from students, they had to amend the “Guiding Principles” of the activity fee.

I was personally intimidated by Triponey, who threatened that by announcing the proposed changes to the Guiding Principles, I was disseminating confidential information and suggested that I be remanded by Judicial Affairs (funny that I was a member of that steering committee as well).

I informed Triponey & Co. that I was the president of a branch of the student government. As such, any communication with me was also a communication with the 10,000 graduate students across the university. They have a right to know about the dealings of their elected officials and their activity fee funds.

After reading many of the Collegian Articles during 2006, it appears that Triponey’s main effort was to wrestle student control of student activities away and into the hands of salaried individuals. Money was severely cut to student organizations, USG disappeared, etc, etc.  Ms Triponey also attempted to take over control of student discipline, a move that was opposed by faculty and staff – not just Joe Paterno!

Dr. Spanier asked for her resignation, acknowledging the mistake he had made four years earlier.

Now, fast forward to 2011–Mark Emmert and Vicky Triponey–Payback time!!  Vicky Triponey’s issues with Joe Paterno get full coverage with the Freeh Report AND Mark Emmert who is now conveniently at the NCAA–Mark Emmert hasn’t stayed in one place too long, either!!  Check out his work history–and a disaster occurred everywhere he went–Scandal and Dirt left everywhere in his wake!! (note: I have heard from Vicky Triponey and she states that she and Mark Emmert have had no communication in at least 10 years).  Her employment history below:

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
The College of New Jersey
January 2012– Present (1 year 4 months)Ewing, NJ–took Vicky 4 years to find a job!!  She applied for and was rejected for other positions during the 4 year hiatus!

Vice President for Student Affairs
Penn State University
July 2003– July 2008 (5 years 1 month)

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
University of Connecticut
April 1998– June 2003 (5 years 3 months)

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
Wichita State University
July 1997– April 1998 (10 months)

Associate Vice President for Campus Life
Wichita State University
September 1994– July 1997 (2 years 11 months)

Assoc. Dean of Student Life and Services
Wichita State University
June 1989– September 1994 (5 years 4 months)

Coordinator of Student Orgs. & Media
University of Georgia
March 1983– August 1986 (3 years 6 months)

Asst to Dean of Student Life/Dir of Orientation
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

February 1980– March 1983 (3 years 2 months)

Who is Vicky Triponey? And What Does She Have to Do With JoePa?

Update Post 9/2/2012

The September 2007 report on Judicial Affairs, obtained by the Centre Daily Times, recommended changes — which then- President Graham Spanier implemented. They include in general leaving it to directors, advisers or coaches to decide whether students under disciplinary probation should be allowed to participate in sports and clubs rather than putting that in the hands of Student Affairs, which oversees the Office of Student Conduct.

“Involvement in student activities is for the most part a healthy influence on student behavior, and removing such involvement as a way of getting a student’s attention to correct misbehavior is likely to be counterproductive,” the report reads.

Triponey, who left Penn State in 2007 after four years in the job, has been featured in several news stories following the Sandusky scandal, condemning interference from Joe Paterno in disciplinary matters involving football players and agreeing with the idea of a cultural problem. But her stance on who should decide whether athletes in trouble can participate in extracurricular programs — the person in her former position or the club or sport leader — runs counter to the 2007 report, a product of an independent faculty committee.


By Gary Leavit–edited by Myke Triebold, with responses from Mike Meachem in italics.  My interest in hosting this website is to be fair and not to create collateral damage from an horrific tragedy in Penn State’s History.  I chose to integrate Mr Meachem’s comments in this posting, as many people will read the article and not go to the comment section.  I wanted his side to have equal time.

Who is Vicky Triponey? And why does she hate Joe Paterno?

Hell hath no fury like a woman spurned. And there is no doubt that Vicky Triponey was spurned by Joe Paterno.

Triponey was hired in 2003 by Graham Spanier after a rocky and controversial stint at the University of Connecticut. Within months of her arrival at Penn State she began a “Reign of Terror” aimed at consolidating power within her Office of Student Affairs and crushing or eliminating anything or anyone that challenged that power.

