Christine Stempka Rhoads, Ballot Position No. 19
Full-time mother and volunteer
Read Rhoads’ 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 governing board needs new membership and individuals with diverse skills and ideas. The Board has enough lawyers, politicians and other professionals who are concerned with self-preservation and personal advancement. We need people to serve with a track record for helping others not just financially, but willing to give their time for the right reasons. The Board should work alongside and support the University administration.
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?
Like everyone else, I’m appalled at how the Board created a scapegoat, disrespected the Paterno family and failed to protect our past and present athletes with the outrageous NCAA sanctions. The Board needs to publicly apologize to the Paterno family and work to correct the unjust sanctions put against the school and its athletes.
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?
Tuition control must be a priority. Since 2008, cost of PSU tuition has risen 31 percent, 7 percent higher than national average. The Board needs to be reminded about the importance of keeping a Penn State degree within reach of the middle class. I attended a public high school and was solely responsible for paying for my college education, worked part-time while taking as many classes as possible and graduated within eight semesters with a degree and two minors. I understand the financial burden students are facing and the importance of available financial aid. I received a grant and am still paying off my college loans. The Board needs to focus on finding ways to increase financial aid or at least keep it on pace with tuition growth.