Board of Trustees Wrap-up: A Little Bit of Everything

November 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm 45 comments

James Broadhurst ’65, chair of the university governance and long-range planning committee, will be part of the trustees committee that will select the new president.

Summing up a Board of Trustees meeting is never easy. I’ve covered them on and off since college, and they’re always a mix of mind-numbing reports and vital, critical information and decisions—often in the same agenda item. Since the Sandusky scandal, the meetings have been even more challenging, with more to consider and digest.

Take Friday’s meeting, for instance, which was moved from the traditional spot, the boardroom at the Nittany Lion Inn, to a larger conference room at The Penn Stater Conference Center, the better to accommodate the greater interest in such meetings since the Sandusky scandal. It had a little bit of everything. And I do mean everything.

Part of the meeting was celebratory—president Rod Erickson’s report, largely a list of achievements by Penn State students and faculty. Among them: the Dairy Judging team taking “top honors” at the Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, the university being recognized as one of the top 10 producers of U.S. Fulbright Scholars, and the dedication of the new Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, which has nifty features such as beds for parents to sleep in when they’re staying with their sick children.

Part of the meeting did, truly, look forward. Erickson announced that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education had reaffirmed Penn State’s accreditation, and the trustees approved the members of the Trustee Presidential Selection Council, which will oversee the search for Erickson’s replacement. (Keep reading for more details, and we’ll have a full report on the presidential search in our January/February issue.)

Part of the meeting hinted at the division within the university community. The trustees approved a code of conduct for intercollegiate athletics, something required by the Athletics Integrity Agreement that’s part of the NCAA sanctions, but not without discussion. Joel Myers ’61, ’63g, ’71g, who said he was in favor of the code, nonetheless wanted to “assert that nobody takes this as us approving the NCAA consent decree.” He and Anthony Lubrano ’82 wanted to add that language to the resolution, but Penn State’s vice president and general counsel, Stephen Dunham, recommended against it to eliminate any confusion and because the code itself doesn’t mention the AIA or consent decree.

“This is a Penn State document,” Dunham said. “It’s based on Penn State principles. It’s based on Penn State core values. It’s based on the Penn State mission. It is 100 percent consistent with existing Penn State intercollegiate athletics policies.”

Note, by the way, that the document must be signed by student-athletes, coaches, athletics staff, and trustees.

And part of the meeting was just flat-out angry. Eight people who registered in advance were permitted to address the board for three minutes each. Six showed up to speak, and their anger was palpable, particularly Gene Lizardi—who called himself “most ashamed of the board members who went to the university” and suggested that auditor general Jack Wagner’s report on governance reform be sent to NCAA president Mark Emmert, so “maybe he can vacate some of your seats”—and Philip Schultes ’90g, who said he was visiting guidance counselors at high schools across Pennsylvania to ask them to discourage students from applying to Penn State.

Alumna Doreen Schivley ’78 asked about documentation for the Freeh report and what was being done to find a permanent athletic director.

Others asked why David Joyner ’72, ’76g, ’81g is still the acting athletic director (Board chair Karen Bretherick Peetz ’77 said in a post-meeting news conference that he will remain in the position for the duration of Tim Curley’s contract) and to see the documentation involved in hiring Louis Freeh. Said Peetz: “There were many pointed questions—I think they are important questions—and we’re going to have to go back and do the due diligence of what paperwork was done …. So that’s a fair question.”

Important issues, all. But I’m going to spend the rest of the post on the presidential search because, as numerous people have said, choosing the next president is among the most important—if not the most important—decision the trustees will make.

The process involves three committees, two of which are directly involved and one that has a more peripheral, big-picture role.

The Blue and White Vision Council will be led by former University of Illinois president Stan Ikenberry, and it includes trustees, faculty, and alumni. (Click here for the 27-person list.) The members are looking strategically at some of the issues Penn State needs to deal with—the example everyone mentions is the role of technology in higher education, particularly online education. They’re not directly involved in the presidential search process, but they will share their findings with the two committees that are.

The University Presidential Search and Screen Committee, which has yet to be named, will start the process in the spring. This committee will consist of eight faculty members (including the chair, chair-elect, and immediate past chair of the Faculty Senate), two deans or chancellors, one member of the president’s executive staff, three students (two undergrads, one grad), the president of the Alumni Association (that’s Katie Smarilli ’71 Lib), and one university staff member. It will work to identify 10 to 15 candidates.

