Question No. 3: Land Grant Mission
What form should Penn State’s land-grant mission take in the 21st century?
[Back to Board of Trustees Election 2012 page.]
1. Matthew J. Lisk ’95, New Providence, N.J.
The original intent of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts was to create institutions that integrated the practical and applied skills of agriculture, science and technology with classical liberal arts and sciences to create a higher level of knowledge and increase American economic prosperity. As we have moved into the 21st Century, one which has brought globally-impacting challenges like the search for alternative energy sources, climate changes, exhaustion of precious resources, poverty, hunger, and crippling disease, the need for a higher level of knowledge for the betterment of society has not changed. Penn State is well positioned to expand the land grant ideals beyond American borders and advance the global discussion.
Searching for solutions to these large-scale problems will require continued innovation and advancement in the fields of agriculture, science and engineering. The land grant philosophy of sharing the findings and benefits of the University’s unbiased research with the public and engaging with partners to create and implement what they learn will be critical to the global landscape.
Again we are back to the overarching theme of collaboration and innovation. Penn State needs to continue to be a trusted research leader, make investments to ensure the best staff, infrastructure and resources remain available, work with other college and universities to validate findings and devise recommended advancements, and engage industry leaders to act in meaningful ways.
2. Ryan J. McCombie ’70, State College, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
3. Jes James Sellers ’74, ’76g, Cleveland, Ohio
The Land Grant frescoes of Old Main, painted by Henry Varnum Poor, illustrate Penn State’s unwavering commitment to making higher education accessible and affordable to its citizens. These grand frescoes serve to remind us all of our history … and our future. But we must also study the concept of transforming Penn State from a state-related, public university to a private institution, seeking along the way, input from all.
From an internal perspective, I believe the Board of Trustees must change itself. In my proposal, available on my website, I offer the Flexible + Representative Model. This plan would expand the footprint of the existing board to include more members representing a ‘commonwealth voice’. It would include term limits and require ethics training and adherence to compliance regulations. Highlights include:
a. Increase elected alumni positions from 9 to 12.
b. Add 6 new trustee positions, two from PSU faculty; one each from the graduate/professional and undergraduate student government bodies; and two from non-academic staff of the university.
c. Change the number of gubernatorial appointments (now 6) to a proportional allocation related to state funding based on a pre-determined ratio. At its current anemic level of funding, for example, it may reduce the Governor’s allotted appointments to 1, or zero if Penn State fails to receive the absolute minimum financial support from the state in any given fiscal year.
c. Add one, non-voting ethicist to assist the Board in considering not just what is legally permissible but also what is ethically sound.
4. Thomas J. Sharbaugh ’73, Philadelphia, Pa
Penn State should embrace rather than de-emphasize its land grant mission in the 21st Century. Although we no longer have a predominantly agrarian economy, the three reasons for the land grant universities are just as important today: “liberal and practical education of the industrial classes,” research in the public interest and community outreach. The federal and state governments in the 1800s were willing to fund new public universities because they believed that having an educated population was important to economic growth. Penn State must demonstrate to the citizenry of Pennsylvania that it provides the same economic justification for its funding today. This will be difficult if Penn State prices itself out of the market for the lower and middle income students and looks more like a private university. As Pennsylvania and its nearby states have suffered severe job losses, Penn State should expand its mission to educate not only the sons and daughters of the working class, but also the working class itself. With the ability to combine online classes and traditional classroom teaching at its many Campuses, Penn State is uniquely positioned to provide value to Pennsylvanians who need re-education as well as education. Pennsylvania residents would likewise appreciate Penn State more if it extended its community outreach services more into the urban areas. Penn State provides many community services that lack visibility in the urban areas. In my opinion, this is not the time to paint over the land-grant frescoes in the upper lobby of Old Main.
5. John C. Foster ’77, ’83g, ’97g, Carlisle, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
6. Richard Dirk Matson ’77, Ligonier, Pa.
Penn State has been a land-grant university since 1863, one year after their creation by the Morrill Act of 1862. It is the foundation of who we are as a university. This land-grant foundation is based on community outreach, accessible education, applied research, improvement of the human condition through education of all classes and ethnicity, and cooperative extension. These core values should not change. Our practices can change but only if they remain true to our values.
I propose these adaptations and continuances:
- Development of more private enterprise/university and public/university partnerships to create resources for research and education.
- Raise awareness for alumni, stakeholders, and the public on the core values of a land-grant university and the practical application of the values in order to demonstrate their worthiness.
- Continued growth of our World Campus, currently with 70 programs to choose from, for anyone to be able to access our educational system, a core value of land-grant universities.
- Making sure that all departments throughout the university are truly committed to the values outlined above, through assessment and accountability.
- Ensure who we are hire is committed to the land-grant mission.
- Ensure our financial viability, as outlined in my previous answers.
7. Craig W. Micklow ’69, Southlake, Texas
[Did not respond.]
8. Patricia Marrero ’88, Hoboken, N.J.
The land-grant question is not such a simple one. Do we stay land-grant? Go private? Or is it a combination of the 2? This is something that needs to be decided by taking a hard look at the pluses and minuses financially. We are entering a time where state funding has declined year over year and I see no indications of this trend reversing. Penn State needs to look long and hard at its options and how we can thrive as a first-rate research institution with first-class faculty, students and still operate in the black without charging an exorbitant amount for tuition.
9. Edward A. Paskey, II ’94, ’97 JD, York, Pa.
I think we have to view the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 the way we view the constitution: as a living and breathing document that changes with the times. Our mission should be no differnt than it was in 1862; the way that we achieve is should evolve. We’ve become a society that relies heavily on the internet and social media. Improving and expanding our World Campus program will mesh well with our mission. Beyond that, co-operative extension programs could now be expanded using social media to dissemminate knowledge to communities Penn State has always had a presence, and beyond. If Steve Jobs changed the way technology simplied and enhance our lives, Penn State can enrich our communities, educate our citizens and improve our national competitiveness using technology. Call it Penn State’s wireless-grant mission!
10. David E. Robbins ’78, Broomall, Pa.
Penn State has already generated significant revenue through the Penn State World Campus. The on-line programming helps improve PSU’s bottom line without increasing expenses related to conventional bricks and mortar education. But the World Campus is also serving active duty personnel, veterans and military dependents who benefit from a Penn State education on-line on a subsidized basis.
The proactive use of technology has allowed our small corner of the universe (what we call Happy Valley) to penetrate the four corners of the globe. Our land grant institution must continue to employ technology proactively and assure our position on the cutting-edge of education worldwide. The revenue from efficient programming can subsidize programs for Pennsylvania’s students.
Please check my facebook page PennState&Imagination.
11. Martin R. Davis ’86, Pottsville, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
12. Stephen M. Hladik ’89, Harleysville, Pa.
Land-grant universities have played an important role in the history of our nation, and Penn State’s heritage as a land-grant institution is a cherished one. Before any decisions are made on the form Penn State is to take in the 21st century, a comprehensive, deliberative examination and process must be undertaken. This process should include students, alumni, faculty and administrators. Recognizing that Penn State is a state-affiliated university, we must acknowledge that the General Assembly and governor, and – by extension – the voters and taxpayers of Pennsylvania should and will also have a voice in determining the future of our school. A full, honest and frank conversation must be had before any decisions are made. Most importantly, the form Penn State is to take in the 21st century is not one to be determined by an individual trustee or solely by the Board of Trustees as a body.
13. Timothy Michael Freeman ’90, Short Hills, N.J.
[Did not respond.]
14. Amy L. Williams ’80, Wayne, Pa.
Identify where the nations needs are today and a rolling 5-10 years moving forward
Develop majors which support the future and where there are jobs. Have the corporate and academic fortitude to walk away from those which will be obsolete.
Develop outreach programs for children in grade, middle and high school which emphasize the importance of math and science and disciplines which support the needs of our Nation 10-15 years moving forward.
