A Flurry of News Before the Holidays
The last week before the semester break brought a surprising amount of big news about Penn State:
On Tuesday, the university announced that Karen Bretherick Peetz ’77 would not stand for re-election as the chair of the Board of Trustees; her new position as the president of BNY Mellon, she said Wednesday in a teleconference with reporters, didn’t allow enough time to serve as the chair.
In that same Wednesday teleconference, Peetz threw her support for chair to the vice chair, Keith Masser ’73, who runs Sterman Masser, a potato farm in Schuykill County; James Broadhust ’65, chair of the trustees’ governance and long-range planning committee, did the same. Perhaps the bigger surprise, though, was that Anthony Lubrano ’82, who has been an outspoken critic of the board even after being elected to an alumni seat in May, also expressed support for Masser in Thursday’s Centre Daily Times: “It’s a logical progression for Keith Masser to be chair,” he told the newspaper.
There was no indication as to the whether there will be an additional candidate for chair or who would be running for vice chair; trustees have until Dec. 28 to decide. A more complete description of the process for the election, which will take place during the January meeting, can be found in this story from The Daily Collegian.
On Wednesday, the university announced that Board of Trustees had approved a salary increase for President Rod Erickson—from $515,000 a year to $600,000 a year, retroactive to Nov. 1. A news release from Penn State Live indicates that the raise was based on a performance review and cites study data that places Erickson’s new salary at “about the 50th percentile” of comparable university presidents and chancellors.
And on Thursday, a judge ruled that the lawsuit against Penn State filed by Mike McQueary ’97 could go forward without a resolution to the legal case against top university administrators; the university had asked for a stay. And the university also announced that it had made its first $12 million payment on the $60 million fine imposed by the NCAA. The money is being held in a money market account until a decision is reached on how the money will be distributed. At least one person, Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent, is unhappy with the NCAA’s response to a request that all of the $60 million be distributed in Pennsylvania.
Lori Shontz, senior editor