That list of candidates will go to the Trustee Presidential Selection Council, which was authorized Friday by the board. This is the group that will conduct interviews.

The committee is comprised of 12 trustees—Marianne Ellis Alexander ’62, James Broadhurst ’65, Mark Dambly ’80, Keith Eckel, Kenneth Frazier ’75, Edward Hintz ’59, Peter Khoury (the student trustee), Ira Lubert ’73, Keith Masser ’73, Peetz, Paul Silvis ’06g, and Linda Brodsky Strumpf  ’69. The 13th member is Peter Tombros ’64, ’68g, chair of the current capital campaign.

This process is similar to the process that Penn State used in 1994-95, when it hired Graham Spanier.

There will also likely be an executive search firm involved to help identify candidates. Peetz said Thursday during a work session of the university governance and long-range planning committee that she has already made contact with some firms. The trustees’ committee will decide whether to hire a firm—which is common when hiring a university president—and whether to engage a firm that specializes in higher education or one that has also does corporate hiring.

The timetable is based on Erickson’s desire to retire in June 2014; the idea is to have a candidate ready about six months ahead of time, giving that person time to transition. The search is expected to take about six months.

“I don’t think we’re going to have any trouble at all with fantastic candidates for the presidency of Penn State,” Peetz said. “I mean, it is one of the best institutions in the world; we’re always in the top hundred internationally, top 50 domestically. It’s a job that most anybody in academia would want.” She added that she doesn’t think the Sandusky scandal or aftermath will be a sticking point, “particularly since we’ve taken them so aggressively in terms of what the remediation is … by the time someone gets here in 2014, this will be just a distant memory.”

Lori Shontz, senior editor

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Entry filed under: Ag Sciences, Board of Trustees, Campus issues, Controversy, Faculty, Hershey Medical Center, NCAA sanctions, Rod Erickson, Sandusky scandal. Tags: , , , , .

How Pushball Led to Football One Last, Emotional Saturday

45 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan Haberbusch  |  November 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Part of the meeting hinted at the division within the university community. The trustees approved a code of conduct for intercollegiate athletics, something required by the Athletics Integrity Agreement that’s part of the NCAA sanctions, but not without discussion. Joel Myers ’61, ’63g, ’71g, who said he was in favor of the code, nonetheless wanted to “assert that nobody takes this as us approving the NCAA consent decree.” He and Anthony Lubrano ’82 wanted to add that language to the resolution, but Penn State’s vice president and general counsel, Stephen Dunham, recommended against it to eliminate any confusion and because the code itself doesn’t mention the AIA or consent decree.

    So excuse me Mr Genral Counsel but if the code is driven by the sanctions there is a connection to the resolution and the proposed language is valid. Another example of non-logic by the BoD (excepting Mrs Myers and Lubrano). Keep up teh good work Joel and Anthony –you are the “real” representatives of the true Penn Staters

    Al Haberbusch
    Col (Ret) USAF
    PSU ’64

  • 2. Susan Gifford, '80 MBA  |  November 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    So it is more of the same from this useless Board of Trustees.
    Re the perfectly legitimate question concerning the process by which Freeh’s group was hired, and the documentation of same, Ms. Peetz replies “..we’re going to have to go back and do the due diligence of what paperwork was done.” So the Board Chair doesn’t know how Freeh was hired and doesn’t know if any paperwork exists?
    I know the article did not proport to fully cover the meeting, but is it possible that the only mention of Jack Wagner’s report came from a speaker asking a question about it? How can this Board ignore a rational, reasoned report by an official elected by the citizens of Pennsylvania (who are surely stakeholders of the University)?

    I also find it curious that the Board Presidental selection committee does not include one of the newly elected trustees, nor Joel Myers, who has certainly been a critic of the Board’s actions since Nov. 9. Again, the “powers that be” within this Board are quashing dissent and assuring that only they have any power.

    I could discuss the process outlined to select the next University President but words fail me – all I’ll say is just because Dr.Spanier was hired using this methodology doesn’t mean the same process should be utilized again. It should mean the opposite.

    I’d also like to thank Anthony and Joel for fighting the good fight – just because you aren’t winning YET doesn’t mean you won’t in the end.

  • 3. Steve '69 in VA  |  November 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    New board meeting … SOS … Same Old S*** … how many ways to avoid answering a question … Where is the “Fact-Free” report contract? Seems like a simple question … this would be funny if it wasn’t so sad, ha!
    By the way, Why a new code? … what is wrong with “May no act of ours bring shame!” … we’ve sung it for over 100 years, more important MOST of us have lived it (especially a guy named Joe) … it seemed to work fine until our Nov 2011 board of traitors did just the opposite!

