Penn State University President Rodney Erickson says he won't allow a child sex abuse scandal to define the university.

Erickson told alumni and others at a meeting in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night openness and communication are his guiding principles. He says critics have accused the school of having problems in those areas recently. He says the school "will do better in the future."

The audience of about 600 people burst into applause when he said the scandal won't define the school's "outstanding football program."

The first questioner called the treatment of fired coach Joe Paterno "unconscionable," drawing applause and a few boos.

There was passionate and prolonged applause for a suggestion the board of trustees step down.

Other meetings are planned in suburban Philadelphia and New York.


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