As to this notion of “consolidating power,” the details of which will be addressed below, be advised that Dr. Triponey’s entire career has been dedicated to the growth and empowerment of students so they may become constructive participants in our society.  The only power monger in this episode is the idol on whose behalf you continue to spew hateful falsehoods

She began by dismantling the Student Organization Appeals Board. This Board, composed of students, faculty and administrators, heard appeals from organizations like the student government and the fraternity council. Triponey became the sole arbiter of of any questions or disputes, with no appeal possible.

Patently false. First, the fraternity and sorority chapters have their own councils that make judgments about their behavior. You should study up on this. Secondly, the initiative was merely to streamline and modernize the process to assure due process in organizational appeals. She has never acted in a way to supplant student decisions with her own. This was an effort to delineate the process between organizational misconduct and individual misconduct and had nothing whatever to do with eliminating anyone’s right of appeal. Indeed, you might want to check with Greek leaders of that era to get some facts about how Dr. Triponey handled these kinds of matters

She then informed the campus radio station, LION 90.7, that all funding would be terminated unless her office was given direct control over programming and content. She famously warned, “the first thing to go will be Radio Free Penn State” — the popular talk show known for its frank criticism of some of the administration’s decisions.

Utterly and completely false. The quote you cite here was never said, if at all, certainly not in the context you cite; your attribution of the sentiment is a lie. The radio station had, at least in part, been funded temporarily with a grant of funds from the Division of Student Affairs. Had that practice been allowed to continue, the radio station would fall within the institutional control of the university and, thus, actually have its content judged against institutional interests. What she told the students was that the radio station would need to be treated differently if it were a university station by dint of funding source. Her initiative here was to change the source of funding from the Division of Student Affairs to student activity fees. The radio station would, indeed, no longer receive money from heaven – that’s true, as it would need to apply for, and justify its need for, funding through the student activity fee process.

Triponey next turned on the Student Supreme Court which was part of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). For fifty years, the Court effectively registered and oversaw student organizations. Again, she usurped all decision-making power and became the judge and jury herself.

After, essentially dissolving the USG, the student government, and replacing it with an organization under her direct control, she decided it was time to butt heads with Joe Paterno.

In 2007, she pounced on an off-campus incident: Anthony Scirrotto, a safety on the football team, and his girlfriend were accosted and assaulted by three drunken students on a State College street. Two of those attackers were subsequently found guilty of harassment and criminal mischief. Later that evening, Scirrotto and a number of his teammates met up with the attackers at an off-campus apartment party, where a confrontation and fight ensued.

I am not going to spend a great deal of energy correcting your grossly inaccurate depiction of the incident at the Meridian apartments other than to say there were more than 12 players, as many as two dozen allegedly, beating the living crap out of two guys, one of whom ended up in the hospital. This occurred some 45 minutes after these two young men confronted and verbally assaulted Scioritto and his girlfriend. This attack was pre-mediated and organized. Some of the players invaded the apartment; some stood in the hall keeping watch while the other group of thugs engaged in TV-like violence by breaking a bottle of beer over one of the victims’ head among other things. The only point I will concede here is that the episode did indeed start and stop off campus, which I think is your point in underscoring that it began on a “State College” street.

In a series of emails to Dr. Spanier, Triponey insisted that she alone had the responsibility to discipline the players involved and indicated that suspension or expulsion was called for. Joe Paterno pointed out that since the incidents were off-campus and everyone involved was facing criminal trials, it was necessary to wait for DUE PROCESS to take its course and that in the meantime he would, as always, determine team discipline.

 The gist of the e-mails was to defend the integrity of the student judicial process, something to which all students are subject. In addition, the Code of Student Conduct that was in place at that time and well before Dr. Triponey’s arrival at Penn State (like the vast majority of other colleges and universities in America) applied to student conduct even off campus. What this means, of course, is that it does not matter where all this took place; the student judicial process would still play a role. If these guys were members of the Chess Club, they would be subject to this process. But football players, by the grace of your idol, were to be treated differently. No conclusion regarding expulsion had been reached at the time of those e-mails. Indeed, those decisions were to be made by a hearing board that would include students. Dr. Triponey would serve as appeals officer in the event the student would choose to appeal. This is the student version of “due process.”