  • 4. Jo Lantz Prostko  |  November 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    “…by the time someone gets here in 2014, this will be just a distant memory.”

    I am betting Ms. Peetz will regret having said that.

  • 5. Patty Kirschner  |  November 19, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I am one of the individuals ‘approved’ to speak at Friday’s Board meeting. One VERY important occurance which the above article does not highlight is that at the beginning of the “Public Expression” session Chair Peetz announced that the Board would not be answering any questions. She said, “This will not be a question and answer session”. I was shocked to hear this since (1) questions WERE answered at the Sept meeting (one of the most infamous answers being the admission that the Board has not and does not intend to read the Freeh Report), and (2) on the Board’s website under “Guidelines for Public Expression” (which I double-checked right before the meeting to be sure I played by the rules), it says “…up to 30 minutes will be allowed for public expression/questions per meeting.” Ms Peetz’ last minute game-changer, without notice, left most of Friday’s speakers unprepared and looked and felt like an effort to stifle our free speech. The Board’s refusal to answer questions feels like censorship and they have now publically announced that they do not consider themselves accountable to any of the many constituencies in the Penn State community.

  • 6. Lori Shontz  |  November 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Susan — The AG report did not come up at the full board meeting Friday, but the committee on university governance and long-term planning did discuss it during a work session on Thursday. (These work sessions are open to the public.) James Broadhurst, chair of that committee, said that Jack Wagner had called and spoken with him for about 15 minutes before the report was released, and he offered to speak with the entire committee or board. The committee members wanted more time to read and digest the report. They’re also waiting for a report on university governance by the Faculty Senate, which is scheduled to be released within a month or so. Lori

  • 7. David Celento  |  November 20, 2012 at 4:13 am

    When the BoT announced it would engage in Q&A, but only for pre-approved questions, I was shocked at this blatant effort to control dissent.

    Now that the BoT has decided to stop providing answers–contrary to its new rules and because this method of controlling dissent hasn’t been effective enough–one has to wonder what non-democratic country the BoT thinks Penn State is located in.

  • 8. Stephen Fotos  |  November 20, 2012 at 7:52 am

    This Board is brazen in its successful attempts to self propagate. By appointing the soon to be defeated Deviney and Suhey to the Blue and White Vision committee they do nothing but strengthen our resolve. You can appoint every failed Board member to every rubber stamp committee you want….and we will throw out every current Trustee that we can. The Governor and his appointees will also be on the slate in 2014.

  • 9. Dave Ketchen, '88, '94  |  November 20, 2012 at 9:20 am

    When will the Penn Stater ask the hard questions that alumni are asking? You represent Penn State, not the BOT.

  • 10. Susan Gifford, '80 MBA  |  November 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Loni and thanks for the information on when and where Jack Wagner’s report was discussed. Was going to write to entire BOT re this report (for what good it will do) – but now think I’ll just write Mr. Broadhurst and the other committee members. I must state the obvious – the Board has to read and digest all reports but the one that mattered most. What better example of their failure of leadership and fiduciary duty.

  • 11. Linda Berkland  |  November 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I admit that I was not involved as an alumnus until last November and that is my total and complete failure. But, since then, I have tuned into every board meeting via my computer. Each and every time, I feel further insulted by this board! The comments portion of the meeting was a joke. First, questions/answer. Then comments/no response. I fully expect that the comments portion of the meetings will soon be eliminated. And if you truly want questions from the alumni or community, why not accept them via e-mail or Skype? Not all of us have the ability to be in State College on a Thursday or Friday afternoon. I, for one, don’t have a company airplane or the ability to file an expense report! This board continues to show it’s cowardice. This last meeting was pathetic!

  • 12. Mike Neary  |  November 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I chuckle at Ms. Peetz comment “a distant memory”. It might happen if this entire issue is resolved, but that is not her plan. She is hoping that the concerned, dissident alumni will “move forward” and forget; we will not!

  • 13. William A Levinson  |  November 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8378507/penn-state-board-trustees-does-not-plan-review-freeh-report (September, well after the July meeting.)

    “The four people spoken about most in the report, we’re certainly not going to take a position on their guilt or innocence,” trustee Mark Dambly later told reporters. “They’ll go through their process … We’re going to allow that process to play out in the courts.”

