Posts tagged ‘Mark Dambly’

Clemens Resigns from BOT; Alumni Election Change Passes

For the second day in a row, I find myself wrapping up the Board of Trustees meeting by starting at the end.

Just as board chair Keith Masser ’73 was preparing to adjourn the Friday’s meeting, Al Clemens ’59 jumped in to read a statement. He got right to the point, announcing that he was resigning from the board.

Clemens, a gubernatorial appointee, joined the board in 1995 and was the only one of the four trustees remaining as plaintiffs in the Paterno family’s lawsuit against the NCAA who was on the board when the Sandusky scandal broke. As a result, he is the only one of the trustees who was found to have standing to sue on the claim of defamation.

He said the board didn’t have much information or time to discuss the issues when it voted quickly on Nov. 9, 2011, to fire Joe Paterno: “I will always regret that my name is attached to that rush to injustice.”

He indicated, as well, that hiring Louis Freeh and accepting his conclusions “without review” was another mistake and that he joined the Paterno family’s lawsuit in an attempt to “reverse the misguided sanctions that were designed to punish a football program without blemish.”

He also said his resignation was in keeping with his belief in term limits; the current limit is 12 years, but members including Clemens were grandfathered in when that change was made. He has served for 19 years.

Clemens’ term on the board actually expired in 2012, according to the trustees’ website; staff from the trustees office said that there’s often a long lag between when a governor-appointed trustee’s term expires and when the governor nominates a replacement. Gov. Tom Corbett announced in late February that he was nominating Cliff Benson ’71 and Todd Rucci ’92 to fill the seats of Clemens and Ira Lubert ’73. Those nominations must still be confirmed by the state senate.

Lubert’s term technically ended in 2013, as did the term of vice chair Paul Silvis ’06g, for whom a replacement has not been announced. The terms of two other governor appointees, student Peter Khoury and Mark Dambly ’80, expire in 2014.

Also noteworthy from the meeting:

Alumni election changes pass: All alumni who have email addresses on file with the university will receive ballots in the upcoming alumni trustee election. Trustees unanimously passed a motion to change the procedure in the university’s charter; previously, only alumni who are Alumni Association members or have donated to the university in the past two years automatically received ballots, although any alum could request one.

After the issue was debated and unanimously passed in the January governance committee meeting, Penn State sent postcards to 186,610 alumni without email addresses on file, governance chair Keith Eckel said Thursday during the committee meeting. The cost: $82,000.

Eckel said Thursday that only 400 of the cards had been returned and noted that while he thought reaching out to alumni was the right thing to do, the “somewhat disappointing” rate of return meant that the gesture likely doesn’t need to be repeated. At Friday’s meeting, he said he’d been told that the number of returned postcards had increased to 700.

The alumni election starts April 10, and alumni still have time to return the cards. All of these changes are taking place after the nomination process for alumni trustees, which ran from mid-January to late February. In the future, all alums with email addresses on file will receive both a nomination form and an election ballot.

Public comment: After several meetings in which the number of speakers during the public comment session shrunk, nine speakers were announced for Friday’s meeting, although only seven showed up to speak. Also in contrast to recent meetings, when speakers covered a variety of issues, most criticized how the board has handled to the Sandusky scandal.

Ceil Massella, an alumna and wife of football letterman Brian, told the board, “Just as I always think of the shooting when think of Kent State, this university will always be associated with Sandusky’s guilt unless the record is set straight.”

Evan Smith ’11 asked the board, “What are you personally doing with your position of power to help serve the Penn State family? How are you helping us fight this battle of public perception?”

Several speakers also reiterated their belief that the board owes an apology to the family of Joe Paterno.

Facts and figures: President Rod Erickson said applications for 2014-15 baccalaureate admission have increased by 9,000 over last year—19 percent at University Park and 8 percent at the commonwealth campuses. Out-of-state applications are up 26 percent, and international applications are up 18 percent. Minority applications he said, are running 16 percent of last year.

He also said that the quality of applicants is higher: Their average SAT score is 20 percent greater than last year’s.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

March 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm 2 comments

More from Sunday’s Trustees Meeting

Board chair Karen Peetz.

The upcoming search for a new Penn State president took up a big chunk of yesterday’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, but the group covered some other ground as well. Here’s more on what they talked about:

Accreditation. President Rod Erickson gave an update on the warning Penn State received two weeks ago from its accrediting agency, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The president and vice president of the commission were on campus to meet with Penn State officials last Thursday, an Erickson called it “an excellent meeting.” Middle States has 14 accreditation criteria, and in Penn State’s case it has concerns about three of those criteria: integrity, governance, and institutional resources. The university has until Sept. 30 to provide an report on what it plans to do to address those concerns.

“There’ll be a small site-review team here during October,” Erickson said, “and we hope to have all of those issues satisfied in time for the mid-November meeting of the full commission. I have every expectation that we either have met, or will meet, all of those requirements.”

Vacant position. It doesn’t sound like trustee chair Karen Peetz ’77 plans to make her own pick to fill the vacancy created (more…)

August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm 2 comments

Trustees Talk Search

Trustee Jim Broadhurst talks about the coming presidential search.

Penn State trustees hope to have a new university president announced by about January 2014, six months before current president Rod Erickson retires.

Jim Broadhurst ’65, chair of the trustees’ committee on governance and long-range planning, outlined a proposed search process during the trustees’ meeting today at University Park. His committee will spend time during the trustees’ next two meetings (September and November) working through the details of the search process, with the hope of launching the search around the time of the January meeting.

“It’d be important to complete the search approximately five to six months prior to the expected date that the next president would take office,” Broadhurst said. “And the actual search could conceivably take up to a year. This would mean that by no later than (more…)

August 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm 3 comments

A Few Notes From the Trustees Meeting

The Penn State trustees are meeting in two parts this weekend, with some weighty discussion items, including the Freeh report, a timeline for the presidential search, the NCAA sanctions, and ways to move forward.

This afternoon’s segment was scheduled to include a 30-minute meeting of the full board, followed by committee meetings. As it turned out, the board meeting ended up running close to an hour and a half.

I can’t pretend to give a comprehensive accounting of this afternoon’s session, but I can share some highlights:

—Board chair Karen Peetz ’77 opened with a statement that promised more openness from the trustees: “We are entering a new era of high standards of corporate governance,” she said, “where the University’s—and this Board of Trustees’—deliberations and actions are open and transparent. Except for limited sensitive, legal, or individual personnel matters, the board meetings will be open and available to all.”

You can read Peetz’s entire statement at Penn State Live.

—About 40 members of the general public attended the meeting; a few of them wore (more…)

August 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm 5 comments


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