Trustees at Penn State approve reforms
STATE COLLEGE — Penn State trustees approved reforms to university governance on Friday and learned that two incumbents on the university's governing board were voted out by alumni in a contentious election.
Incumbent Paul Suhey finished fourth, one spot out of returning to the board. Board vice chair Stephanie Deviney also was rejected by alumni to return to a board that has been scrutinized since the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Winning election were Barbara Doran, William Oldsey and Ted Brown, all endorsed by an alumni group critical of university leadership.
The newly elected trustees watched from the audience while the current board approved governance changes including reducing the size of the board by two to 30 by taking away the voting power of Pennsylvania's governor and the university president.
The proposals had been studied for months. Other recommendations approved include changing the requirement for quorum from a majority of members to 13 and implementing a five-year waiting period before commonwealth row officers can become trustees.
Another change would cut the time required for notice before the board meets from 10 days to three.
Penn State officials called the changes significant. The measures were approved after months of deliberations, initiated after former FBI Director Louis Freeh offered 119 recommendations last July to improve the university as part of his investigation into the scandal for Penn State.
“In one fell swoop, it's probably the biggest change to the bylaws that we've made in 100 years,” said trustee Joel Myers. “Many institutions don't make this change at all, certainly over decades.”
Alumni, the university faculty senate and the auditor general's office also had offered recommendations.
In a statement, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he was encouraged by the changes toward greater transparency. But, he said, there was more work to do to regain “the confidence of the public and the university community,” including expanding the Right-to-Know law to the university.
Leaders have vowed the study of governance changes would not end.
“I can assure that (trustees) will continue to address these items,” trustees chair Keith Masser said.
Anthony Lubrano was the only trustee to vote against the measures. He said his main concerns were the size of the board and the size and influence of the six-member constituency of business trustees.
“We just took baby steps today,” Lubrano said. “I think we have a lot of work to do.”
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.
- LCB’s biggest store opening in Shadyside neighborhood
- Pennsylvania’s public school staffing at 10-year low
- Food fundraisers have to be healthy — it’s the law
- Pennsylvania governor hopefuls target middle class with tax policy ads
- Pa. bridges, roads pay homage to famous, fallen
- Departing prosecutor in Pennsylvania Turnpike pay-to-play case does not blame lack of resources
- Pennsylvania Department of Health will note fracking complaints