William F. Oldsey, Ballot Position No. 36
Basking Ridge, N.J.
Read Oldsey’s official bio and position statement here (PDF download).
1. What should Penn State be looking for in its next president?
The single most important decision the Board will make in the next year is the recruitment and selection of a new President.
That man or woman must have a spotless reputation and unquestionable integrity. He or she should understand both the challenges we currently face and the proud tradition of “Success with Honor” that has helped to make us one of the world’s great universities.
Penn State needs a strong, independent, innovative leader with extensive experience in education (or a closely-related field), government and corporate relations, and fund raising. He or she must be able to articulate and implement an inspiring new vision for Penn State’s future, taking into account the changing economics and digital transformation of Higher Education.
Most importantly, we need a leader who will advocate fiercely for Penn State and defend and champion our world-class brand and reputation in academics, research, and athletics.
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.
The Board needs to demonstrate that it understands how disillusioned so many Alumni are with its performance since November 2011.
More than words, actions are needed to restore our sense of confidence in Penn State’s leadership. The following reforms can and should be made this year:
—The Governor and University President should be removed as voting members.
—Term limits should be established for all Trustees.
—The appointment/election process for Agriculture Society and Business & Industry Trustees should be transparent and available for public review and input.
—Future composition of the Board should include fewer appointments and more alumni elected Trustees.
—The rules on quorum and emergency meetings should be changed so that the Executive Committee can no longer act unilaterally.
—Clear rules must be established on the movement of individuals from the Board to University employment.
—Alumni, faculty, staff, and students should have far greater access to meaningful communication and discourse with Trustees and the Board at large.
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?
Despite proclamations of openness and transparency, the current Board has often shown itself to be insular and non-responsive to its stakeholders.
According to a recent Alumni Association survey, fewer than one in five alumni have confidence in the Board’s decision making. We need elected Trustees who are actively engaged in communicating with and learning from alumni, faculty, staff, and students at University Park, at our Commonwealth Campuses, and around the country.
This level of engagement cannot be accomplished in six Board meetings a year. I will serve as a full-time Trustee, working every day to help build a better, stronger, more united University community.
I understand that the only way for us to move forward effectively is to build on the shared pride of our deeply-rooted traditions. I am staunchly committed to honoring Joe Paterno and his 61 years of unparalleled contributions and dedicated service to Penn State.
I firmly believe that Penn State’s best days lie ahead of us and that by working together, we will continue to accomplish great things.
I am proud to have been endorsed by Trustee Anthony Lubrano and by the membership of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS).
I consider election as your Trustee and representative a great honor and a sacred responsibility, and I will work every day to earn your trust, confidence and respect.