Develop metrics for the above and publish results on a yearly basis. Ensure everyone, regardless of gender, race, income, religion or upbringing has the opportunity to have access to a quality education where they can be valuable members of society and meet the economic needs of our Nation.
15. Joseph H. Clapper III ’92g, Sewickley, Pa.
Penn State is proud to be the lone land-grant institution in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We should be hold fast to our heritage and display a genuine desire to create opportunities for the education and development of the citizenry in the commonwealth and beyond.
The initial emphasis of agriculture, science, and engineering must be maintained as an integral part of our land-grant status. As we focus on the educational and society needs of the 21st Century, we must develop a relevant focus on teaching, research, and service that will further develop humanity and promote our democracy.
Current research on careers tells us that today’s high school students will participate in 8 to 14 different careers by the time they reach 40 years of age. We must utilize technologies to help us to widen our focus beyond the walls of the classroom in order to prepare our students for careers that currently do not exist. The mission of Penn State’s land-grant mission should be the same as it was when the university received this designation in 1862. However, we need to use technological tools that are available today to “promote liberal and practical education in the several pursuits and professions of life.”
16. Jonathan L. Wesner ’65, Reading, Pa.
When I graduated with a degree in Zoology in 1965, it was in the College of Agriculture. Even though that major is now part of Science, I still think of myself as an “Aggie.” Penn State and MSU are the first two of the land grant universities, and there is even a 3-cent 100th anniversary commemorative stamp to prove it. The original idea behind the “Farmer’s High School” was to further higher education in the area of agriculture. Over the years this has been expanded to include mechanical research and engineering. Penn state has done a rather remarkable job in these disciplines, particularly with cutting-edge technology. My view of Penn State in the next century is a school that focuses on food resources to feed an ever larger, ever more hungry world. Additionally, as competition for decreasing potable water supplies grows, particularly in third world countries, I see PSU at the forefront of development of new technology.
17. Victor S. Provenzano ’02, Enola, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
18. Marta Pepe Forney ’00, Doylestown, Pa.
I don’t believe our land grant mission needs to take any form other than the one it took initially 150 years ago; The state of Pennsylvania helps support Penn State financially and, in turn, Penn State educates students of modest means in practical degree areas, participates in research and provides community service throughout the state. It’s unfair to believe the mission needs to change because one party is not holding up their end of the deal. We are THE Pennsylvania State University and we provide more to the state of Pennsylvania than they invest. How can our namesake state continue to ask for the same output with less input?
19. Dona M. (Davis) Horst ’81, ’83g, Annapolis, Md.
[Did not respond.]
20. J. Michael Murphy ’80, Downingtown, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
21. Darlene A. Marley ’77, ’80g, Leonardo, N.J.
Penn State’s heritage as a “Land Grant University” is deeply rooted in agriculture. I feel strongly that the University should remain committed to education, research and extension services in all areas of agriculture. A large segment Pennsylvania’s population is involved directly or tangentially in businesses based upon agricultural production. Penn State must continue directing efforts toward improving our farming industry.
I also believe that the land grant mission should include research and educational efforts directed toward preserving and utilizing the vast natural resources available in this state. Reducing America’s dependence on foreign-sourced fuels is a goal that can have huge impacts on everything from our environment, to the economy, to this nation’s position on the world stage. Most of the proposed long-term alternatives to foreign energy supplies exist or can be developed in Pennsylvania. I would like to see Penn State become the leader in research in alternative energy production.
A natural corollary to this goal would be the development techniques for harvesting the raw materials and producing the end products in environmentally friendly and sustainable ways. Finally, I believe that Penn State’s land grant mandate should recognize the importance of education and research in all of the science disciplines. Innovations in the areas of medical treatments, pharmacology, biology, chemistry and other sciences result in immediate benefits to mankind and should be pursued aggressively. I believe that Penn State University must ensure that it maintains the faculty, facilities and student population which can lead the way in this endeavor.
22. Anne Riley ’64, ’75g, Boalsburg, Pa.
Penn State’s fulfillment of the Land Grant Mission serves the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania well while it also reaches out globally. A major research university must encourage its students and faculty to engage in critical research and service learning. Our students advance when they are subject to academic rigor and given sound training. Then they are ready to reach out to help others.
23. Karen Levine Weaver ’82, Franklin Lakes, N.J.
The land-grant mission may have been a successful approach in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, it now requires significant restructuring to meet the changing needs of Penn State University and its stakeholders in the 21st century and beyond. This mission originally pledged that “the cost of higher education would remain within reach of Americans of average financial means”. As a parent of PSU twins, I know first-hand what sacrifices need to be made to ensure my children get a quality education. Although I don’t benefit directly from the cost of in-state tuition, my children benefit from the cornerstones of the mission that include teaching, research, and public outreach opportunities that Penn State provides. These should not be altered as these are the elements which the university gives back to the Pennsylvania commonwealth and to the world through its successful programs. In today’s global economy, students need to be prepared for the job market and the real world they are entering. A revised land-grant mission needs to take this into account. Our students are our future.
The BOT structure is too large, complex, and ineffective. If the land grant mission cannot provide for adequate state appropriations moving forward, then the rules governing the ratio of in-state to out-of-state enrollment may need to allow for more out-of-state tuition contributions. Today, that ratio is 70% in-state vs. 30% out-of-state enrollment. Responsible investment of every dollar is paramount to Penn State’s future.
24. Joseph C. Atkinson ’92, Chalfont, Pa.
I have great pride in Penn State for so many reasons, but one of my greatest sources of pride is our Land Grant tradition. We simply cannot — we must not — forget where we came from. The core of what made the Morrill Land Grant so remarkable in 1862 remains true today. The Act enabled the creation of colleges across the country “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.” Penn State embraced not only the endowment created by the Act, but the true grant that it made upon our Commonwealth — a vision of education as a tool to improve ourselves, our children, our communities and our world. The accessibility of a college education to the working and middle classes may no longer seem so remarkable, but this simple idea ushered in an era of great change that brought us forward to the digital age in which we live today. Continuing in that tradition will require attention to three core strategies: (1) the cost structure and funding must be addressed for the long term, not just next year’s budget; (2) we must innovate our educational delivery model to respond to both the realities and needs of today’s students, and (3) we must continue to invest in and grow our research and related public/private partnerships to ensure that our funding is sufficiently diversified and our dependency on tuition and state funding is further reduced over time.
25. Joshua D. Fulmer ’01, Easton, Pa.
As I stated, the Board of Trustees has an obligation to ensure that Penn State remains a place where Commonwealth residents can receive an education of the highest quality, at a reasonable price. We are a State University and we must remain that way. I had the privilege of attending the Hazleton campus during my first two years, and I understand the important role the commonwealth campuses play in making higher education a realistic goal for the citizens of our Commonwealth.
Finally, I believe we need to take Penn State back to its roots. The original charter called for a much smaller board, with a few ex-officio members, and a group of individuals that were involved in different sectors of industry. As a University which was founded by the citizens of Pennsylvania, we need to ensure that the Trustees are accountable to the people who empower them. I propose that the Board be reduced to 15 trustees, the Governor, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Agriculture, two Student Trustees, and nine Alumni Trustees. Again, for more information on my plans for reform, please visit www.joshuafulmer.com.
26. Jayne E. Miller ’76, Baltimore, Md.
Penn State’s core mission must remain its bedrock—teaching, research, and public service. But the University must be adaptive in how it carries out the mission. Just as land-grant colleges helped the nation grow, they must now work to better prepare the nation for the challenges of the 21st century. Penn State must provide teachers to improve the nation’s competitiveness in math and science. It must be a leader in research and development of alternative energy. It must teach efficiencies in manufacturing to encourage more domestic production. It must be a center of innovation in areas from agriculture to technology. It must instill a strong sense of ethics and accountability in every course of instruction. All of us are better off for the experience and education we received at Penn State. We must make sure Penn State adhere to its values as a public institution committed to a greater public good.