    Karen Peetz on July 13 (http://www.npr.org/2012/07/13/156706851/paternos-legacy-marred-by-psu-sex-abuse-report)

    “KAREN PEETZ: I think our reaction is that the clarity that’s come out of the report would show that 61 years of excellent service that Joe gave to the university is now marred. And we have to step back and say, what does that mean?”

    Peetz’s colleague Ken Frazier, at the same time:
    “Frazier said the board failed to provide proper oversight, as trustees remained unaware of the allegations against Sandusky from when they were first reported in 1998 until 2011, though it acted decisively once information became public in November 2011. Administrative leaders — including at the time President Graham Spanier, Coach Joe Paterno, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz — failed to protect children when they had the opportunity and failed to provide adequate information to the board, he said.”

    Dambly in September: “The four people spoken about most in the report, we’re certainly not going to take a position on their guilt or innocence,” trustee Mark Dambly later told reporters.

    Karen Peetz in the November/December Penn Stater (page 41, bottom): “We’re not planning to make any statements about the guilt or innocence of any of the parties involved [in the Freeh Report].”

    ” I think our reaction is that the clarity that’s come out of the report would show that the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, and also Mark Dambly, have told a proven falsehood to the Penn State community. And we have to step back and say, what does that mean?”

    –Bill Levinson B.S. ’78

  • 14. William A Levinson  |  November 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Karen Peetz in the November/December Penn Stater (page 41, bottom): “We’re not planning to make any statements about the guilt or innocence of any of the parties involved [in the Freeh Report].”

    Karen Peetz on July 13

    “KAREN PEETZ: I think our reaction is that the clarity that’s come out of the report would show that 61 years of excellent service that Joe gave to the university is now marred. And we have to step back and say, what does that mean?”

    The only clarity that we have here is that the Chairwoman of Penn State’s Board of Trustees has told a proven falsehood to the Penn State community. And we have to step back and say, what does that mean?

  • 15. recvplus  |  November 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Final score – Arrogance 100, Transparency 0

  • 16. Gary Koblitz '67  |  November 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Some of you are wrong–Karen Peetz did answer several questions at the last meeting: “uh-huh.”

  • 17. Tony Villiotti  |  November 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    The arrogance of this Board (with zero to be arrogant about) is almost as astounding as their incompetence.

  • 18. Amy Hegel  |  November 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Does the Penn State Board of Trustees answer to no one? Are there any checks and balances in place at Penn State?

  • 19. William A Levinson  |  November 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Rodney Erickson and Ed Ray of the NCAA have yet to get back to us about which one lied about the death penalty threat. Peetz says she believes Erickson, which means she is either backing a lie from him or else saying that Ed Ray and therefore the NCAA lied.

  • 20. porcupinefisheats  |  November 20, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    This Board is completely out of touch with their constituency. It’s amazing how in-effective CEOs can be if they don’t have the power to fire those that they are “leading”

  • 21. Wendy Silverwood  |  November 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Lori..it was an interesting 2 days. I can understand the Media’s frustration on covering this Board, but I also would like you to go outside the Bubble and wallow about in what lurks beyond.

    You see Lori, The Guilty Dog Barks The Loudest.

    Mssrs. Frazier & Surma and Mme. Peetz tried way too hard to shout the prescribed narrative.

    This BoT took ownership of this scandal too easily and too quickly, as if they knew. They commission an astronomically expensive but flawed report by Freeh, yet as an entity refuse to acknowledge it. They accept outrageous, illogical fines by the NCAA, yet as an entity refused to sign off on the CD. They happily took ownership of all this.

    Yet when a lengthy study with solid recommendations to restructure the Board is offered to them at NO COST by the Pa Auditor General…they sat in that Governance & Long Range Planning Committee and complained. They begrudgingly might take ownership of that.

    Why?

    And here we sit, 12 months later, and no closer to the truth as to how our Commonwealth failed these kids that were entrusted to The Second Mile, CYS & PaDPW.

    Lori, you & I and tens of thousands know there is something else outside the Bubble. Find it.

  • 22. Larry Leise,'72  |  November 21, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I have spent a great deal of time attempting to comment positively about the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees. Here’s what I have so far.

  • 23. Kaye Brown  |  November 21, 2012 at 9:59 am

    “just a distant memory” Is she kidding?

