LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—It takes decades a university to build up their reputation, as we've seen at Penn State, years of excellence can all be taken away by the actions of a few people.
"It certainly is not fair to many individuals who have graduated from there over the years. The value of a degree is partly dependent on the legacy of the institution," Richard Kyte, Director Viterbo University Institute for Ethics in Leadership said.
Which is why some Penn State Alumni feel the scandal has taken away some of their bragging rights.
"Prior to think I would tell people I'm a grad of Penn State, and oh wow that's wonderful, what a good school, now people kind of look at you funny and you feel like you have to explain something," Dr. Joe Gow UW-L Chancellor said.
As a university administrator, Dr. Gow feels it's part of his job to protect children.
"It really is disappointing that the Penn State Administration did not do the right thing when they heard about the behavior that Coach Sandusky was engaged in," Dr. Gow said. "I can't understand it because I don't know why they wouldn't protect children of all people but in this case they had different values."
One of the problems Kyte sees was Penn State's legacy wasn't just based off wins it was the football program and character of Joe Paterno.
He doesn't think they can ever get their legacy back but he said they can rebuild their reputation around something other than football.
"You never know what a legacy will be," Kyte said. "A legacy is always looking backwards so what the current generation of leadership needs to do is look at the future. What good things we can accomplish with the resources and the gifts we've been given."
"This scandal is just so prominent that I think its going to take a very long time to have people not think about child abuse when they hear the name Penn State," Gow said.
Despite the scandal, Gow said he is still proud of his two degrees from Penn State.
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