Robert G. Milnes III, Ballot Position No. 6
Westinghouse Electric Company
Read Milnes’ 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.
The relationship between the Board of Trustees and the University President should be one of active monitoring and guidance. The Board of Trustees grants their power to the University President to maintain the day to day operation of the University. The role of the Board should be to see that Penn State focuses on high academic standards and providing value to the Commonwealth. The President is responsible for the goals and methods to achieve those ideals, such as providing facilities, attracting and retaining students and marketing directions (to name a few). The Board and the President must work together and be aware of the details of the overall plan so that both can be successful.
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?
The key to healing from the Sandusky scandal is to correct the rush to judgment that happened in 2012, largely due to the proliferation of the Freeh Report Summary. The University spent a lot of money on the Freeh Report, and even a quick read of the full report reveals major flaws. By focusing on the theory of conspiracy rather than the facts and evidence reviewed, the report systematically ignored how the crimes were committed and destroyed the University’s character simultaneously. We all feel a deep remorse for Sandusky’s victims. Creating further injustice did not and will not help the victims or the University. Once this has been addressed and remedied, I believe that the University can move forward.
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?
The biggest challenge to the University is making it affordable for current and future students. As alumni, we understand the value a Penn State education provides. A Penn State degree along with the network of loyal and enterprising Penn Staters has been a huge bolster to each of us. Passing this gift on to future students is key. The University has several ways to do this: Increase student enrollment, increase income, cut costs or combinations of the three. As Penn State overall enrollment continues to increase, making sure that costs for the individual student are low helps to continue this trend. State funding is also key to the advancement and accessibility of the University. A Penn State education for citizens of the Commonwealth promotes better lives and drives economic growth. Showcasing this will help to maintain appropriation dollars. Cost cutting is a dreaded phrase as it generally means losing capability. However, a fresh and comprehensive review of the current budget and expenditures is necessary to rule out waste and maintain that the University is running as efficiently as possible. In addition, Penn State must create and implement innovative technologies that are long-term wins for both the environment and our budgets.