Penn State University trustees elect new leadership
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Snow causes roof to collapse at Crawford County plastics plant
- Wolf to outline charter school plan in budget address
- As House looks to dismantle state stores, hybrid system might be option
- ‘Tipping point’ near for Pa. government, conservative expert predicts at Freedom Forum
- Western Pennsylvania shivers toward record for coldest February
- PEMA, National Guard helping Bradford after water runs dry
- Wolf touts in-home care for seniors