Gregory S. “Sandy” Sanderson, Ballot Position No. 34

SandersonGregory S. “Sandy” Sanderson ’00 Eng

CollClub Sports
Pittsburgh, Pa.

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

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1. What should Penn State be looking for in its next president?

As the Penn State Board of Trustees searches for the next President of the University, I feel it is important that that the chosen candidate MUST possess three important traits. First, he/she must view Penn State as an academic institution first and foremost. They must fully understand the weight that a Penn State degree carries in the job world, and they must make it their mission to not only maintain, but to grow the quality of a Penn State education. Second, he/she must fully embrace the concept of the corporate chain of command. They must understand that they report to the Board of Trustees without reservation and with complete transparency. Additionally, they must acknowledge that ALL other employees of the University are subordinates of the President and thus he/she is responsible for the conduct, competence, and ultimately the employment status of all those employees. Finally, he/she must be strong in character to act in the best interest of the University at all times without being influenced with concerns of how outsiders perceive the University. At the end of the day, it is his/her job to run Penn State in a manner that is most beneficial to Penn State Students, Alumni, and Employees.

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 primary change that the Board of Trustees must make is in the hiring of a new President. As I mentioned above, this President must have the leadership qualities to continue to lead Penn State with integrity, intelligence, and a strong commitment to excellence. As for reform, I truly believe that none is needed. What is needed is a continuation and further growth of the University’s academic fortitude. The Board of the Trustees and the new President need to continue to run the University so that applicant submissions remain at or near the top of the nation, that enrollment continues to meet capacity, and to ensure that the job market continues to view a Penn State education as second to none.

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?

It is my opinion that the role of the entire Board of Trustees is to serve as a collection of industry leaders who bring to the table a unique perspective on the direction in which the University should be run. What all of the members of the Board have in common is a deep desire to see the University grow and succeed in all aspects, all while sharing a sense of duty to “give back” to the University by putting their expertise and skill sets on loan to Penn State in order to steer the University towards that success. The benefit of having so many different leaders from varying backgrounds and industries is that you end up with a collection of different ideas and thought processes in the hopes of being able to make decisions with all points of view being accounted for. It should be the goal of every Board Member (and certainly will be for me) to communicate their perspective and opinions of every task put in front of the Board, and conversely to digest the opinions of our fellow Board Members with an open mind so that we can formulate decisions backed with as much information as possible for the betterment of Penn State.

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