  • 24. Chris Zacko  |  November 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

    The Board of Trustees has repeatedly proven themselves to be out of touch and self-serving. As more information comes forward, it is clear they acted either to protect themselves or in a blind panic. They are unfit to lead our University. Those that await their dismissal are growing in strength and resolve. We are not going away, we are not moving on, and we are not going to let the BOT destroy this University.

  • 25. Chrissy Ert  |  November 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I truly believe that the Peetz thinks that if she and the rest of the 2011 BOT continue to ignore the vast majority of alumni, this will all go away and will be “a distant memory”. This is a delusional denial, and causes one to question her stability. Or is she simply so arrogant she believes her own lies?

  • 26. Anonymous  |  November 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Not moving on. BOT out & new structure, please!

  • 27. 94 Grad  |  November 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Dear Lori Shontz,

    The Faculty Senate report is absolutely meaningless. It might as well be another Freeh report. It is internal, biased, and politically influenced.

    The alumni are not going to be fooled. If the Alumni Association truly represents the Penn State alumni, they should consider changing their perspective to that which represents the majority of alumni.

  • 28. A Penn Stater  |  November 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    The arrogance and ineptitude of the Board is monumental. They are delusional if they believe all of this will be a “distant memory” any time soon.

    More important than a national search for a new president, would be instituting reform measures recommended by Jack Wagner. How is it that the Board, which accepted the travesty of a Freeh report with nary a whimper; accepted the outrageous and overreaching NCAA sanctions without consult or contest; now suddenly feels the need to “weigh in” on thoughtful, positive and corrective reform recommendations?

    Watching the meetings and listening to their comments is so exasperating that it makes me want to poke my eyes out. Really? What makes Penn State so special that its Board wouldn’t benefit from reform? Oh right, it’s the one University that’s had a child sex abuser roaming the campus for decades and no-one on the Board did anything about it. Carry on then. This Board obviously has things well in hand. They continually demonstrate this at every turn!

    Contemptible, arrogant, out-of-touch, inept … pile on the adjectives … THIS is the “culture” that needs changing. The house that needs cleaning. Let’s get on with it!

  • 29. Alan Haberbusch  |  November 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Sure am glad I started the thread of these comments — it gets better every day. Maybe the Penn Stater could undertake to consolidate and send them all to the BoT. OOPS just another document the Board can misuse.

  • 30. NAL  |  November 23, 2012 at 10:01 am

    This board is kicking and screaming little 2 year olds because they can’t have their way. They are used to corporate brown nosers supporting their every decision in hopes of climbing the corporate ladder and in most cases – are able to spin their work as no one really cares. In this case we care more then they ever estimated. It is clear – even to those unattached to PSU – that this board had/has another agenda and is pissed the “crazy” alumni won’t go away. I believe they need to be concerned that no only will we NOT go away but that we begin to expose their henious selfish plans. WONDER HOW THEIR STOCKHOLDERS WOULD FEEL IF WE START ASKING ABOUT THE BUSINESS THEY DO WITH THE LUCRATIVE PENN STATE?!?!?!

  • 31. Chris Sheedy  |  November 23, 2012 at 10:18 am

    At the last meeting, the BoT said they had not read the Freeh report. Now the BoT is saying that they weren’t the ones that approved or signed off on the Freeh report. But in their role as Trustees, they accepted as fact a report on behalf of the University that they didn’t approve or read. Still, as bad as they have handled the events after 11/9/11, they still never addressed the debacle that was their mis-handling of everything up to and including 11/9/11. I am not moving on until they ALL move on and leave before they can do more irreparable damage to the University. WE ARE … NOT going to ignore the man behind the curtain!!

  • 32. Marianne Williams, '92  |  November 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

    How can the (supposed) leaders of a university like Penn State be so incredibly out of touch? Peetz actually had the audacity to say that “all this will be a distant memory in 2014.” Is she aware of ANYTHING that is going on around her? How can a group which is made up of mostly Penn State alumni allow this to happen to our alma mater?

    I watch the board meetings from home and want to scream. The board’s “transparency” is a joke. Karen and the board need to START ANSWERING QUESTIONS. The alumni and many supporters of Penn State continue to show their disgust, yet it’s business as usual for the BoT. I know I personally will not have forgotten any of this mess by 2014, and sadly with this group in charge it’s doubtful that anything will be resolved by then.
    We need leaders who actually lead!