27. Sam Y. Zamrik ’61g, ’65g, Mesa, Ariz.
One has to look at the inception of Penn State. It was founded as a degree-granting institution on Feb. 22, 1855 by act P.L. 46, No 50 of the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. With the passage of the Morill Land-Grant Acts, the school was selected in 1863 as the state’s sole land-grant College. It has been a long road since then and the College in 1953 became Penn State University. Even though in 1970, we became state-related, the State should still embrace the land-grant act because we are a public research university with campuses and facilities throughout the State. Our mission is very clear, teaching, research and public service. Today we are a global institution recognized nationally and internationally. Our academic programs have to be continuously changing to keep up with the changing world of technology. Our students have to be involved, by participating and understanding the diversity of world culture. Expand the role of our 24 campuses with online learning to embrace the changes in our education due to influence of social media and advances in technology. Increase distance learning by offering degrees in all disciplines and expand our World-Campus that was inaugurated in 1998. We have to assert our impact on the State’s economy. University innovative research and advances in technology will impact the Commonwealth by developing new industry and economic growth.
28. Joanne C. DiRinaldo ’78, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Penn State as a land-grant institution maintains a commitment to provide educational opportunities for a broader range of students, including those with the most financial need. The university is considered “state-related” because it gets about 6 percent of its $4.1 billion budget from the state, but operates independently. I would like to see Penn State maintain this hybrid model as we continue to leverage modest state support of billions of dollars into great economic impact reflected in the tens of thousands of jobs for Pennsylvanians, and lower in-state tuition which is at a fraction of the cost of private schools. Penn State ranks among the top-fifteen public universities nationally, while maintaining a reputation of a “public ivy league” university. Our goal needs to be the continued enhancement of Penn State University’s highly successful traditions in teaching, research and service. We must constructively and creatively handle the realities of fiscal challenge while providing an education that creates a competitive edge for our graduates.
29. Jefrey F. Wall ’74, ’76g, Ambridge, Pa.
Justin Smith Morrill, author of the Morrill Land Grant Act, was the son of a blacksmith who could not afford to educate all his children. Morrill’s vision was a system universities throughout the country to provide a college education at a low cost to all those who desired one. This education was to be focused on the “agricultural and the mechanical arts.”
Having worked with or in education for the past 15 years, I have observed a variety of institutions re-evaluating their programs in an attempt to match expenses with the shrinking revenues available. Cutting the fat without trimming to the bone is the challenge. As I stated in my response to the first question above, focusing on the core competencies of the University would be the first place I believe the organization should place its efforts.
Focusing on the core competencies does not mean ignoring the impact new emerging technologies and their impact on main mission. The challenge is remaining true to that mission while being innovative and progressive. If Penn State can stick to these core offerings, and do it better than anyone else, they will in fact fulfill their land grant university mandate.
30. Stella M. Tsai ’85, Philadelphia, Pa.
150 years later, the mission of the land-grant institution remains relevant today. Penn State should be proud of its origins as an innovative alternative to the liberal arts colleges and leverage its reputation and resources to help prepare the world for the challenges of the 21st century. The world cannot continue its reliance on fossil fuels (including Marcellus shale) and we will need the best minds to secure the means of sustainable energy sources. If we sustain our mission, there will be worldwide interest and investment in the Penn State’s minds.
31. Scott K. Munroe ’98, Catonsville, Md.
The beauty of the land-grant mission is how pliable it is to the real world needs at any given moment. On Penn State’s Website we have interpreted the mission to be one of teaching, research and public service and with the addition of rededicating ourselves to keeping the cost of this education within the “reach of Americans of average financial means,” we will continue to be moving in the right direction.
The University’s reach also is no longer local to the state. Increasingly it is global and digital. This does not mean that we can turn our backs on our physical campus but that we must broaden our views of what it means to get a Penn State education. This brings that mission back to the forefront. We can ensure that the values and quality of our academics, and students remains in the long tradition of Penn State. For those that attend our physical campuses we can ensure the high quality well maintained facilities and academic faculty, and for the digital campus we must ensure that while the student my not sit in a university building on campus, when they log into our world campus there location becomes our campus, and the experience must be as complete and rewarding as that of a student sitting in lecture or working in a lab. Both of these platforms also must include a strong dedication to public service so as to continue the strength of what it means to bleed blue and white.
32. Ronald C. Wagner Jr. ’89, Glenside, Pa.
Well-built companies and brands tend to drift or lose their focus over time if left unattended. Penn State may very well be a victim of that drift. As a land grant institution, Penn State was founded on the basis of providing a practical education in agriculture, engineering and science. Over time, Penn State has largely stayed true to this, though they’ve diversified their academic offerings as we all know. I am by no means an expert on land grant institutions but I know this: a University should provide academic programs that reflect student interest and lead to sustainable careers…and it must support the public good.
According to the latest census, Penn State is ranked 29th of 50 states in average educational attainment level. And it’s 44 of 50 in terms of median age of residents. Pennsylvanians are older and less educated than the rest of the nation. If Penn State stays true to the land-grant charter and re-focuses efforts around that, they’ll broaden practical programs that allow students to become educated in and ultimately address and solve the very real problems facing the state and country: responsible energy exploration, environmental protection, agricultural sustainability and infrastructure development. Penn State, if it re-connects with the core purpose of the land-grant institution, can keep students learning, working and building families in-state, re-building the future of the commonwealth and the country in the process.
33. Barry M. Simpson ’69, Harrisburg, Pa.
To look to the future we must know and honor the past. Penn State has been a land-grant college since shortly after the Morrill Land-Grant College Act of 1862. The charge to land grant colleges then was to provide a quality education to members of the industrial classes in agriculture, engineering and other sciences. This resulted in the creation of agricultural research, and agricultural cooperative extensions applying that research to the needs of Pennsylvania farmers. Engineering and the applied sciences and research have grown to the extent that Penn State is rated among the top ten universities in expenditures for research and development.
What does that mean for the future? The needs of Pennsylvania farmers, and the world they help feed, remain great. Penn State must continue to support agricultural research and education, educating and helping the farmers produce increasing food with decreasing land resources.
In 2009 Penn State expended over $750 million on research and development. Penn State must aggressively continue to expand its research and development, which will provide necessary knowledge and education to Pennsylvanians into the 21st century. We must have highly-trained, technologically savvy Pennsylvanians. That will both honor and meet the goals of the land-grant mission. Penn State has positioned itself well in the fields of engineering, science, technology, energy, medicine and the like to meet those challenges. It is our task to help Penn State continue to find the resources necessary to maintain and grow its status and expertise in all of these fields of science.
34. Robert J. Bowsher ’86, San Diego, Calif.
For years, the College of Agricultural Sciences has been working together with organizations that employ Penn State graduates and that provide research grants to the university. This partnership has resulted in the college turning out career-ready graduates while bringing in critical funding for agricultural research and public service programs. This partnership has thereby advanced all three parts of the land-grant mission: teaching, research and public service.
For our alma mater to thrive in the 21st century, every college at Penn State will need to form more of these partnerships. By understanding what organizations are looking for in career-ready graduates, Penn State can remain agile and can adapt courses accordingly to help students acquire the skills they need to make an impact. The university can simultaneously learn what opportunities these same organizations are providing in terms of research grants. Public service programs can also be designed to meet these organizations’ needs and to continue the university’s longstanding tradition of making quality higher education accessible to as many people as possible beyond the Penn State campuses.
Two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie once stated, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.” Penn State can dispel the fears associated with unemployment and state appropriation cuts by cultivating these partnerships and by understanding how these partnerships will help advance the university’s land-grant mission throughout the 21st century.
