| State

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

Penn State University trustees elect new leadership

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 The Associated Press
Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 9:14 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE — The new leader of Penn State's Board of Trustees pledged Friday to create safe environments at the university system's campuses and follow through on strengthening institutional oversight in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Schuylkill County potato farming executive Keith Masser was vice chairman before being elected to the top job on the university's governing body on the second day of the board's two-day meeting.

Masser takes over at a critical juncture as the school deals with the lingering fallout from the scandal involving Sandusky, a former assistant football coach who was convicted last year on dozens of criminal counts of child sex abuse. Prosecutors said abuse occurred on and off campus.

“What we do in the coming months will define Penn State for years to come,” Masser said in his acceptance speech. “We must, as a community, come together to strengthen and improve our university.”

Masser replaces Karen Peetz, who left the leadership post after a year. Peetz had cited time constraints since her promotion to president of Bank of New York Mellon.

Lawyer Stephanie Deviney of Glenmoore was elected vice chair. Masser and Deviney were the only candidates for their respective positions.

Among their other top priorities are the search for school president Rodney Erickson's replacement; potential settlements with Sandusky's accusers; and reforms to university governance.

The next meeting is scheduled for March in Hershey. Masser said the university expects by then to have received a final report from the U.S. Department of Education on whether the school violated the federal Clery Act, which mandates disclosure of campus crimes.

Earlier Friday, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who is monitoring Penn State's response to NCAA sanctions over the Sandusky child molestation scandal, praised the university for offering its full cooperation with his oversight team.

Mitchell reiterated the findings from his initial report in November in addressing the school's trustees. Mitchell said he or his team visit the university weekly, having conducted 150 interviews at the school.

“In my report, I stated that in my judgment, Penn State is off to a very good start in complying with the provisions of the athletic integrity agreement,” Mitchell said. His next report is due in February.

The penalties handed down in July included a four-year bowl ban, strict scholarship cuts and a $60 million fine. Since then, Gov. Tom Corbett has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit seeking to have the penalties thrown out.

The pending litigation has no bearing on his work, Mitchell said. Penn State is not a party to the lawsuit.

According to the agreement, Mitchell and his law firm will serve as a third-party monitor through 2017. A provision allows the university to request a change to the terms of Mitchell's monitorship after two years, as long as Mitchell gives his OK to the request.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pennsylvania

  1. Lawrence power plant being converted to gas from coal
  2. 2001 same-sex union recognized despite partner’s death
  3. Va. trucker hit  Mega Millions jackpot in Pa.
  4. Evidence for charge not found in Pa. case
  5. Medical pot has advocate in Pennsylvania House
  6. Pennsylvania Senator Casey pushes for railroad bridge inspectors
  7. Fight for equal access continues 25 years after ADA signed
  8. Feds accuse Philadelphia congressman Fattah of corruption
  9. Transportation Chief: 5 Airlines probed for price-gouging