  • 33. Monica BAE '85  |  November 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

    The BoT just keeps rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Hoping we(Alum & supporters) will one of these days just go away… My head spins daily at the realization that these folks charged with running a world class University are so inept. I do not believe they are clueless. They are hiding something, or working to their own agendas. We will not stop until they fall. And thank you Anthony, and Joel…keep fighting the good fight.

  • 34. Psusmc  |  November 23, 2012 at 11:08 am

    HUBRIS [hyoo-bris, hoo-]
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: arrogance
    Synonyms: airs audacity brass cheek chutzpah cockiness conceitedness contemptuousness disdain insolence loftiness nerve ostentation overbearance pomposity pompousness presumption pretension pretentiousness self-importance vanity

    Example Sentence
    1. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s due to greed, arrogance or incompetence, the Penn State BoT’s hubris is destroying a fine university.

  • 35. John Bonner  |  November 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Ms Peetz should just come out and say “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?” She sounds more and more like Baghdad Bob the former Iraqi Information Minister.

  • 36. Michele Rhoades '84  |  November 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    The utter arrogance & ongoing incompetence of this board is astounding. Jim Broadhurst was one of the few trustees actually named in the Freeh report, if Steve Garban has stepped down , Broadhurst should too (actually they ALL should). It is outrageous & offensive that they are trying to sidestep and ignore the Auditor General’s report, saying that it does not apply to them when it was written specifically FOR them specifically BECAUSE of their negligent at best governance. They need time to read & review it? But they didn’t need any time to read/review the Freeh report, is that because they paid for the results that they wanted? They leave dedicated devoted Alumni no choice but to withhold donations until they step down – it is precisely because we love Penn State that we can not support what these Trustees have done to our once proud university. These Trustees have lost our trust and respect, they have zero credibility, they are NOT Penn State. We ARE beyond angry, we ARE not going away, WE ARE NOT Moving forward!

  • 37. Matt Rzucidlo  |  November 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    These summaries continue to show how poorly PSU Alumni are being represented by the BOT. It saddens me to think these people are conroling our direction.

    Does Ms. Peezt honestly believe that no one on the board has seen or been part of the documentation hiring Mr Freeh? To be so cavalier about a $6.5 Million expenditure that she has now claimed to not know what he was hired for, didn;t read the report fully, does not plan to comment on it, and doesn’t plan on discussing its legitmacy. This is governance.

    Sad the way these people behave. Really makes you PSU proud watching this circus, huh?

  • 38. Mary Agliardo  |  November 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    According to a 2008 economic impact statement
    (econimpact.psu.edu/), Penn State is an “economic powerhouse, directly or indirectly affecting every resident in the state. It generates more than $17 billion annually in overall impact,” and contributes more to the state’s economy annually than any other industry.
    And who’s at the helm of this PA powerhouse? An omnipotent board of trustees that, when asked to show documentation involved in hiring, at the cost of $6.5 million, Louis Freeh, has to “go back to due diligence of what paperwork was done;” who won’t be reading Freeh’s report anyway, having just spent $6.5 million on it; and who don’t have the integrity to admit “the buck stops here” in regard to the whole imbroglio of the past year, which cost Penn State dearly, and not just financially. These people don’t have the foggiest notion of how to run an economic powerhouse.

    The people of PA should be very nervous.
    And Ms Peetz says this will all be forgotten in 2014? Go ahead. Bet your life savings on it.

  • 39. Koozieflute  |  November 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Very disheartening to hear the BoT would not answer public questions (that they pre-approve in the first place) at this last meeting. Unfortunately, they are technically following the letter of the Standing Order, if not the spirit. The wording only requires that the BoT hear public comments and questions; it does NOT require the BoT to answer those comments and questions. I was worried the standing order would be interpreted this way back at the September meeting and was pleasantly surprised when they answered questions. Of course, Ms. Peetz stuck her foot in her mouth with the whole Freeh report answer and now they won’t answer any questions ever again. I should have known better than to think the BoT was actually progressing toward something better.

  • 40. Joe - Che '95  |  November 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    So Dambly lies about not remembering spending 5 days in jail, and he had the audacity to state Joe Paterno failed his moral responsibilities, and that was the reason to fire him? You cannot make this up. The BOT should absolutely be ashamed of themselves. Their f’ups might be comical if they ere not so destructive.