35. O. Richard Bundy III ’93, ’96g, South Burlington, Vt,
The original intent of the Land Grant mission was to teach members of the working classes courses in agriculture, military tactics, and the mechanic arts alongside the traditional liberal arts disciplines. Land Grant colleges pledged that the cost of higher education would remain within reach of Americans of average financial means, and that the benefits gained through research and instruction conducted on their campuses would be disseminated throughout the community. I believe Penn State’s land grant mission in the 21st century is fundamentally the same, but on a much larger stage. Instead of educating just the young men and women of Pennsylvania, our campuses attract students from around the world – they are reflective of an integrally linked global community. Our faculty and students are applying the knowledge they develop towards solving the most pressing challenges on the planet — challenges like public health and wellness, food safety and security, sustainable energy, a clean environment, safe access to water, and many, many more. And, despite the high tuition I referenced previously, when compared to private universities, Penn State continues to provide affordable access to a college degree to students with limited means. Penn State’s Land Grant mission is intact and should be treasured; our long standing commitment to teaching, research and outreach is having a positive impact worldwide.
36. Vincent J. Tedesco Jr. ’64, State College, Pa.
Penn State must do what is required to support its land-grant mission. Penn State must understand the requirements of a land-grant university in this new century and begin to adjust to these expectations. The first step, however, must be for the Board to Trustees to begin to regain it’s honor by admitting it handled the firing of Coach Paterno very badly and promise to conduct it business in an open manner. Next, the charter of the Board of Trustees must be changed to give the alumni the majority of seats on the board. The 19th century structure of the board can no longer be allowed to control the university.
37. John W. Diercks ’63, ’67g, ’75g, State College, Pa.
The 1862 Morrill Land Grant College Act required Penn State to expand from a college of scientific agriculture to a curriculum that included agriculture, science, engineering, the liberal arts, military tactics, and research for the benefit of the public. Penn State has been fulfilling its land grant mission ever since 1862 in return for public funds.
On the surface, I don’t believe you will see a change in Penn State’s support of academics, research, and in producing quality students. The exception being the continued consolidation, addition, or deletion of academic departments in response to changing technology, scientific break throughs, and public interests. The periodic Penn State strategic planning function will continue to evaluate outside forces affecting change in academic departments and research.
Below the surface, there may be significant changes as Penn State transitions to a private institution or a hybrid private/Land-Grant institution along the lines of Cornell University as State appropriations continue to be reduced. Eventually, a high-level decision will be required on the status of Penn State. That’s why I’m suggesting formation of a committee consisting of members from the Board of Trustees and the University to thoroughly study options and recommend a transition plan to a new underlying structure for the University, if required.
Although the University may no longer technically be a Land Grant University sometime in the future, I see the University outwardly increasing its support to academics, agriculture, and research for the public good.
38. Edward (Ted) B. Brown III ’68, State College, Pa.
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.
39. James R. Antoniono ’71, Greensburg, Pa.
The original Land Grant mission was to provide students with an agricultural and technical education as opposed to the traditional liberal arts curriculum. That part of our land grant mission will never change. The partnership with the state to help pay for that mission has however changed. The state provides less than 6% of the overall budget however the governor controls 11 Board seats.
Unfortunately when most people, including most of our alumni, think of Penn State being in the Big Ten, they think of it in strictly an athletic perspective. The real benefit of Penn State joining the Big Ten has been academics. From the time we entered the Big Ten, the quality of the academics offered at Penn State has soared and continues to soar. There was immediate pressure to compete with and reach the academic level of schools like the University of Michigan, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago to name a few. Being a part of the Big Ten has resulted in Penn State becoming one of the top academic institutions in the country. It is not simply the idea of being No 1 on the football field, wrestling mat, etc. it is being No. 1 in the academic rankings among the various disciplines within the university system. Thanks to the legacy left by Coach Paterno, the intertwining of athletics and academics has been a blessing to Penn State and has furthered the original land grant academic mission. For more complete answers: jra4psutrustee.blogspot.com
40. David L. Roush ’04, Bronx, N.Y.
I don’t believe the land-grant mission itself – has changed much at all. From the time the Farmer’s High School was founded until today we have always been about providing a “practical education” in “several pursuits and professions in life.” I believe we are still charged with doing so. The difference between that age – and the present – is conditions and values have shifted.
Today we are losing our graduates to other states that have a more robust opportunity climate. If our land grant mission has changed – it should now be to transform the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania into an incubator of innovation. Our mission should be one that makes Pennsylvania a place where students not only want to move to attend school, but a place where they want to stay when they graduate.
We’ve made it through far more difficult economic times. Now it’s time for us Penn Stater’s to do what we do best: persevere. Innovate. State appropriations are dwindling, and tough decisions must be made moving forward. But the mission has not changed: keep it quality, keep it affordable, and keep it accessible. With your vote – that’s exactly what I will work to accomplish.
41. David A. Dell ’76, Strasburg, Pa.
The Land Grant mission is the foundation of Penn State. The Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 was one of the most important pieces of legislation in the history of our country. In 1863 Penn State became one of the nation’s first and Pennsylvania’s only land-grant institution. Penn State remains Pennsylvania’s only land-grant institution. The Morrill Act gave Penn State a three-part mission of teaching, research and service. Fulfilling the mission is really about providing food and fiber for the citizens of Pennsylvania and for much of the world. The mission is about developing new innovative production methods and products to meet the needs of the growing population while protecting the environment. Penn State must keep the land-grand mission, an obligation really, at the forefront of the university’s long term strategies. Two areas must be prioritized. First, the core education and research functions in support of the land-grand mission by attracting and retaining leading education and research personnel, and second the long term funding which today comes from federal, state and local sources. An immediate need is to develop a more secure funding strategy to reduce the dependence on and risk of government funding.
A great way for to learn more on the land-grant mission and the opportunities for the future is to view a three minute video produced by Penn State. The link is: http://live.psu.edu/youtube/5Vh5Bim3Enw
42. Russell T. Larson ’72, ’74g, Dover, Del.
Penn State is a land-grant college. It is a product of the Morrill Act of 1862 with the intention of teaching of practical agriculture, science and engineering. Funding issues aside, it was clear in 1862 that congress wanted to emphasize the value of the “practical” sciences while not losing touch with the classics or liberal arts. The importance of this has been made clear countless times but probably the most visible with the “green” revolution of Dr. Borlaug. My father worked with Dr. Borlaug and when he became Dean of Agriculture (and, subsequently Provost) he worked diligently buying as much property as he could to develop the Ag. Research Center in Pine Grove. The main campus was squeezing out the agricultural sciences – the original purpose of the college. To me, a land-grant college is by definition exactly as proscribed in the Morrill Act. There may be many reasons to consider changing to a private institution. I would be happy to consider any and all arguments. However, I would not be amenable to changing the original purpose of a land-grant college. If we are to explore the possibility of going private like Cornell or MIT we cannot lose sight of the sciences that got us to this point.
43. Jonathan Mills ’86, Orlando, Fla.
Most people probably are not sure of what “Land Grant” University means. In short the Morrill Acts of 1862 & 1890 provided federal land to individual states to develop programs of higher education in Agriculture, Science and Engineering in addition to the Liberal Arts. This is our history and who we are as a University.
I feel Penn State University would be best served to not move away from the designation but enhance it. We need to find ways to expand the extension programs, and make them self-sustaining. Although extension programs include Agriculture, Energy & Natural Resources and others, programs could be extended to technology issues and other disciplines not now part of the extension programs. These new programs should be a source of additional revenue to make the entire program sustainable.
As a Land Grant institution, Penn State University has a responsibility to the people of Pennsylvania to continue the mission of higher education in Agriculture, Engineering and Science. Many Alumni feel we have strayed too far from the Land Grant mission. The Board of Trustees needs to use fresh ideas to streamline costs, cut tuition, and continue the mission of a Land Grant institution into the future.
