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Penn State trustees committee tables action on renaming children’s center

By Anne Danahy, Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.) –

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State trustees on Friday held off on renaming the child care center that currently is named for Gary Schultz, the former Penn State vice president for finance, who is facing perjury charges for testimony he gave to the Jerry Sandusky grand jury.

The vote followed trustee Anthony Lubrano reading a letter that Schultz’s attorney sent to the board this week asking it to wait to take action until after Schultz’s trial, which is scheduled to take place in January in Dauphin County.

Former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley faces the same charges as Schultz. They include failure to report child abuse in addition to perjury. “There’s no reason for us to rush at this point,” Lubrano said.

Board members Ira Lubert and Ryan McCombie agreed, saying the board should wait.

University Vice President Tom Poole said Nan Coulter, dean of the College of Health and Human Development, which oversees the center, had made the request for the name change. A “Gary Schultz” sign at the center was torn down in what was likely an act of vandalism after Schultz was charged in November.

Poole said because of concerns about future vandalism and the safety at the center, the sign wasn’t restored. He said staff began using the proposed name, the Child Care Center at Hort Woods. Board members on the finance committee agreed to table the matter.

McCombie said if the center has gone eight months without a name on it, it can go four more.

“It’s way too premature. I don’t even think we should be having this discussion,” McCombie said.

The trustees were meeting at the Nittany Lion Inn on Friday and were slated to hear from seven people during the board’s new public comment period.

Chairwoman Karen Peetz, giving opening remarks, said the board is committed to implementing the Freeh report recommendations.

And, she defended President Rodney Erickson’s acceptance of the NCAA sanctions that followed the Freeh report.

“Let me note that the board understands — and shares — the frustration of many of you, especially many of our most loyal and passionate alumni, in regard to the Freeh report and the NCAA sanctions,” Peetz said. “We understand how such frustration and anger can play out.”

The agenda also included the annual request the university makes to the state for funding each year. In 2011, the university asked the state for a 5 percent increase in funding, but state support ended up remaining flat at $279 million.

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