  • 41. Anonymous  |  November 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Mike Neary ’71 & ’74

    In the July BoT meeting, Karen Peetz announced that, after BoT discussion, a public question and answer with the BoT would be added to future BoT agendas, subject to certain restrictions. Those restrictions included submitting the questions in advance, presumably to prepare answers. These guidelines were posted on the BoT Website.

    In the September BoT meeting several questions were asked and discussed, although many of the answers were not to the point of the questions and evasive. In the November BoT meeeting, at the beginning of the Q&A seccion, Ms. Peetz announced that there would be only public comment without BoT response!

    This is disingenuous and is a total lack of transparency. Ms. Peetz mostly replied “Thank yoy.” and when asked twice about the documentation for the Freeh contract, said she would have to do the due dillegince to find out; What a failure for the BoT to commit to a $6.5 (or $11) million contract a year ago and not know what happened. How much a greater shame for this response to a pre-screened question. As I said disingenuous and not transparent.

    Does the PSU BoT think the concerned alumni are stupid and/or will move forware (go away)? I don’t think so, after all, we were educated and learned values at a top notch university and our concern is spreading.

    We want, very much, to restore its status.

  • 42. Betsy Sharpe  |  November 24, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Karen Peetz is out of her mind if she thinks that a candidate in 2014 will have no problem with blowback from the Sandusky scandal. The bot is a group of spineless individuals with HItler complexes. They asked for and paid now upwards of $12 million for the fact freeh report. They cannot decide why they asked for the report or whether they accept the findings or not. They did not support Penn State, let the NCAA sanction us to within a yard of oblivion. Now they run a sham of a meeting only taking pre approved questions and then not even having the decency to answer the questions they were given ahead of time. Yes, there are many angry fans, students alumni. The bot claims they want to be more transparent, but won’t release a copy of the contract with freeh, took an extremely long time to release their financial facts, and won’t say if they stand behind the freeh report in its entirety or just wanted the suggestions for better governance, which were all found free on the internet. All of this to say nothing of the disrespect of four men of integrity and the university they are charged with protecting. This bot will probably bankrupt this university both financially and morally if given the chance. They did not even read the freeh report before accepting it as gospel. They offered any victim an open checkbook, without a trial and threw four of our leaders under the bus. They are shameful, they are not doing the job protecting the university they are charged with. They should resign their positions before they ruin Penn State.

  • 43. Deb K (@DebKz1)  |  November 24, 2012 at 3:25 am

    A little bit of everything??? That would be funny, if it wasn’t so sad. Sad because the BoT has sold the university down the river. Sad because the BoT goes on and on patting themselves on the back. Sad because after the self praise, the Q&A was a farce. Sad, refusing to answer any questions. Sad, acting totally bored while concerned alum voice their frustrations, then dismiss each speaker with an insincere “TY.” The BoT in their true form, nothing but self-serving and condescending. Sad what they have done to a great school and the greatest man who put Penn State on the map. JoePa gave his all to PSU for 61 years, only to have the BoT destroy the good name of Penn State. Transparency – what a joke – answer the damn questions – take responsibility for what you did! We won’t go away and “move on” until you do!

  • 44. Deborah Beidel, Class of 1976  |  November 24, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Questions were again invited for the November 2012 meeting and after submitting questions in good faith, the Board refused to answer the invited questions. The Chair responded with a condescending “thank you”. Think about the optics of this decision. People are invited to submit questions, people travel to ask the questions and then they are refused an answer.

    A Presidential Trustees selection group is announced and all of the Board Members are the same ones responsible for each reprehensible decision that has been made over the past year. None of the new Trustees, certainly none of the Trustees who have dared to ask questions, are included in this process.

    This is not leadership – these are the behaviors associated with despots. A University is a place of ideas – lots of ideas, different ideas and the right to challenge ideas. A University is a place for free thought and diverse thought.

    This Board’s decisions – imposing dogmatism, requiring adherence to groupthink, and squashing dissent is the antithesis of a University. It is far more representative of a dictatorship under siege.

  • 45. Gene Llizardi  |  December 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    At this point, all Penn State Alumni should stand together and start calling and mailing and emailing the ridiculous board of trustees. They need total reform. Karen Peetz is perhaps worse than Surma. At least he spoke honestly about what he wanted, heinous though his agenda was. She talks out of both sides of her mouth and she is either evil personified in trying to destroy Penn State or she is incredibly stupid because she keeps following the outside forces who have led her down the rabbit hole. You couldn’t have done a worse job if you had planned it- and that is what scares me the most, that it was carefully planned and carried out in every way.

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