Editorial: Institutional Responsibility

The Penn State lesson for UW.
Editorial: Institutional Responsibility



The statement from UW Chancellor David Ward and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez in response to the NCAA sanctions against Penn State includes the words “we must never lose sight of our shared institutional responsibility to act with openness and integrity.” Exactly, and exactly why the sanctions in the child sexual abuse case are appropriate.

Once we get past the criminal acts of one pretty sick man, the crime becomes one of an organization that failed to function in any reasonable way, and that created more victims by secretly and sneakily protecting a football program instead. What Penn State did as an institution was irresponsible to an extreme. Of course it should be held accountable and it appears it will be. That’s scant benefit to the victims, but hope that perhaps future cases will be prevented. The statement from Ward and Alvarez suggests the message has been heard, at least at the UW.