UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (CBS) — Penn State was reintroduced today to Rodney Erickson in his new role as the university’s interim president.

At this morning’s board of trustees meeting, Dr. Erickson — longtime provost at Penn State — received extended applause from the board as he takes over the top spot following the forced resignation of Graham Spanier earlier this week (see related story).

Erickson thanked the board for their support and said he isn’t taking the position just as a caretaker. He said he plans to play a key role in helping in the recovery process.

Erickson added that it is difficult to comprehend the allegations against Jerry Sandusky (see related story) and the charges of a cover-up at the university.

“Healing can not occur until we understand how responsibilities to these children failed and how we can prevent such tragedies in the future,” he said.

As part of that healing, the board also heard from attorney Kenneth Frazier, who is heading up the special university committee to investigate how the allegations laid out in the grand jury report could have happened.

Frazier said his thoughts are with the victims.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio 1060

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