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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

Triponey’s Words Ring Hollow

Remember that old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do?”  University administrators nationwide should learn that lesson from our own Vicky Triponey.

Let’s turn back the clock to Spring of 2003 to read some of what we were promised by PSU’s newest VP for Student Affairs: “It was clear during the interview process that faculty, staff and students throughout the Penn State community share a passion and commitment to achieve… a more student-centered University. I am confident that together we will build upon a tradition of excellence by enhancing the student experience, building a more cohesive campus community and, in the process, provide a model for all of higher education.”

Unfortunately, yet another axiom can be equally applied to Vicky’s tenure at PSU: “Actions speak louder than words.”

Triponey Watch has already tackled the hypocrisy of a power-mad charlatan like Vicky paying even lip service to the concept of the student-centered university, but take a look at some of these other ridiculous claims.

Vicky promised to “enhanc(e) the student experience.”  It’s unclear how being stripped of all capacity to self-regulate or meaningfully contribute to the growth of their university has enriched the experience of students at University Park.

Her prediction of “a more cohesive campus community” seems, on the surface, laughable, but this forecast may have actually carried a grain of truth.  Since Triponey’s arrival, a broad cross section of alumni and current students have forgotten the chasms of time and ideology that separate them and united in wrathful pride against her one-woman assault on the integrity of Penn State.  Good work, Vicky.  The environment may be the most cohesive it has ever been.

As for “provid(ing) a model for all of higher education,” faculty across the Penn State system and, indeed, across the country, should shudder at that prospect.  If Vicky Triponey’s hatchet job on the once-proud institutions of Old State is to serve as an example for university education, you can stop the train now – freedom of expression, personal growth, and genuine inquiry and discourse would like to disembark.

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