44. Gregory S. “Sandy” Sanderson ’00, Glenshaw, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
45. Rudolph K. Glocker ’91, ’93g, Henderson, Nev.
I believe that Penn State’s mission in the 21st century should be: “To provide a world class education at an attainable price for the citizens of Pennsylvania and the world.” A world class education means that any Penn State graduate would be able to compete academically with a graduate of any other institution in the same academic discipline. This is true whether it is Engineering, Mathematics, English, Business, Political Science, or the Arts. Penn State should continue to be one of the finest academic institutions in the world and enhance its lead in Fulbright Scholars, distance education and its #1 ranking with recruiters. A world class education also means that Penn State ensures its graduates are not only great students, but can relate to all types of people from different walks of life, as well as people and cultures from around the world. One of Penn State’s greatest assets is the diversity of its students. It is important to enhance this aspect of Penn State by attracting top students and facility from around the world. This will help give Penn State students a competitive advantage in their careers. An attainable price means an education that a middle class family with two children can afford to send both children to Penn State without incurring unreasonable amounts of debt. Education is a long term investment that pays off over time. Penn State should not unnecessarily burden our graduates and/or their families with debts they cannot afford.
46. Richard L. Marshall ’92, Mount Kisco, N.Y.
Land Grant institutions were created in the mid-19th century to bring education to working class farmers, engineers, and scientists. These areas seem more relevant today, in this long overdue age of environmental awareness. Penn State must take advantage of its agricultural roots and be a leading force in the areas of farming, land use and the environment as we progress into the 21st century, domestically and beyond our borders.
Domestically, Penn State needs to look at current agricultural environmental issues and be a leader in the areas of organic, sustainable, or ‘green’ farming, including increasing crop yields so that organic, non-modified and non-chemically enhanced agricultural products crops are more available and affordable. Penn State’s Extension program could be the tool to get more involved with the farming communities in Pennsylvania.
As many of you see driving across the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the older farms are that have not already been developed and under-utilized. There is a real opportunity for Penn State to work with farmers to use these farms and land to increase sustainable agriculture, which would greatly benefit Penn State, its students, the farmers and the population of Pennsylvania as a whole with potential for increased economic benefits. Penn State is uniquely positioned for this role and could be a leader among the land grant institutions in this regard.
Internationally, Penn State should look to current methods of modification and standard farming to increase yields and potential for growth in lesser developed areas around the world.
47. Lisa W. Witzig ’79, Denver, Colo.
This question should be first, not third, of all the questions, as it sets out the vision that will drive Penn State’s goals. It’s time to keep it simple — Penn State should get back to the basics of teaching, research, and service.
• Excellence in Teaching – Penn State must attract the best and brightest professors who have demonstrated excellence and creativity in teaching and reward them appropriately. Penn State should bring athletics into the fold and emphasize the teaching aspects of sports for student athletes. Penn State programs should be ranked among the top 50 of their field and strive to be in the top 25.
• Excellence in Research – Penn State should emphasize commercial- and government-focused research that contributes to society, while generating revenue for the University. The University should hold senior leaders accountable for attracting grants and research funds. Penn State should not rest on its laurels, but should look toward the future and create majors that are relevant for tomorrow’s employers.
• Excellence in Service – The University must create a culture of servant leadership across its faculty and staff, students and alumni. Penn State’s servant leadership culture should: o Evaluate professors using high standards for teaching excellence and reward those who provide outstanding service to all students – undergraduate and graduate
• Ensure its departments and programs deliver excellent research and service to society
• Pursue creative administrative initiatives to serve its alumni, faculty, and staff and support service-based organizations
48. Paul J. Malaspina ’77, ’80g, Erie, Pa.
The concepts of being a land-grant university include the founding funding — the monetary value of the land granted — and being charged with the mission to develop courses of study in the development and stewardship of our natural resources.
Penn State’s land-grant mission in the 21st and 22nd centuries should have a key focus on the safe and effective development of Pennsylvania’s shale gas energy resources. Shale gas energy will be a fact of Pennsylvania life for the next two centuries. The state is poised to be a net exporter of energy within a decade, leading to an expectable turn-around in the economy, from rust belt to energy belt. This has important implications ranging from increasing land values to creating jobs for Pennsylvanians–including PSU graduates.
Penn State should be the go-to center of knowledge, policy and technology development for shale gas energy. This can be accomplished through leadership programs and enhancing our majors in petroleum/natural gas engineering, geosciences and shale gas environmental engineering to protect Pennsylvania’s health, land, air and water. Done right, all of this can lead to direct and indirect economic return to the University. Thank you for your time and consideration.
49. Henry B. Swoope V ’96, Alexandria, Va.
As the Morrill Act turns 150, it is clear that many feel that most land grant universities have lost their way and become fixed on what their national ranking is as an agricultural and science and engineering school. Penn State has clearly become a leader in Ag Sciences and is a world class research university. In it’s land grant mission, Penn State must adapt to ever changing and complex economic industries. We need to continue collaborative efforts with other leading universities in our agricultural and science research projects. Penn State has grown from a sleepy uni-cultural teachers college to a vast and far reaching global institution with students from numerous cultures and various socio-economic backgrounds. Facing these environmental, technological and social challenges head on is what makes Penn State great and continues it’s land grant mission into this century.
50. Scott O. Fozard ’89, State College, Pa.
I don’t believe that Penn State’s current mission is flawed or needs dramatic changes. Its strategic plan emphasizes seven primary goals related to student success, academic excellence, a global presence, maintaining access, serving the people of the Commonwealth, technology, and cost effectiveness. These are appropriate goals and set forth a pertinent strategy for Penn State in the 21st century. Unfortunately, the implementation of the strategy does not appear to be happening with vision and leadership. We are not effectively analyzing or utilizing our vast resources. The reason we are going through this massive election effort is because our current Board of Trustees is not effectively leading Penn State for the benefit of its stakeholders. So, the 21st century doesn’t require a new vision or mission, but it does require effective leadership to implement its vision and execute the plan to attain our goals of student success, academic excellence, a global market, access, serving the people of the Commonwealth, technology, and cost effectiveness.
51. Michael J. Carroll ’04, Fairfax, Va.
The current strategic plan outlines the mission of the University and how to carry it out until 2014. In only a few months, that mission will need to be addressed to push Penn State into the next decade and the Board and faculty alike need to break down the present strategic plan point-by-point and rewrite the plan for 2020. In doing so, Penn State will be able to remain in the forefront of the nation’s education and research institutions. A quick review of the present plan, with ideas facing forward:
•Recruit academically successful students from across the country and the world to enhance student success.
•Employ world-class faculty to further advance academic and research excellence.
•Increase research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to realize Penn State’s place as a Global University.
•Promote Schreyer’s Honor’s College as an affordable Ivy League alternative and endorse other top-tier academic colleges and programs to maintain access, affordability and enhance diversity.
•Expand four-year degree offerings at Commonwealth campuses to serve the People of the Commonwealth and beyond.
•Continue to reach out to large technological companies to provide technology to expand access and opportunities for students and faculty.
•Appeal to benefactors, legislators, research grants and donors in order to control costs and generate more efficient ways of earning and spending revenue.
52. Barbara L. Doran ’75, New York, N.Y.
The land-grant university system was established in 1862 through the visionary Morrill act to insure that a university education was not just for the wealthy and the elite, but would be widely available to all; to offer instruction in the applied sciences, engineering and the “practical arts;” and to support economic development within states and the country as a whole.
For 150 years, Penn State has embraced and preserved these core values by providing access to education for the many (e.g., some 80% of all minority students attend research universities), and by sharing research and knowledge to help solve some of society’s most pressing problems with practical solutions. Yet the university has also evolved to stay current with the complex needs of today’s students and modern, world-class research universities. Public service and outreach on a world-wide level remain fundamental to Penn State’s stated mission of “Teaching, Research, Service,” and is widely regarded as one of the world’s best research universities, e.g., we have the #1 educational online site (“World Campus”), sharing our resources worldwide; and we should keep it that way. Government seems ignorant of the broader social and economic contributions of the land-grant institution, and continues to slash funding to an unsustainable degree. How do we continue to provide education, research and public service when many land-grant functions provided by the university contribute mightily to the state and its denizens yet have no offsetting income source? We must innovate in what we offer and how.
