Robert C. Jubelirer, Ballot Position No. 35
Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel
Read Jubelirer’s official bio and position statement here (PDF download).
1. What should Penn State be looking for in its next president?
Visibility and a charismatic positive attitude are a must. Not fearing but supporting transparency in everything the university does would go a long way to revitalizing confidence and restore our “mojo” once again. In the beginning of their term there must be extraordinary outreach to all segments of the university including the Commonwealth campuses as well as students, faculty, staff, public officials, alumni and all other who are associated with and love Penn State. In addition, the next president—like all presidents of colleges and Universities—must be an accomplished fundraiser. He or she must have the kind of personality that makes major donors feel comfortable in giving. Recognizing our immediate situation, the new president must immediately impress that he or she is not beholden to or favoring any segment of the Board of Trustees. They must be familiar with our current situation and understand the pain and divisiveness that Penn State nation has suffered, and is still suffering in so many ways. He or she must always keep in mind what is best for the university and not to ideological or special groups. We need a leader who can instill that confidence so that when we say “We are Penn State!” and “We are and always will be” it has real meaning.
2. What changes or reforms should the Board of Trustees consider to help the university progress after the events of 2011 and 2012? Please explain why—or, if you don’t think reform is needed, please explain why not.
Reform is paramount for Penn State to progress from the events of the last couple of years in a much more credible and respected manner. We trust the Board to represent the best interests of the alumni, students and others who make up the Penn State family. I believe that trust has been severely damaged. The changes I believe are of most significance to implement are as follows:
1. The Board needs to change its makeup and size. For example, it is a mistake to give the PA Governor and Education Secretary voting power.
2. PSU needs to better convey the remarkable academic and research attributes that make our university a renowned leader, and remind people what powerful economic engines ALL of our campuses (Main and Commonwealth Campuses) are.
3. PSU and the Board of Trustees need to have a more integrated, proactive and engaged public relations approach.
4. The Board must make a far better effort to work together in unison rather than in disharmony.
5. PSU needs to better cultivate relationships in Harrisburg with the General Assembly and Administration in order to effectuate change. As a top leader I was called “the Senator from Penn State” because I sat in on all budget meetings and tried to make sure those who were not friends of Penn State did no harm. It’s time that the Board be a force to be reckoned with instead of a board that in many ways deserves rebuke.
3. How do you define the role of an alumni trustee, and how would that inform the way you would approach your term on the board?
The role of an alumni trustee comes down to one word: Ambassador. My entire career has been about bringing people with differing positions together for results, and regrouping and forging ahead after suffering setbacks. I will actively engage with our alumni, students, concerned Penn Staters, supporters and other “stakeholders” who care deeply about the welfare of our university. Having served in the PA Legislature taught me the importance and value of constituent service. Our Penn State family would be my “constituents.” I promise that I will not take this awesome responsibility for granted. Living and working in Centre County and the area will provide me the opportunity to meet face-to-face with concerned Penn Staters regularly. And through multiple communications channels, including a regular e-newsletter and interactive website, I will be accessible. Being visible is a critical priority of mine.