Ultimately, all charges against Scirroto were dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor trespass resulting in a fine of $500 and 25 hours of community service.

Joe used the incident as a teaching moment, sentencing the WHOLE TEAM to a season of after-game stadium cleanup duty. When Triponey protested and insisted that she alone should determine the fate of the players, Joe said he really didn’t think she understood teenagers very well, having never had children of her own.

More importantly, Dr. Triponey never insisted that she alone had responsibility for discipline.  The essence of her view is that student athletes in this situation are subject to three forms of discipline: (1) as citizens of the larger society / community, they are accountable to the law and criminal courts; (2) as citizens of the university community they are accountable to the Student Code of Conduct and its processes, and; (3) as athletes they are accountable to team rules and the coach. The only person insisting that he and he alone handle the discipline of these thugs was your idol. He even said so in an e-mail to Dr. Spanier. This was covered in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The “stadium clean-up duty” lasted all of two weeks (see the Centre Daily Times). And, oh by the way, if the coach was so interested as you claim in “due process” why were the innocent players – those who did not engage in this particular episode of thuggery  — punished along with the guilty? Common athletic punishment ? Sure. Due process? Not at all. Please. As to the remark Joe made on the radio. . . well, that was simply an act of condescension that was both incorrect and in poor taste. Dr. Triponey’s scholarship is in student development. To suggest she knows nothing about student discipline belies the fact that, at the time, she had 25 years of experience and a national reputation for working effectively with college students. Not only did she understand discipline, she understood how to help them grow as citizens:

That set her off on another round of emails and threats. By this time she had made so many enemies on campus and was creating so much turmoil, that Dr. Spanier asked for her resignation, acknowledging the mistake he had made four years earlier.

The coach,  Athletic Director and Dr. Spanier continually, and inappropriately, interfered with the established student judicial processes, attempting to replace the determination to be made by a student discipline board with their judgment – in effect denying students a voice – by negotiating sanctions acceptable to your idol. Dr. Triponey attempted to defend the process without regard to what the outcome might be. Dr. Spanier, 5 months after the Meridian episode did indeed ask for her resignation. He never did, however, “acknowledge” hiring her was a mistake. He did indicate she was not fitting in with “the Penn State way.”

Now, with Joe gone and Spanier sidelined, Triponey gets to play her “I told you so” card in a very receptive media environment, obscuring the plain truth that absolutely nothing she did or didn’t do in her disastrous tenure at Penn State had any relationship whatsoever to the Sandusky affair and it’s aftermath.

This has nothing to do with “I told you so.” It does, however, speak to the secretive, deceptive culture that prevails in the football program and at the executive level of the university in acting as a shroud for the football program. The Meridian episode, when you look at the real facts (as opposed to the ones you invented), demonstrates how “the Penn State way” operated to impose dichotomous sets of standards: one set of rules for the football program and players – your idol shall decide right and wrong; and one set for everyone else.

Even Louis Freeh ignored her complaints in his biased summary of his investigation. We don’t know if she influenced Mark Emmert. What we do know is that she is a bitter, disgruntled former employee who was spurned by Penn State and Coach Paterno.

The investigation, appropriately, focused narrowly on the Sandusky episode, and thus her interactions with Paterno and Dr. Spanier were relevant only to the pattern and practice of conduct evidenced by their handling of the Meridian episode (and others). Thus, her observations regarding the prevailing culture at Penn State were merely affirmations of what Freeh’s team had already discovered for themselves

And that she believes she understands kids in their late teens and early 20′s better than a man who spent 61 years mentoring them. And who helped raise five of his own kids and 17 grandchildren.

That was never the issue except for the fact that your idol arrogantly — and wrongly — proclaimed it.

That’s who Vicky Triponey is. And that’s why she hates Joe Paterno.

The fact is that Dr. Triponey received a resolution of appreciation from Penn State’s USG at the end of her first year – signed by every member of USG. Later she was named an honorary Nittany Lion mascot by Penn State’s cheer leaders. And later still, she was saluted (chosen by students!) as the honorary Grand Marshall for Penn State’s Homecoming parade. This is hardly the record that you falsely describe. It is the record of someone who has served honorably and effectively in helping students grow and discover themselves and serve their campus community with distinction.