Edward (Ted) B. Brown III, Ballot Position No. 38
Read Brown’s official bio and position statement here (PDF download).
Answers to Questions
1. In view of sharply declining state appropriations, what steps should Penn State be taking to secure its financial future?
Penn State has always done a great job raising funds for buildings, sports venues, department chairs, scholarships, etc. My family and I have been active contributors, giving money and time to my Fraternity, Thon, Parmi Nous Endowment, Blue Band, Worthington Scranton campus and so forth. The best evidence of this is our Mt. Nittany Society membership. All Board of Trustee members should be expected to be active leaders in fund raising, contributing time and money. The fact that there are 86 candidates for three Board of Trustee seats, shows that Penn State Alumni make things happen when they get energized. The Grassroots Network should get more energized. There are hundreds of Alumni Chapters and Alumni Interest Groups throughout the world. They should be energized to lobby with the State and to establish scholarships. I am one of the founders of the Parmi Nous AIG’s Endowment. Why doesn’t every Alumni Group have scholarships? Why are less than half of Penn State Alumni are members of the Alumni Association? They’re not energized. Penn State needs to improve its marketing to the commonwealth, to the citizens of Pennsylvania, and to the Alumni. In addition to my crisis management experience, I’m prepared to bring my sales experience (from IBM sales Rep to President and Chief Sales Officer) to the Board of Trustees. There have been a lot of VALID complaints about the lack of transparency and openness of the current Board. Board members should be part of Town Hall meetings. Visibility will raise funds.
2. The rising cost of tuition nationally is making college less affordable for many students. Outline the steps you believe Penn State should be taking to address the issue.
Clearly, my comments in #1 answered this partially. Endowments support scholarships. In the early days of the Farmers High School, tuition was free. Penn State will never return to those days. Today, Penn State is one of the best values in the Academic world. To maintain our leadership, we must have the best faculty, researchers, facilities and students. We will continue to have all those through fund raising and endowments. But think how many Penn State Alumni have not contributed the minimum: Alumni Association membership. Penn State Trustees, the University, its faculty, the Alumni, and the students need to be energized. The quality of the typical incoming student is already superb. Think what it would be with more Academic Scholarships. We need to increase Internships that will educate students, provide services to business, industry and government and help with tuition. Why don’t we create endowments that support student loans? Penn State could then use the money over and over forever. Or combine loans and scholarships, where the graduate pays back only part of the money.
3. What form should Penn State’s land-grant mission take in the 21st century?
This is the “should Penn State go private” question. The only reason this question is being asked is because of the ever-decreasing State support. Why should we honor the Commonwealth in our name, if they don’t honor their obligation to us? This is another example of fixing the wrong problem with the wrong answer. As a Land Grant University, with a mission of training people for careers, we must remain a State School. We must lobby, sell, and educate the State on its obligation to our University. The Board of Trustees has a great role to play in this. But to accomplish this, the Board needs to be transparent, visible and active. We need every Penn State Alumni to join the Alumni Association because there’s strength in numbers. Then we need to lobby, lobby, lobby. Think of the math. Thousands of students raise over $10 million for Thon. What can 500,000 Alumni do if energized by an active, visible, trusted Board of Trustees. I’m prepared to take on that leadership.