Jason P. Kutulakis, Ballot Position No. 7
Lawyer, senior partner
Abom and Kutulakis LLP
Read Kutulakis’ official bio and position statement here. (PDF download.)
1. Describe how you think the relationship between the Board of Trustees and the university president should function.
Since obtaining my undergraduate and law degrees from the University and the Dickinson School of Law, I spent nearly 20 years as a litigator in Central Pennsylvania representing businesses and individuals in a broad range of legal matters. I am active in numerous community activities and have served in a variety of leadership posts in local organizations. Having served on the Board of Governors of the Dickinson School of Law and other organizations, I have the proven corporate governance experience to best represent the entire Alumni body.
My unique credentials will aid the Trustees in implementing and publicizing positive reforms to help us move forward and focus on the future rather than a small aspect of our past. Only a respected child advocate can make a credible and persuasive case that Penn State has taken appropriate action to put the Sandusky matter behind us.
More importantly, I believe that the quickest path to rehabilitation of our reputation here and across the nation is for the alumni to take a more active role in school governance, and the first step is electing Alumni Trustees who will listen to the alumni, ensure that they are kept informed between elections and are willing to ensure that the opinions of the alumni have an effective advocate. I want to be that advocate. Penn State deserves more from its alumni representatives and its representatives deserve a real seat at the table and not the token title that they have been reduced to in recent years.
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?
I am the only candidate recognized as an authority in child abuse and children’s rights. My unique credentials will aid the Trustees in implementing and publicizing reforms to help focus on the future rather than a small aspect of our past. http://abomkutulakis.com/lawyers/jason_kutulakis.php .
In 2004, I co-founded the PA Children & Youth Solicitors Association—organizing and educating attorneys who represent child welfare agencies. www.pacyatty.com . In 2006, the Pennsylvania Bar Association named me Child Advocate of the Year. In 2009, I co-founded ChildFirst PA. www.childfirstpa.com . In 2012, I served on the Governor’s Task Force on Child Protection; our proposed legislation is now law.
All litigation surrounding the Sandusky debacle must be ended, including the matters involving the NCAA, Commonwealth and the Paternos. I believe my experience and relationships can forge a solution. For example:
- Distribution of the $60,000,000 will be flipped to permit 75 percent to remain in Pennsylvania and 25 percent to leave but be restricted to specific child abuse programs;
- Return all Paterno awards to the Paterno family;
- Work with the Paternos to develop a privately funded museum in State College to honor Coach Paterno’s legacy of building a great University and football program;
- Eliminate the remainder of other sanctions that are directly, negatively impacting students and athletes who had nothing to do with the matter;
- Develop the PA Child Protection & Training Center where all professionals will receive training to assure children suspected of being abused are identified and treated appropriately.
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?
It is important to the viability of the University that the President have a true working relationship with its Trustees. I will work tirelessly to build that relationship with President Barron. With all candor, it is truly difficult to provide suggestions on how to address the various fiscal challenges facing our University until I am privy to the confidential records available to the Trustees. As a former member of the Dickinson School of Law Board of Governors, I am familiar with its financial structure and the competitive nature of its enrollment processes.
I am also familiar with the significant deferred maintenance issues facing many of the buildings owned by the University and other issues that must be addressed by the Board.
I will be a leader who will develop a full assessment of the immediate, as well as the long term, needs of the University’s physical plant and economic structure. Once completed, a cost containment matrix must be developed along with the President’s budget to ensure the continued educational quality of our students will be met for the students of today as well as tomorrow.
I believe it is also imperative to build systems to interface with private industry and corporations to partner with the world renowned research capabilities of Penn State to develop products, medicines, and treatment processes that will generate revenue for the University.