George A. Weigand, Ballot Position No. 8
Read Weigand’s 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 Board of Trustees has employed the president to provide leadership for our university. As a board we need to direct the president to institute a strategic plan for developing our academic and athletic programs for the future. It is imperative that we develop a positive relationship with Dr. Barron and his administrative team to accomplish this directive. We do not need to become micro-managers of the President; however, we do have the responsibility to make sure that the administrative team stays focused on the mission of the university. We need to stress to the president the importance of seeking input from all departments and staffs as he develops our goals for the future of this university. People need to know that what they think is important as we move forward.
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?
The Board of Trustees needs to address the Freeh Report, which they accepted without challenging any of the information that was presented to them. We need to join together and reinstate the legacy of Joseph Paterno as well as making sure that all of our former employees receive a fair and unbiased assessment of their responsibilities in this scandal. It is also time for us to settle all the governance issues that the board has in order for us to move forward in a positive direction. Indeed we must deliver clear-cut decisions to our constituents. In addition, we need to make sure that we have in place all of the necessary programs and plans to eliminate something like the Sandusky scandal from occurring in the future.
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?
There are four primary fiscal challenges that Penn State faces in the next five to ten years:
- We need to solve the increasing tuition rate for our undergraduate and graduate students. Students are graduating with debts of between $20,000 and $30,000, or more.
- Capital improvement projects need to be prioritized so that we utilize those expenditures for projects that are needed the most.
- We need to aggressively approach the Pennsylvania State Legislature to gain support for increased funds to meet the growing financial demands of our university. It is our responsibility to provide the necessary information to our elected officials for this request.
- Seeking continued financial support from our alumni base continues to be a priority. This will enable us to provide additional funds for many scholarships currently being provided for our students. This can benefit both the academic as well as the athletic side of educating our students.