53. Thomas J. Day Jr. ’88, Washington, Pa.
The Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 allowed for the creation of Land Grant Universities, and each state confers this designation upon certain institutions to receive the benefits of the Act. The core mission of land grant universities is teaching, research, and public service & outreach. Other universities provide teaching and research, but only land grant universities have as part of their mandate service and outreach, the transfer of knowledge to the public. Penn State was one of the first land grant institutions, and the only one in Pennsylvania. The premise of the land grant university system was to enable a high quality education to be affordable to the masses. In addition, these institutions promote economic development and general social welfare for their state. Some critics argue that the “service and outreach” mandate has lost its relevance. However, when we consider the significant amount of research that Penn State has conducted on the Marcellus Shale gas exploration, and the resulting wealth of information provided for benefit of the general public, I believe we would hard pressed to find an example anywhere else of an organization, public or private, addressing the need for this kind of valuable service. I’m proud of our University’s heritage as one of the premier land grant institutions, and this is an area where I believe we’ve set an exemplary example for others to follow, and would recommend that we continue to pursue this mission in the form that has served us well for so many years.
54. Ben Novak ’65, ’99g, Immokalee, Fla.
Penn State’s Land-Grant mission has always had three prongs. First, educating the youth of the Commonwealth for the various jobs and professions needed in the economy. The greater part of the state appropriation was intended to supplement education costs so that tuition could be kept low. Penn State has one of the highest tuition rates of state universities in the country, and must dedicate itself to using the state appropriation to lower tuition rather than for increasing administrative bloat. The second Land-Grant mission is to provide research to serve the various sectors of Pennsylvania’s economy so that our graduates will find productive work. Penn State has performed admirably at staying on the cutting edge of research, which must now embrace the global economy. The third prong is a broader goal. Justin Morrill always insisted that the goal of the Land-Grant Act was “not to secure resources, merely, but to build a new type of citizenship.” To our Founders, this meant building a university community in which all the parts and members feel that they have a stake. Over the past few decades, the growth of administration and its over-centralization at Penn State has dampened the ability of this type of community to bloom at Penn State. On this goal, Penn State has a long way to go to re-involve all its parts in a shared community.
55. George T. Henning Jr. ’63, State College, Pa.
The idea of the land-grant institution was to educate the state’s residents for undergraduate training as well as continuing education for all residents, especially in agriculture. The mission of the land-grant institution was partially funded by the state and county government. Penn State can only continue the land-grant mission with state and county support. The state and to some degree our county governments are now unable to fund the costs of land-grant programs at historic levels. What had been a state contribution equal to 80% of the tuition of an in-state student 50 years ago is now less than 20%. While students shoulder the decrease in tuition assistance, in the future we cannot burden the students with also funding the land-grant mission. In a state where the largest single industry is agriculture, it is dismaying that the state is not better prepared to support the agricultural endeavors of the land-grant mission. I will foster communication between the state and the University to outline a land-grant mission that the state and the University can afford. Penn State must provide superior programs delivered in the most economical way for the land-grant mission funding that is provided. The University should assist the state and county governments in setting priorities for the funding available. I do not see using precious funds of the University education budget to fund land-grant missions other than the undergraduate education of our students.
56. Jeffrey A. Krisciunas ’94, ’11g, Philadelphia, Pa.
Let me be very clear, privatization is not the answer, and goes against the spirit of a land-grant school! How much worse off would education within the state be if Penn State decided to privatize and restrict educational resources to the nearly 95,000 students it now has? I shudder to think of the impact this would have over the entire Commonwealth, as campuses may be forced to be closed.
Penn State needs to continue to follow its core Mission Statement as it reads ”Penn State is a multicampus public research university that educates students from Pennsylvania, the nation and the world, and improves the well being and health of individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service.” The Mission goes on to talk about providing “unparalleled access and public service to support the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
We should be loyal to that mission as it is still relevant today. State funding helps ensure a level of cooperation, ensuring that PSU is meeting the needs of the Commonwealth and vice-versa. Penn State needs to be a university that practices open communication, has the highest ethical standards, superior integrity, and strong moral character. At the same time we must be able to admit when we are wrong, and learn from it! That’s the Penn State I know. We need to continue to produce world leaders as we are today! That should be core of the Mission moving forward as Penn State becomes better and stronger than ever!
57. Seth T. Walizer ’00, Fleetwood, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
58. Joseph C. Korsak ’71, York, Pa.
Penn State has stayed true to its land grant mission and will hopefully continue well into the future. The problem with any institution is with those individuals in charge of its direction. The current board is showing some of the stagnation that has plagued the athletic department for years. The fact that this question was even posed shows some of the lethargy of the current board. This is a subject that has been the topic of volumes of work. Yet, somehow, the candidates are expected to conjure up the entire issue in 250 words less. This was more like a make work project than anything. Not a single question about the candidates’ thoughts about the direction of the Board. The current BOT is missing multiple opportunities to be a relevant factor in the direction of Penn State.
59. Anthony P. Lubrano ’82, Exton, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
60. Marlene “Myke” Atwater Triebold ’72, Niceville, Fla.
As the original land grant university for the commonwealth, our mission is to serve the citizens and promote the economy and well being of a well educated society within the state. As Penn State has grown, our reach has gone far beyond the boundaries of Pennsylvania. However, I believe that our first responsibility is to educate the students of Pennsylvania. Exploration of the reasons Penn State has the highest tuition compared to other land grant universities is of utmost importance. While Penn State’s administration and board of trustees have played a role in furthering problems with the appropriation of state funds, beginning with more and more campaigns for private donations, and what appears to be an unbridled growth of building and acquisition of the physical plant at the main campus and commonwealth campuses, we ARE THE—I REPEAT—THE Land Grant university deserving of the lion’s share of monies available from state funds. Penn State must deal more honestly and openly with State government to accomplish this goal. Closed books do not encourage the state to open the purse strings—opening the purse strings means demonstrating the cost benefits to the Commonwealth’s economy. Conversely, we need to demonstrate the loss to the Commonwealth if Penn State is “private.”
61. Samuel M. Loewner ’10, Reston, Va.
We don’t need to reimagine our land-grant mission. We need to remember it! As an institution, our University is designed to cultivate well-rounded students who have a practical understanding of the world around them. The original law prescribed a study of pure science and humanities as well as a focus on applied studies like engineering and social science. Although the world has changed, this still provides a usable roadmap for our University. We must continue to make these educational opportunities available to members of every income bracket.
The most substantial opportunity to change our land-grant mission comes in the form of new technologies. As a land-grant school, we must take very seriously the chance to educate students remotely. Online education should not be viewed as a chance to further monetize education and to sell recorded lectures to people who cannot make it to a Penn State campus. Instead, we need to view it as a chance to connect our incredible faculty with eager students anywhere in the world. We need to view it as a chance to connect students to one another even if they are in different states, countries, or continents. I am sure that it can be done, but it requires serious research and direction from the Board of Trustees. I will work to the best of my ability to organize these efforts, as this issue is of paramount importance.
62. Ryan M. Bagwell ’02 Middleton, Wis.
Penn State is in a unique position to be a leader in defining higher education’s 21st Century values. The university should become an example of how colleges everywhere can be transparent and accountable while remaining independent and preparing students for jobs in demand. Trustees shouldn’t reward themselves with lucrative university positions. They shouldn’t reappoint themselves each year, and be allowed to remain on the board without term limits. And they shouldn’t blindly raise tuition on an annual basis. We must to elect people who are committed to transform Penn State into a transparent, ethical and honest institution, and choose alumni with the courage to stand up and fight for those values. If elected, I pledge to do exactly that.
63. John J. Mika ’85, Tower City, Pa.
Without getting into the guts of the Hatch, the two Morrill Acts and a few others the basic mission of a land grant university is to keep the cost of a college tuition affordable to the people. There are many ways to do this but it starts with funding from the state. If not there other options can and must be explored. An example would be Cornell University; which is private but has four statutory colleges supported by the State of New York thus fulfilling its land grant status.
64. Chris C. Lindsley ’87, Takoma Park, Md.
Penn State’s land-grant mission should, first and foremost, focus on ensuring as many Pennsylvania residents as possible have access to a quality education that is within the financial means of most Pennsylvanians.
Public service, though, is another important component of this mission. Penn State Outreach, which helps mobilize Penn State’s vast educational resources to address current social, cultural and economic issues to meet the needs of the people of Pennsylvania and beyond, is a great framework for this.
Ranging from continuing education to small business development to sustainability, environmental initiatives, a technical assistance program and much more, we need to ensure this vital public service is flexible enough to adapt to meet the future needs of the people of Pennsylvania. This sort of public service should involve the entire Penn State community — students, alumni, faculty and others. Much like academic programs have mentoring programs, Outreach could put out a call for volunteers with specific knowledge in certain areas who are interested in this public service work through Penn State’s many communications channels. This would form the beginnings of a database of people that we would add to over time that would help the people of Pennsylvania in a meaningful way, and would be another reason for people to feel good about a Penn State education.
65. Edward H. Ridings III ’71, Lewistown, Pa.
Of the 3 questions the easiest one is regarding Penn State’s land grant mission and what form that should take it in the 21st century. The triad of education, research, and service seem to perfectly summarize the direction that we need to continue at Penn State. As the world campus increases in popularity and usage, Penn State’s ability to touch even more lives increases dramatically. In my view, there would be no change to our approach to the land-grant mission.
66. Thomas E. Kapelewski ’82, Bloomsburg, Pa.
“Land grant universities are institutions of higher education in the US designated by each state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. This Act granted federally controlled land to the states to develop or sell to raise funds to establish and endow “land grant colleges”, for the purpose of teaching agriculture, science, and engineering”. This act was first vetoed by our only Pennsylvania President, James Buchanan, but later approved in 1862. Through this Act the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania became Pennsylvania State University. We need to continue the mantra of the Morrill Act through education based in agriculture, the sciences, and engineering, with an eye towards solving the major problems that face our society today: poverty, the energy crisis, cures for diseases, etc. Penn State is a leader in the field of research and development across the globe; but we need to carry the research forward with cost always in mind. The College of Engineering’s Learning Factory Program has been a cost effective and teaching based program that prepares our students for the 21st century to tackle the issues of today, and tomorrow. We need to administer similar programs across all departments at the university level.
67. Richard J. Puleo ’77, Lancaster, Pa.
Hire a top notch PR firm to assist with all media and announcements prior to release to the public or student body to preserve integrity and maintian honor. Provide the highest quality of education at a cost that does not continue to increase year after year.
68. William F. Oldsey ’76, Basking Ridge, N.J.
Despite deteriorating support from Harrisburg, I don’t support the notion of privatization of public universities. I believe Penn State’s Land Grant mission is alive and well and should be preserved if possible. Here are some initiatives I believe we must act on to remain the finest land grant state university in the country in the 21st century.
•Leverage our strengths in Information Technology, Engineering, Liberal Arts, and the Sciences so that we are well equipped to train and re-train a large percentage of the workforce, supporting employment and economic viability in Pennsylvania, and surrounding states.
•Two and four year degrees in the Applied/Vocational areas will also be key in the 21st Century. Penn State should leverage its amazing commonwealth campus system and the Pennsylvania College of Technology, so that we play a leadership role in adult education and workforce readiness of the citizens of PA and the surrounding region.
•Produce best in class well rounded graduates who possess 21st Century Skills: critical thinking, creative problem solving, ability to think innovatively, strong written and oral communication skills, ability to work effectively in teams, strong technology skills, and an understanding of the global economy and other cultures and languages.
•Become the recognized leader in Outcomes-based education. Recognize the strengths of a Penn State graduate by developing scientific, cutting edge methods for tracking our graduates’ skill sets, employability, earning power and professional success after receiving a Penn State degree.
69. Pratima Gatehouse ’96, ’10g, Short Hills, N.J.
Penn State should be a forum and a vehicle for the exchange of knowledge and ideas on a global basis. This should take the form of world class research programs that attract the best faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students from around the nation and the world to come and work and study in Pennsylvania at Penn State. Today’s companies are global, communication is global and students graduating from Penn State, whether from Lima, Peru or Peru, Pennsylvania need to be prepared to be global. Providing access to education is not as much about physical proximity as affordability and applicability to today’s job market. If we can keep tuition for all students at a level that is affordable, while achieving the global reach of the University, I believe we can achieve our mission. I also believe Penn State has a greater duty to make education affordable for Pennsylvania students. As a person of multicultural background, born and raised in Pennsylvania, I believe I have a unique mindset to help Penn State meet its land-grant mission in the 21st century.
70. Kyle B. Heffner ’08, Pottsville, Pa.
Moving forward in the 21st century, we absolutely must never forget any Penn State traditions, its values, or how Penn State established its routes. Penn State was indeed established as a land grand college and as this century progresses we need to take steps to enrich this heritage in our school. A concerted effort needs to be made to ensure that agriculture as well as other fields are successful as well as continuing to keep Penn State a top agriculture university. This is only echoed by the fact that Pennsylvania is a top agricultural state within the country.
71. Thomas R. Davis ’82, ’85g, ’88g, Yardley, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
72. Matthew J. Sliwa ’01, Selbyville, Del.
One of the pledges of land-grant universities was that it had to keep costs within reach for the average American family. The other is that the university focus on teaching, research, and public service. The main goal has to be the students. We have to make sure that we have the best talent possible to teach our students. With the best teachers, we can also increase the research component. An increase in research can increase the revenue to the university and thus assist in keeping a higher education more affordable for our students. Public service will continue to heal the image of the University. We are in tough times and will continue for some time. However, focusing on all the good the University does will help counteract the negative perception of the place we hold so dear.
73. James P. Brandau ’03, Conshohocken, Pa.
The original land-grant mission, as set forth in 19th century state and Federal legislation, focused heavily on science, engineering and, especially, agriculture. Penn State has been very successful carrying out its original charge. These physical sciences remain keystones in the growth of our commonwealth and nation. The land-grant mission has expanded and changed as technology and our society have evolved. World class research, delivery of critical medical services, and above all, quality education in a spectrum of fields, are now expected from the University. Our goal should not be to meet, but to exceed, these expectations.
A university, in many ways, takes on a life of its own. The needs of future workforces and populations will define what Penn State looks like 10 or 20 years from now. Administrators, alumni, students, and the Board of Trustees all will provide critical insight and input into the metamorphosis. However, certain principles should never change. All qualified individuals need access to the University. Delivering on this core principle of a land-grant school requires the quality management and fiscal responsibility discussed in the responses to the two prior questions.
The creators of the land-grant mission were clear in expressing a desire for schools that would serve our society by delivering quality education to all. That expectation has not changed. The 21st century Penn State will provide practical, high quality, accessible education to all qualified students who seek to improve their lives.
74. Shawn D. Manderson ’03, Philadelphia, Pa.
The University’s current land-grant mission of teaching, research, and public service has helped made it a world class institution since 1855. However, living in a world where change is the norm, I believe the university must encourage a diverse academic environment, invest in technology for a competitive edge in a global market, invest in people, and continue to grow by being a world leader in research.
To continue this academic recognition and gain even broader appeal, the University’s land-grant mission for the 21st century should focus on forward thinking ideals. Innovative thinking by our alumni, faculty and students will continue to build the Penn State brand and keep it relevant. Sustainability is about focusing on the impact the University has on the lives its alumni, faculty, students and local community. We will need vision to continue lead and be at the forefront for the next great discovery of the 21st century. Penn State’s 21st century land-grant mission should be innovation, sustainability and vision.
75. Terry F. Rakowsky ’82, Erwinna, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
76. Jack F. Beiter ’52, Devon, Pa.
[Did not respond.]
77. Adam J. Taliaferro ’05, Swedesboro, N.J.
[Did not respond.]
78. Mark S. Connolly ’84g, West Chester, Pa.
Elect a scientist, inventor, and experienced technology leader to the Penn State Board of Trustees. See more at marksconnolly.com. Vote #78. (“9in3″ … it’s a marathon, not a sprint”)
79. Neal W. Biege Sr. ’67, Center Valley, Pa.
When the federal government gave federal land to set up an endowment to fund colleges, the colleges had to pledge that the cost of this new higher education would remain within reach of Americans of average financial means. Land-grant institutions thus have often been termed “democracy’s colleges.” I don’t believe we should change the charter of the Land-grant act.
All other rules are created by the board of trustees and can be changed by the board of trustees. The state contributes only 4% of the budget but has essential control over the board in that the Governor controls 11 of the 32 board members, four from the state, six appointed by the governor, and has the strongest hand in picking the six industrial leaders elected by the board.
The Governor on the board of directors appears to be a conflict of interest. He cut state support and was no help in the Sandusky case. The Governor is correct in saying Penn State can and should cut costs. We need to do cost cutting at the university level and increase the state contribution by influencing the political arena. Board reform is needed to provide better balance. I will try to restructure the board by decreasing the number of appointed seats and increasing the number of seats elected by the alumni. With enough focus and effort we can rebuild the tarnished image of Penn State and make it stronger than ever! Make an Impact—Vote for#79 Neal W Biege
80. Casey A. Coyle ’06, Harrisburg, Pa.
As an institution founded upon the principle of providing higher education at a cost within the reach of Americans of average financial means, Penn State has to adapt to the modern realities of decreased state funding and increased operating costs. The university must embrace various cost-saving measures and reduce the breadth of bureaucracy that has been created over the past decade. If these steps are not taken immediately, it will soon become cost-prohibitive for many families to send their children to Penn State, thus depriving an untold number of talented, qualified young adults of a world-class education. This is simply unacceptable, and as an alumni trustee, I will work with university officials to ensure that Penn State continues its long, rich history as a land-grant institution.
81. Andrew Tellep ’74, Mar Lin, Pa.
The Morrill Land Grant Act said, “the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts . . . in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions of life.” I believe it wise to utilize our “branch” campuses. It is advantageous for our students to start programs close to home. We can make the experience more worthwhile. If we offer and promote associate degrees at the “branch” campuses tailored to be the first two years of a four-year degree, a student can earn an associate degree, start working, and have their employer pay for completion of a four-year degree. Many did this in the past. However, a move away from associate degrees has cost us dearly. In conclusion, we should publicize how we spend tuition dollars and state appropriations. We should use the “branch” campuses to showcase legislators and the use of state appropriations, to lower the cost of attendance, and to fulfill our land-grant mission. University Park must remain the center of the University but an examination of current plans seems necessary. University Park is a wonderful place but the “branch” campuses made Penn State great for the state citizenry and the state legislature. “Branch” campuses are a bridge to “the big time” at U.P. or a place to earn a degree and start working.
82. Gregory M. Kerwin ’71, ’75 JD, Lykens, Pa.
The federal Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 declared its purpose “To promote liberal and practical education in the several pursuits and professions of life.” A year later the Pennsylvania legislature designated Penn State the state’s only land-grant institution. Under the Morrill Act, the Commonwealth received 780,000 acres of land which it sold and converted into a $500,000 bond yielding a 6 percent interest return which was paid to Penn State. In return, Penn State expanded its academic programs which, for one hundred and fifty years, have provided untold benefits to the citizens of Pennsylvania, the United States and to the world, for that matter. The form of Penn State’s land-grant mission in the 21st century should remain the same: teaching, research, and public service. How we foster and promote those goals is what is changing.
I believe we need to remain a public institution. We have faced serious challenges to our institution in the past, many from short-sighted politicians with little understanding of what it means to be part of the Penn State family. Not with a sense of arrogance, but with a sense of pride and confidence, we will overcome these latest challenges.
83. Gregory H. Wolf ’77, State College, Pa.
Penn State’s land grant mission and opportunity emanates from the Morrill Land Grant act of 1862, a federal legislative tri-partite mandate: education (teaching), research and extension (Service). The Act created an opportunity for people of all means throughout the Commonwealth to transition their lives as a result of access to a college education. The costs of maintaining a top tier educational institution such as Penn State has been translated into a cost structure that makes a college education unaffordable for the very people for which it was intended per the legislation. Some people propose abandoning that mission and moving toward the actions of a private university. However, I believe Penn State can continue to fulfill the spirit of the land grant by making the cost of a Penn State education more affordable and by expanding access to highly qualified students through scholarship. When receiving land from the states, the mission of these schools was the teaching of practical agriculture, science and engineering and was intended to be responsive to the industrial revolution. The most precious resource of the agrarian society was utilized to help establish and maintain a great institution responsive society’s immediate and future needs. I believe that in the current society, informatics is the currency that will enable Penn State to continue to achieve its mission. Just as Penn State exploited the gift of land in the 1800’s, the University can exploit the information technology frontier and continue to provide a relevant education.
84. John P. Rodgers ’93, ’97 JD, Hazleton, Pa.
The mission of land grant Universities was originally to focus on teaching agriculture, science and engineering as a response to the industrial revolution and changing social class. While many things are different today, many things are the same. Although our nation is not attempting to address the industrial revolution we are adapting to the many changes associated with new technology. Many things that were staples in our economy have become obsolete. We need to train our future workforce to adapt to these changes.
The issue of the changing social class is very similar. We have a county of few very rich people and many middle class people. We also have many people living in poverty. I belive that our current Board of Trustees is totally insensitive to needs of middle class people.
The BOT is controlled by rich corporate executives and hedge fund managers many of whom work for comanies that played a role in the wall street scandals of the past few years. The fact that the BOT is totally out of touch with the average person was evidenced by the way that they handled the recent scandal. Rather than taking a proactive approach they buried their heads. After they could no longer bury their heads they placed blame on the one person who did more good for Penn State than anyone in its history. We must replace all of the members of the current Board with individuals who are commiteed to continuing Penn State’s Land Grant mission.
85. James E. Carnicella ’73, Ocoee, Fla.
To determine the land-grant mission, or any future direction of PSU we must eliminate the dysfunctional business practices of our “public” University operating in a secretive and deceptive manner. We need new by-laws and standing orders created by this BOT, so that more inclusive, honest, and transparent dialogue can occur. Securing a new President to lead taxpayers, legislature, alumni, faculty and the entire PSU community, will be necessary to assit in developing a plan for the next genration or two. I favor a return to a structure whereby tuition pressures could be reversed and the university specialize in affordable and state of the art quality education. Questions about two law campuses, expansion into medical programs and global competition in the areas of reserach are issues that may help determine if we return to the basic premises of our land-grant mission or we move to a more private less inclusive type institution? Instead of Joe Paterno being the scapegoat, the BOT and all those Executives charged with criminal activity and gaggle of attorney’s needed to be replaced for allowing Penn State’s integrity and reputation to be tarnished. The most recent events and decisions of the BOT are only a small example of how dysfunctional our University has been for probably 15 or more years. I pray for a return to the basic premises of the PSU mission whereby a child from a blue collar family from Patton, PA could get an education that would provide an exemplary career of service to others!
86. Darlene R. Baker ’80, Warminster, Pa.
The mission is very simple – Teaching, Research and Service. Penn State has an outstanding tradition in each area:
•Teaching – Penn State continues to be the number one university for corporate recruiting; we must continue this level of teaching commitment and quality. Our faculty should be proud.
•Research – Penn State’s commitment to research, sharing and collaboration on their research efforts is second to none.
•Service – The commitment to public service to support the citizens of the Commonwealth and making the world a better place is a common theme through- out Penn State. Whether it is through ground-breaking research, or supporting collaborative activities with industrial, educational, and agricultural partners, or participating in the many philanthropic and charitable organizations (Thon being largest student run philanthropy in the world), our students, faculty and staff continue to passionately honor the mission. I wouldn’t change the mission but continue the proud tradition and enhance the recognition and spotlight opportunities that showcase Penn State’s contributions and accomplishments to provide broader positive exposure for our university.