Amy L. Williams, Ballot Position No. 25
Founder and managing director
SageWorks Rx LLC
Read Williams’ official bio and position statement here (PDF download).
1. What should Penn State be looking for in its next president?
STRENGTH INTEGRITY COMPASSION Leadership, ability to manage, and evolve for excellence, a superior communicator. Someone who has vision and can assemble a team of individuals with diverse backgrounds, skill sets and perspectives to strengthen our great University and get us through both good times and challenging times. Someone who has had experience in leading through at least one crisis … successfully. Recognizing that being President is more than just about raising money, but is really about serving … the students, the faculty, the alumni. If he/she takes care of them, the president will succeed and Penn State will thrive! Management Skills: Ability to evolve the administration and communication organizations* from a decentralized model to one that has a centralized hub, yet preserve the character and uniqueness of each group.* Not afraid of surrounding themselves with people who are better than them. Understands Higher Learning yet also recognizes we are a $4.1 Billion organization. As a result they need demonstrated business acumen. My hope that at least one qualified woman is on the very short list for this position. So in conclusion key attributes needed in our new President: STRENGTH INTEGRITY COMPASSION
* Including but not limited to campuses, colleges, majors, interest groups, athletics
2. What changes or reforms should the Board of Trustees consider to help the university progress after the events of 2011 and 2012? Please explain why—or, if you don’t think reform is needed, please explain why not.
1. Reduce the number of board members via the State • Have the number of members from Pennsylvania reflect the percentage of appropriations. Currently there are 10 members from the state, which is 31.2 percent of the board. The state appropriation is 5 percent of PENN STATE’S annual budget. The state representation should reflect the appropriation, which would be one or two members. Alternatively the state can increase their appropriation to 31.2 percent of our budget.
2. Balance the Board: with skill sets. • Vote in members who fill the void of current skill sets. Gaps include Brand Management, (Our PENN STATE Brand has taken a huge hit) Strategy, Marketing, Communication and Organizational risk management. • Avoid individuals with duplicative skill sets. We have plenty of lawyers, wealth managers, educators, doctors. While important they are already represented. Adding members with skill sets not currently present will strengthen our board and University.
3. Voting transparency by Trustee • Specifically, publishing each trustee’s vote on each voting issue. Keep histories of each trustee’s voting record.
4. Balance the Board: to reflect the makeup of the student body. • Currently there are five women on a board of 32 (15 percent), yet the latest statistics show women represent 46 percent of the student body. This translates into 15, not 5, should be qualified women. It has been demonstrated time and time again that when leadership reflects the organization’s makeup, it is stronger, more effective and decisions made lead to stronger outcomes perspectives.
3. How do you define the role of an alumni trustee, and how would that inform the way you would approach your term on the board?
Intellect Integrity Heart The alumni Trustee, any Trustee for that matter, has been entrusted with the care, management and growth of our beloved University. It should not be treated merely as a job, but as a labor of love.
INTELLECT: A Trustee will need to bring their intellect and all that entails. This includes, but is not limited to, their intelligence, experiences, skill sets and different perspectives.
INTEGRITY: Doing what is right and speaking up, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable. Being independent of mind, and not being influenced by any group. Having humility. Recognizing that there are many perspectives and not to let ones ego get in the way of listening to others and doing what is best, and right for the University.
HEART: PENN STATE is not just a place, our beloved alma mater is us! We need to cherish, nurture and protect it fiercely! A Trustee must keep the students at the heart of every decision. Penn State is a Land Grant University… and at its core are the students. Past and present. Before every decision a trustee must check their intellect, integrity and heart to ensure their choices are in the best interest of the students and the University overall and not about themselves.