Rudolph Karl Glocker, Ballot Position No. 26

GlockerRudolph Karl Glocker ’91, ’93 MA Lib

Managing partner
Henderson, Nev.

Read Glocker’s official bio and position statement here. (PDF download.)

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1. Describe how you think the relationship between the Board of Trustees and the university president should function.

The Board of Trustees should have three types of relationships with the President: advisory, oversight, and collaboration.

Trustees need to provide advice based upon their knowledge and experience. To maximize the efficacy of this advice Penn State needs trustees of diverse geographical, professional, non-profit and educational backgrounds. Critical areas of focus include:

  1. Building a global educational brand
  2. Adapting to the changes in higher education (for profit, online, globalization)
  3. Attracting top talent (faculty and students)

The Board’s oversight of the President’s office is critical to make sure decisions are going through a rigorous and thoughtful process. Key decisions areas include:

  1. University finances (tuition, capital spending, budgeting)
  2. Key academic initiatives
  3. Allocation of scarce University resources (facilities, faculty and management time)

Penn State senior leadership needs to collaborate on key initiatives of the University. This teamwork will produce better outcomes, ensure uniformity of purpose, and bring Trustee experience and knowledge to bear on salient issues such as:

  1. Making Penn State the world’s leading University
  2. World Campus
  3. Healing the rift with Alumni
  4. Recognizing the contributions of Joe and Sue Paterno

Board advice, oversight and collaboration are critical for the success of the President and Penn State.  While the two need to work together, they also need to push each other for excellence in the decision making process.  Only with this type of interaction can Penn State become the world’s leading University.

2. What would you do to help heal the university community and to assist the university as it continues to recover from the Sandusky scandal?

It is critical that the University moves forward from the Sandusky scandal, but moving forward is not the same as “moving on.” The University needs to disclose all relevant dealings with Freeh and the NCAA, listen to different segments of alumni, and recognize the outstanding contributions of Joe and the Paterno family to Penn State.

In order to disclose all relevant Freeh and NCAA dealings, Penn State needs to:

  1. Bring all relevant documents and communications into the public realm
  2. Conduct a thorough internal review of the data
  3. Invite independent outsiders to review the information

Alumni are the heart of the University.  Penn State needs to recognize that alumni are its greatest asset. In terms of healing the rift with Alumni, Penn State needs to:

  1. Take the recent alumni survey results to heart
  2. Develop a forum to take into account alumni concerns
  3. Grant Alumni a greater voice in University leadership through Board reform

The Paterno family played a critical role in creating the Penn State we know today. Joe’s dedication to excellence and the setting of high standards created an aspirational goal for all Penn Staters. In order to recognize this service, Penn State needs to:

  1. Apologize to the Paterno family
  2. Recognize the outstanding contributions of Joe and Sue Paterno
  3. Annul the NCAA sanctions

These actions will unite the University, which is critical if Penn State is to become the world’s leading University.

3. What, in your view, are the major fiscal challenges Penn State will face over the next three years—and how should the university address them?

Key fiscal challenges facing Penn State over the next three years:

  1. Creating a scalable online educational infrastructure
  2. Upgrading its human capital
  3. Asset investment and divestment

Online tools and methods are changing the way students take classes and people gather information. Penn State needs a scalable online platform for its World Campus that ensures quality in both instruction and delivery:

  1. Technological improvements to improve teaching, scalability and quality
  2. Attracting key technology people to State College
  3. Academic centers outside Pennsylvania

The changes in higher education are demanding a different type of human capital. Penn State needs to invest in the people that are going to drive innovation, teaching and research in this new era:

  1. Leading scholars and students – from all over the world
  2. Dynamic, innovative, risk taking, technologically savvy teachers who can communicate with a global student body
  3. Less hierarchical working environment

Penn State needs to conduct a full review of its existing and proposed infrastructure. This review should rank all infrastructure/assets into three categories:

  1. Mission critical assets—invest
  2. Complimentary assets that assist or enhance mission critical ones—maintain
  3. Unnecessary or obsolete assets that are burdening our budget—divest

By addressing these key fiscal challenges in a direct manner, Penn State can turn these obstacles into opportunities. By capitalizing on these opportunities Penn State can become the world’s leading University.

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