It's official: Graham Spanier is no longer president of Penn State University after a 16-year tenure.
In an emergency meeting Wednesday, Penn State's Board of Trustees unanimously decided that it was not in the best interest of the school for Spanier and longtime head football coach Joe Paterno to continue working there in the wake of a massive sexual abuse scandal at the university.
Spanier, a sociologist by training, had been president of the university since 1995. It was revealed this week that during Spanier's time as the head of the school, former Nittany Lions defensive coach Jerry Sandusky allegedly sexually abused at least nine children on and off the Penn State campus. According to an explosive Grand Jury report released Saturday, Spanier was informed that Sandusky had allegedly anally raped a child on campus in 2002. However, the then-president took no further action beyond banning Sandusky from campus -- a ruling that ultimately went unenforced. Spanier maintains he was only made aware of the full extent of the charges against Sandusky last month. (See a full timeline of the scandal here.)
In a statement released after his ouster was announced, Spanier wrote that he was "heartbroken to think that any child may have been hurt" and that he has "deep convictions about the need to protect children and youth." He wrote that he would "never hesitate to report a crime if I had any suspicion that one had been committed." Read the full statement here.
The scandal has already cost two other top officials their jobs. Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz resigned from their positions this week. Earlier Wednesday, the school's board told Spanier he could resign or be fired. (Read about the key players in the scandal here.)
The Department of Education announced Wednesday that it will launch full investigation into the events that have transpired at Penn State.
Scenes from the controversy: