Doreen Ulichney Schivley, Ballot Position No. 15
Retired special education teacher
Kent County Board of Education
State College, Pa.
Read Schivley’s official bio and position statement here (PDF download).
1. What should Penn State be looking for in its next president?
The next president should have the core values of visionary leadership; valuing faculty, staff, students, and alumni; focus on the future; and management by fact and innovation. To display visionary leadership, active listening and communication skills should be evident. Actions need to be proactive rather than reactive. To exhibit value of stakeholders, the President must be people oriented, showing an awareness of their needs and values. A charismatic side is a necessity. To focus on the future and management by fact for innovation, he or she must be knowledgeable and aware of all the laws, mandates, and standards that apply to higher education. There must be a vocal side for all Penn State causes. The use of data in regards to academics, research, athletics, the arts, and student life will steer the university to the next level of excellence so Success with Honor could prevail. Finally, the next president should have experience/background in education. Personally, I would like the individual to have a sense of humor.
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.
These reforms need to occur:
• These positions should be eliminated: University President, Governor, All governor appointees except the undergraduate student and the Secretary of Conservation and natural Resources, three agricultural trustees, and three business and industry trustees.
• An advisory council to the BOT could be established using the lost positions from above as well as faculty senate members. Board committees should also be expanded.
• The charter, by-laws, and standing orders need to be studied and revised. The university president will report university matter requiring action of the Board. Standing Order IX, Section F # 5 and 6 needs to be revised. The Board needs to speak openly in front of the public on all matters except personnel issues. Trustees are individuals with opinions and facts. Making decisions and instructing the administration as a board should not always be viewed as a full majority. The vote record and discussions needs to be public.
• Better scrutiny and decision-making needs to occur in financial expenditures and contract agreements. It is their public responsibility to spend money wisely.
• The Trustee Selection Committee for university president needs to be revised. Freshman trustees need to be members so we can focus on the future.
• Finally, Joe Paterno must be honored for all his accomplishments on and off the field at Penn State. The greatest honor would be an addition to the All-Sports Museum.
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 is to be an extension and voice of this stakeholder group. The trustee must be an active listener and communicator for this base and be accountable as well. The information/data from alumni must be relayed to the BOT Committee for Outreach, Development, and Community Relations. In some circumstances, it may have to go to one of the other committees. I am not a user of social media so phone calls and letters as well as e-mail would be my preferred method of communication. Discussion threads is another preferred method of communication. I also think focus groups and surveys are an excellent source of information for alumni trustees to engage in, analyze, and act upon. The alumni council needs to continue to be an extension of the alumni-elected trustees and perhaps even be more involved. The council can take on an advisory role.