Posts tagged ‘Alvin Clemens’

The Penn Stater Daily — Feb. 24, 2014

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Another record: THON 2014 wrapped up Sunday with $13,343,517.33 raised in the fight against pediatric cancer. There’s lots of great coverage today, including photos, video, and stories at Onward State and the Collegian, but our friends at the College of Communications shared a unique collection of images you might’ve missed: a collection of Instagram images (like the one above), taken by student journalists, of THON dancers, support staff, and families. The theme: “Who do you dance for?” Very cool stuff.

What a finish: David Taylor and Ed Ruth will go down as two of the best wrestlers in Penn Stater history. Our in-house wrasslin’ expert, Lori Shontz ’91, ’13g, was at Rec Hall Sunday to watch Taylor and Ruth in their final home matches in a dual meet against Clarion. How’d they do? Let’s just say both guys barely broke a sweat. Our editor, Tina Hay ’83, posted some great photos at that link, as well.

Board bets: Gov. Tom Corbett has nominated a pair of alumni to fill the Board of Trustees posts currently held by Ira Lubert ’73 and Alvin Clemens ’59. The nominees are Cliff Benson ’71, an executive with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres who was instrumental in securing the nine-figure gift from Terry Pegula ’73 that allowed for the creation of Division I hockey at Penn State; and Todd Rucci ’92, a football letterman and former director of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

‘Eers to Scrap: Tom Bradley will be back on the sidelines this fall. A longtime member of Joe Paterno’s staff, Bradley ’78 was hired by West Virginia on Friday to be the Mountaineers’ senior associate head coach. Bradley, who had worked as a radio analyst the past two years, served as the Nittany Lions’ interim head coach for the final four games of the 2011 season.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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February 24, 2014 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

An Emotional Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Ken Frazier, shown in this file photo, was one of the main speakers at Friday's Board of Trustees meeting.

Ken Frazier, shown in this file photo, was one of the main speakers at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

For more than two and a half hours, everyone fidgeted in their seats, and the tension built. The Board of Trustees meeting plodded along. Through a long informational report on the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Through a time-lapse video of the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital construction. Through a PowerPoint presentation about residence halls, one that touched on room and board fees.

The time scheduled for public comment, 3:45 p.m, came and went. Media checked their watches. Alumni speculated on Twitter about the board’s motive for dragging out the proceedings for so long.

And then, finally, what everyone was expecting—waiting for, really—happened.

Trustee Ken Frazier ’75, chair of the board task force that commissioned the Freeh report, defended Louis Freeh’s investigation in a full, public board meeting—and trustee Anthony Lubrano ’82, elected to the board 10 months ago because of alumni anger over the Sandusky scandal and how Joe Paterno was treated by the trustees, questioned the report’s validity.

Minutes later, during the public comment portion, five football lettermen, each wearing a sticker proclaiming himself “Member of the GRAND EXPERIMENT,” suggested that the trustees were driven by a hidden agenda, that they had failed in their leadership role, that they had opened the door to NCAA sanctions, that they had fractured the university community.

“The good news here,” said Mark Battaglia ’82, a center on the 1982 national championship team, “is that we’re losing. We didn’t lose. We’re losing badly. We need to change the strategy. You guys can do that. There’s still time.”

It was a moment that had been building, really, since the scandal broke 16 months ago, even before the Freeh report was released in July. Alumni anger intensified with the Freeh report, and then the release of the Paterno report last month seemed to mark another milestone. After more than a year of near-silence about the situation on Twitter, Jay Paterno ’91 and Scott Paterno ’97 began engaging with followers. More lettermen organized.

And Lubrano pushed his case harder Friday in the board’s public meeting.

First, Keith Eckel, chair of the legal and compliance committee, invited Frazier to “remind us what the thought process was surrounding the Freeh report.” Frazier largely repeated his defense of the report from Thursday’s separate committee meeting (the Centre Daily Times has a good summary here), although he did apologize for making an O.J. Simpson analogy: He had referred to Bill Cluck ’82, who had questioned him, as “one of the few people in this country that looks like you who actually believes the O.J. Simpson not guilty verdict was correct.”

On the Freeh report, Frazier said in part: “The facts are the facts. And the contemporaneous emails and other documentation are among the most important evidence produced. … The documents appear to show, in varying degrees, by date and by individual, that people who were in a position to protect kids did not do so.” And he reiterated his desire to not re-examine the Freeh report because that would be “rewriting history.”

Anthony Lubrano, seen in this file photo, questioned the validity of the Freeh report.

Anthony Lubrano, seen in this file photo, questioned the validity of the Freeh report.

Which prompted this response from Lubrano, who wants Louis Freeh and Dick Thornburgh, the former U.S. attorney general and Pennsylvania governor who wrote part of the Paterno family’s report, to meet with the board: “I understand that Ken says he doesn’t want to rewrite history. But I’m not sure history was correct.”

Loud applause.

“This isn’t grandstanding,” Lubrano added. “This is a serious matter. This is a very, very serious matter. Like the rest of you, I love this institution. What I understand in dealing with the alumni community is this very simple fact: They too love Penn State. And they don’t feel that due process and truth was something we had here.”

That was the crux of the discussion between the two men. Among the other points they touched on was whether the engagement letter promising that Freeh investigators would turn over evidence to the state attorney general was irregular; Lubrano questioned it, but Frazier said such a clause is standard procedure when an investigation overlaps in time with an ongoing criminal investigation.

And then former football player Adam Taliaferro ’05, who has rarely spoken in full board meetings since he was elected 10 months ago, chimed in:

“I’ve been an active listener since I joined the board,” he said. “As you can see, we’ve got very smart people on this board and very different positions on the hows and whys. We all know what the ‘what’ is. I do believe that bringing in people and asking the hows and whys would help us, I think, move forward. I think we all want to move forward. For me, I know it would help me better understand each side. Because I come here with my own preconceived notions. It’s hard for me not to.”

This prompted Alvin Clemens ’59 to speak: “The problem here is there’s a bit of divide between the alumni and the board. We all won’t be on board until we somehow smoke this out.” He said he wanted to know why NCAA president Mark Emmert has repeatedly mentioned the 1998 incident, which was investigated by the authorities, and why state authorities weren’t monitoring Jerry Sandusky after that 1998 investigation, although no charges were filed.

At this point, 29 minutes after the legal committee report began with Frazier’s Freeh report explanation, Jim Broadhurst ’65 suggested that it was time to move on to the next item on the committee’s agenda. Many of the public in attendance booed, but the board did move on.

So what’s next? Will Freeh and/or Thornburgh be invited to address the board? Will the discussion continue?

Board chair Keith Masser ’73 said afterward that the way to bring any such item to the full board is to go through the appropriate committee—in this case, legal and compliance—and ask the committee chair to have the committee vote. (That’s what the governance and long-range planning committee did during its Thursday meeting with the changes to the board structure. But that’s a subject for an upcoming blog post.) He and vice chair Stephanie Deviney ’97g said they would assure that that would follow up with the appropriate chair, Eckel.

I feel like I end a lot of scandal- and trustees-related posts like this, but it’s always appropriate: Stay tuned.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

March 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm 127 comments

Gubernatorial Seats on the Board of Trustees

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Kathleen Casey ’88

When Gov. Corbett’s office announced last week that the governor had nominated Kathleen Casey ’88 to the Penn State Board of Trustees, the news only raised more questions for me. Whose seat would Casey take? How long do gubernatorial appointees serve, anyway? When are the terms of the other appointees up?

I had to check with our resident trustees expert, senior editor Lori Shontz ’91, and with Penn State director of public information Lisa Powers, to get it sorted out. I thought you might be interested in what I learned.

Of the 32 members of the Board of Trustees, the governor gets to appoint six. Each serves a three-year term, with the terms staggered so that in any given year, two of those appointees’ terms are expiring. The two gubernatorial appointees whose terms were up on June 30 of this year are Alvin Clemens ’59 and Michael DiBerardinis.

If confirmed by the state senate, Kathleen Casey would take DiBerardinis’ seat. Casey, who has a law degree from George Mason in addition to her Penn State degree, currently works for a Washington, D.C., firm that advises companies on legislative and regulatory issues. Before that, she served a five-year term as a commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Kathy’s financial background, oversight experience, and international perspective will make her an asset to Penn State’s Board of Trustees,” Corbett said in a statement. “I am proud to nominate someone of her caliber.”

As for Clemens’s seat, Gov. Corbett hasn’t yet said whether he intends to reappoint Clemens or name someone to replace him. But, according to Penn State’s Lisa Powers, gubernatorial trustees continue to serve until their seat is filled, so Clemens is still a member of the board for now.

The other gubernatorial appointees are Ira Lubert ’73 and Paul Silvis ’06g, whose terms expire next June; and Mark Dambly ’80 and Peter Khoury ’12, whose terms are up in 2014.

Tina Hay, editor

October 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm 7 comments

Trustees Hear from Gene Marsh

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Birmingham, Ala. lawyer Gene Marsh.

On Friday morning, before their regular bimonthly meeting, Penn State trustees had a seminar session that was lightly attended by the public and, as far as I could tell, not attended at all by the news media. The reason I think none of the media were there is that I had the media table all to myself.

I don’t think the topics for the seminar were published in advance, which is an area of transparency that I hope eventually gets addressed. (Certainly the fact that the session was open to the public is a step in the right direction.) It turns out that it was essentially a training session for the trustees: Half of it focused on mandatory-reporting laws regarding child abuse, and the other half—led by Gene Marsh—on NCAA regulations.

I’ll say more about the NCAA part momentarily, because I was there for that segment. I must confess to ducking out early in the child-abuse session, because I needed to drive home and get a power cable for my laptop and a bite to eat before the afternoon session. I regret missing the child-abuse part, because there’s a lot that I—and all of us, really—need to learn about child sexual abuse. For example, did you know that the legal age of consent in Pennsylvania is 13? A 13-year-old can legally give consent to have sexual contact— as long as it’s with a 13-, 14-, 15-, or 16-year-old. If I understand correctly, if the one person is under 16 and the other person is four or more years older, then that older person is guilty of statutory sexual assault, among other crimes.

Anyway, the training that the trustees went through, led by Penn State associate VP for human resources Susan Basso, is the same training that all Penn State employees eventually will be required to undergo. And it’s not just the legal stuff; the speakers also talked about the warning signs and other issues. So I hope to become conversant with all of this soon.

I figured that the Gene Marsh segment would focus on the NCAA sanctions, but it didn’t (except during the Q&A—more on this later). Instead he gave the trustees a rundown on the NCAA rules, especially those governing “boosters,” which is pretty much anyone who has an interest in a school. You and I are boosters in the NCAA’s eyes, and so are the trustees. And there are many, many rules governing how much contact we can have with student-athletes or recruits, whether we can buy them lunch, whether we can lend them money, and so on.

Marsh, a retired law professor at the University of Alabama, served on the NCAA Division 1 infractions committee from 1999–2008 and chaired that committee for a time. Penn State hired him to help deal with the sanctions process in July. A few highlights of his presentation:

—He’s no fan of the NCAA rulebook, which he says (more…)

September 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm 8 comments


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