Posts tagged ‘Joel Myers’

Coming Soon: The July/August Issue

2015 J-A Creamery[1]A photo shoot of ice cream on a hot day is harder than it looks—or, should we say, softer? Art director Marc Kauffman scooped quickly while photographer Nick Sloff ’92 A&A snapped his camera even faster to capture the perfect Creamery cone for our July/August cover. The issue, which should be in your mailbox soon, celebrates the sesquicentennial anniversary of one of the greatest traditions at Penn State: the Berkey Creamery. We look back at its storied history, plus learn about what’s in store for the next 150 years.

Also in this issue is an interview by senior editor Ryan Jones ’95 Com with Eric Barron. The Penn State president reflects on his first year in office and talks about why he’s optimistic about the future of the university.

Ryan also wrote a piece on philanthropist and freshman Neha Gupta in “The Unrelenting Power of One.” We discover that Gupta, who already leads an international charitable network, is just getting started.

We also welcome the 79th president of the alumni association, Kevin Steele ’92 JD Law, on page 54. The Dickinson Law grad brings a decade’s worth of Alumni Association volunteer experience to the position.

Another noteworthy story in this issue is on the late Fran Fisher. Read about how the Voice of Penn State Football was loved—and will be missed—by the Penn State community on page 24.

There’s also a recap of the spring sports programs, which includes a national powerlifting title for Eliraz Katz. And, on page 18, find out what Joel Myers ’61, ’63 MS, ’71 PhD EMS has to say about his new AccuWeather television network.

We’d love to hear what you think about the new issue. Drop us a line at or comment below.

—Amy Downey, senior editor

June 29, 2015 at 3:56 pm 3 comments

Another Alumni Election Sweep for PS4RS

Alice Pope and Robert Jubelirer react to the announcement that they won BOT seats.

Alice Pope and Robert Jubelirer react to the announcement that they won BOT seats.

For the second year in a row, candidates endorsed by Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship swept the three seats in the Board of Trustees alumni election. When the new trustees take their seats in July, none of the nine alumni trustees who were on the board when the Sandusky scandal broke—and when Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier were fired—will remain.

Alice Pope ’79, ’83g, ’86g, a psychology professor at St. John’s University, finished first with 10,025 votes; Albert Lord ’67, former chairman and CEO of Sallie Mae, finished second with 9,516 votes; and Robert Jubelirer ’59, ’62g, an attorney and former state senator, finished third with 8,101 votes.

“We do have nine new people in three years, and I think that should put to rest the idea that the concerned alumni are a vocal minority,” Pope said. “The Alumni Association survey showed that the alumni who are concerned about the leadership of this university are not a minority. So now it’s really time for us to be taken seriously and to work together in a very genuine way. It is over the time to be saying ‘us’ against ‘them.’ That time is gone. We must do whatever it takes to bridge that divide.”

A divide does exist. Jubelirer, who said he was involved in about a dozen elections as a politician, said this campaign was both the most difficult—because of its length and structure, and the importance of social media—and the nastiest in which he was involved. “People can say whatever they want,” he said. “My whole personal life was laid out on Facebook. … There’s a handful of people who made it that way. I want to make that clear. Not everybody’s nasty.”

Board turnover isn’t limited to the alumni trustees. Two new gubernatorial trustees, Cliff Benson ’71 and Todd Rucci ’92, were confirmed by the state legislature April 9 and took their seats at this meeting, replacing Ira Lubert ’73 and Al Clemens ’59. Business and industry trustees Linda Brodsky Strumpf ’69 and Jim Broadhurst ’65 stepped down; they’ll be replaced by Daniel Mead ’75, ’77g, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, and Walter Rakowich ’79, retired CEO of Prologis.

Pope, Jubelirer, and Lord (who did not attend the meeting) were endorsed by PS4RS, which has criticized the board for its firing of Paterno and Spanier, its acceptance of the Freeh report, which they say led to NCAA sanctions, and the board’s unwillingness to keep pushing to find the truth of what happened in the Sandusky scandal. But Pope and Jubelirer say they also bring additional qualities to the board.

Jubelirer says he has “relationships in Harrisburg that I think will benefit the university,” and Pope, as a college professor, says her understanding of higher education is particularly important on a board that has far more trustees with corporate backgrounds than higher ed backgrounds.

“The business of education is not like other business,” she said. “The products are not the same. Yes, corporate models have some place in universities, but the educational mission has to be put first and foremost.”

Jesse Arnelle is recognized for his 45 years of serves as a Penn State trustee.

Jesse Arnelle is recognized for his 45 years of serves as a Penn State trustee.

The PS4RS candidates won their seats handily. The fourth-place finisher, Ted Sebastianelli ’68, was 2,400 votes behind. The only incumbent running, Joel Myers ’61, ’63g, ’71g, finished seventh with 3,511 votes. The other two incumbents, Marianne Ellis Alexander ’62 and Jesse Arnelle ’55, ’62g, decided to not run for re-election. Arnelle served as a trustee for 45 years; he was first elected in 1969.

Overall, voter turnout was down, with 29,791 ballots cast. More than 33,000 alumni voted in 2013, which was in turn down from more than 37,500 in 2012, immediately after the Sandusky scandal.

Other notes from Friday’s meeting:

—Agricultural trustees Keith Masser ’73 and Betsy Huber were re-elected, but trustee M. Abraham Harpster ’94 said that a candidate had complained about voting irregularities in one county.  He added that election officials had not been able to confirm this, and so the election results stood.

—The resolution to add a permanent student trustee—selected by students—was withdrawn because governance chair Keith Eckel said Gov. Tom Corbett will appoint a student to replace Peter Khoury ’12, who is graduating with a master’s degree this weekend, before the board votes on tuition in July. Should the appointment not materialize, the board will call a special meeting to assure there is a student on the board for the tuition vote. The possibility of a permanent seat for a student will be considered with the rest of the governance reforms, not separately.

—Speaking of governance reform, Eckel said that consultant Holly Gregory has a sense of the issues that trustees want to address after Wednesday’s small-group sessions of the governance committee, which were not open to the public. He hopes to present the full board with recommendations at its July meeting, making it possible to vote on the package at the September meeting.  This will likely involve an interim committee meeting between now and then, and trustees have said that will be an open meeting.

—In his final presentation to the board, retiring president Rod Erickson gave updated application numbers: As of May 5, Penn State had received more than 81,000 undergraduate applications, 14 percent higher than 2013 and 5 percent higher than 2012. Including grad school, law school, and medical school applications, Penn State has received more than 120,000 applications, 600 more than in 2013 and 1,200 more than in 2012.

Lori Shontz, senior editor



May 9, 2014 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

Official Bios and Positions for BOT Candidates Available

The official biographies and position statements provided by alumni candidates for the Board of Trustees are now available on the board’s website.

There’s one notable name who’s out of the running—Jesse Arnelle ’55, ’62g, who has served on the board since 1969, notified the board office that he has withdrawn from the field. Arnelle’s name still appears on the ballot to keep the ballot numbers of the other candidates consistent, the board office staff said. But voters will be unable to vote for him. When the the electronic ballots are issued April 10, there will be no box to check next to his name.

That leaves 31 candidates in the running for three alumni seats. 

Lori Shontz, senior editor

March 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm 1 comment

BOT Election Ballot Released

Thirty-two alumni are vying for the three open alumni seats on the Board of Trustees this year, showing that interest in the election, which skyrocketed after the Sandusky scandal, remains high. The number of candidates is a slight decrease from 2013, when there were 39, and that in turn was a large decrease from 2012, when there were 86.

The 32 candidates for 2014 include two of the three incumbents, four people who are running for the third consecutive time, and four others who are running for the second time since 2012.

You can see the entire list by clicking here. The list shows the order candidates will appear on the ballot, which was determined Friday afternoon in a blind drawing at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Incumbents Jesse Arnelle ’55, ’62g, who has served on the board since 1969, and Joel Myers ’61, ’63g, ’71g, who was first elected in 1981, are running again; Marianne Ellis Alexander ’62, who has served two terms starting in 2005, is not.

Running for the third time are Ryan Bagwell ’02; Robert Bowsher ’86; Rudy Glocker ’91, ’93g; and Amy Williams ’80. Two-time candidates are Joshua Fulmer ’01; Robert Hooper ’79; Robert Jubelier ’59, ’62g; and Ted Sebastianelli ’69.

For the third consecutive year, the Alumni Association and The Penn Stater magazine will be organizing a voters’ guide for the election, our “Three Questions for the Candidates” project. We’ll be asking questions of candidates in March—the emails will go out March 7—and the website will go live on or before Thursday, April 3. Voting begins a week later, on Thursday, April 10, and continues through May 8. If you’d like to see what we’ve done in the past, click here for the 2012 responses and here for the 2013 responses.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

February 28, 2014 at 5:34 pm 1 comment

One More Update from the BOT

You can read most of our updates from Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting on this post from Friday evening, but here are a few more for your Monday morning:

—Presidential search update: Board chair Keith Masser ’73 opened the meeting with an update on the presidential search process, which was rebooted in November. He said simply that the process is continuing and that “we are on pace to name the next president of Penn State in the months ahead.”

There is a deadline: President Rod Erickson is retiring at the end of June. Or, as he put it two Saturdays ago when a reporter at the news conference introducing James Franklin asked Erickson if he had any update on the search: “My last day of work is June 30, 2014.”

Click here for a piece by Charlie Thompson of The Patriot-News that gets a little more in-depth on the search.

—A new Joe Paterno statue: Joel Myers ‘61, ’63g, ’71g, chair of the outreach committee, didn’t have a committee meeting to report about Friday; the outreach committee meeting was off the agenda (along with the student life committee meeting) to allow enough time for a retreat with governance consultant Holly Gregory. Myers did ask if he could read a brief statement. The topic: that it is time to unite the various factions of Penn Staters.

That’s a theme Myers has sounded periodically, but this time, he quoted Abraham Lincoln (“A house divided cannot stand …”) and proposed that “now is the time” for there to be a statue of Fred Lewis Pattee and Joe Paterno to be erected in front of the library. The Centre Daily Times has full coverage with a story and text of the speech.

—BOT nominations continuing: There’s still plenty of time—until Feb. 26—for alumni to submit their nominations for one of the three alumni seats up for election in 2014. (If you’re a member of the Penn State Alumni Association or have donated to the university within the past two years, you should have received a nomination form in your email. If you’re an alum and would like to request one, click here.)

Mike Dawson ’02 of the Centre Daily Times checked in with the three incumbents—Myers, Jesse Arnelle ’55, ’62g, and Marianne Ellis Alexander ’62—during the meeting to ask whether they are running for re-election; all said they hadn’t decided yet. None of the alumni trustees who were on the board in November 2011 have been re-elected.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

January 20, 2014 at 9:07 am Leave a comment

Oldsey Added to Trustee Presidential Selection Council

Bill Oldsey will join the Trustee Presidential Selection Council.

Bill Oldsey will join the Trustee Presidential Selection Council.

As far as Bill Oldsey ’76 was concerned, the reason he was added to the Trustee Presidential Selection Council was simple. “Some thought I might be able to add value to the process,” he said. “This is all about getting a world-class leader for this university, and I am proud and pleased to do anything I can to help contribute to that.”

The surprise announcement of Oldsey’s appointment, which kicked off Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting, followed what seemed to be several weeks of discussion about the composition of the selection council. Anthony Lubrano ’82 had complained publicly about the fact that only one trustee elected by alumni was on the council, and a good part of Thursday’s meeting of the governance and long-range planning committee was devoted to the presidential search process.

The trustees had originally hoped to vote on a successor to Rod Erickson around this time, but the board’s apparent finalist turned out to have padded his compensation at SUNY’s Upstate Medical School. Board chair Keith Masser ’73 said adding an additional member to the selection council had been discussed  “since we’ve re-set the process, kind of.” He cited the need to reflect the latest additions to the board, who joined after the selection council had been chosen, and he said the specific decision was made because of Oldsey’s “unique experience.”

Oldsey was elected to the board by alumni in 2013 (he also ran in 2012), and he was endorsed by Penn Staters For Responsible Stewardship, which has been highly critical of the board’s handling of the Sandusky scandal and more recently of the presidential search process.

He also is one of the few members of the board with a strong background in higher education; Oldsey has worked in educational publishing for 30 years, and his parents were, as he put it, “both academicians.” Said Oldsey, “That’s one of the things I think that made me an interesting candidate when I ran last year.”

Only one other trustee, Marianne Ellis Alexander ’62, has significant experience in higher education; she spent 15 years as executive director and president of the Public Leadership Education Network. (The university president, of course, has higher education experience, but that’s no longer a voting position.)

Oldsey said he believes strongly that any updates about the presidential search need to come from Masser to eliminate the “possibility of problematic communication” when someone else speaks.

“It should also be noted that there are some really extraordinary people on this selection council that would have made good decisions with or without me,” he said.  “But I’m very pleased to be able to do this. I would run through a brick wall for this place to get the right leader, and that’s what this is about.”

Other notes from the Board of Trustees meeting:

Student Anthony Panichelli addresses the board during the public comment session.

Student Anthony Panichelli addresses the board during the public comment session.

—More than half of the speakers during the public comment session were students, who brought up weighty issues affecting students: representation on the Board of Trustees, the effect the Affordable Care Act may have on students by reducing work hours, and student loans. The hottest topic was advocating for a permanent student trustee. The board has included a student since 1973, when then-Gov. Milton Shapp appointed a student, and governors have continued that tradition.

But it is only a tradition. Student government representatives want to guarantee a seat, and they want that trustee to not be appointed by the governor, but chosen by students. Anthony Panichelli, a representative of the University Park Undergraduate Association, told the board that here should “never ever be a question again that there will be proper student representation.”

—The board made two changes to its bylaws: The annual meeting, when trustees choose their officers and take care of “other organizational business,” will now be in July. The annual meeting was previously in January, which did not match up with when new members join the board, which is July. It also added a seventh standing committee, the compensation committee.

As I’ve written in previous posts, this committee would help to determine salaries for several tiers of university officials, ranging from the president (its primary purpose) down through top vice presidents, the athletic director, and even some highly paid coaches.

After speaking with Frank Guadagnino ’78, an outside attorney hired by Penn State to consult on governance issues, I wrote this in September: The trustees have historically had an ad-hoc group called the compensation council, consisting of the chair, vice chair, immediate past chair, and chair of the finance and business committee. This group essentially approves compensation that is decided upon during the negotiation process, and it brings the president’s compensation before the board for approval. A review by Susan Basso, vice president for human resources, indicated the need for a more formal and structured process, so the governance committee has proposed the formation of a standing committee on compensation.

Joel Myers ’61, ’63g, ’71g, chair of the outreach committee, announced three changes to the public comment session that will be made after suggestions from alumna Alice Pope ’79, ’83g, ’86g: (1) people will be encouraged to direct questions to committee chairs, who will answer “respectful” queries or pass them on to the appropriate department, (2) a large digital clock will be used to time the three-minute each speaker gets a public comment, preventing the one-minute warning that Pope said may distract speakers, and (3) the possibility of increasing the 48-hour notice that speakers selected for public comment get to 72 hours or more, making the process easier on speakers from out of town.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

November 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm 2 comments

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