TribLIVE

| State

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

State legislators propose hearings on PSU reforms to prod university to act

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Josh Fatzick
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 11:54 p.m.
 

HARRISBURG — Saying proposed changes at Penn State University have stalled, Senate Democrats on Wednesday suggested hearings this summer to speed consideration of reform legislation.

Proposals to modify Penn State's board of trustees and bring it fully under provisions of the state's Right-to-Know Law emerged during the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal 19 months ago. Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, was sentenced in October to more than 30 years in prison for molesting 10 boys, incidents that shamed the university.

Sens. John Yudichak of Luzerne County, Andy Dinniman of Chester County and Rob Teplitz of Dauphin County urged Republican lawmakers and the university to work with them to enact significant changes.

“Penn State supports full accountability to the commonwealth and public for appropriated funds that support its educational mission,” spokeswoman Lisa Powers said. “We know this issue will be the subject of ongoing discussions by legislators, in both the House and Senate, and we expect to be fully engaged in those discussions, along with our colleagues from the other state-related universities, in order to find the best common ground for access and accountability.”

Senate Republicans did not immediately respond.

Dinniman introduced legislation to reduce the size of Penn State's board and expand the Ethics Act, which bars public officials from using their positions to gain financially, to cover board members at state-funded schools.

“Everyone spoke. Across the aisle, everyone said it's time to do reform, but reform was not done,” Dinniman said.

Teplitz worked with former Auditor General Jack Wagner of Beechview on a report detailing issues with the board and recommending reforms. He said few recommendations were implemented.

In May, Penn State trustees approved term limits for board members, removed the Penn State president and state's governor as voting members of the board, and instituted an expanded conflict-of-interest policy.

Lawmakers need to do more, Yudichak said.

Penn State trustee Anthony Lubrano, who won a seat on the board last year after campaigning on a reform platform, has criticized the slow pace of change.

“I have been disappointed with the lack of progress on substantive reform such as board size, composition and term limits. I am also troubled by the lack of action on the Wagner recommendations,” Lubrano said.

Josh Fatzick is an intern with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
  2. Comets hold life building blocks
  3. Rossi: Nothing huge, but Huntington helped Bucs
  4. Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played
  5. Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
  6. Inside The Steelers: LB Williams dominates backs-on-backers drill at Latrobe Memorial Stadium
  7. 2 wounded in Munhall, Homestead drive-by shootings
  8. 2014 showing has Steelers RB Harris confident he belongs
  9. LaBar: Piper’s influence can’t be understated
  10. Gas meter struck, road temporarily closed near Armbrust Wesleyan Church
  11. Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending