Penn State trustees to focus on ties, structure at retreat next weekend

State College - Centre Daily TimesAugust 18, 2012 

Penn State trustees will be holding an on-campus retreat next weekend that will include public sessions Saturday and Sunday.

According to an overview of events planned for the weekend, the retreat will feature a session on board structures and governance, team-building exercises and board committee seminars.

The two-day retreat is not a normally scheduled meeting. It comes as the board is trying to move the university past the turmoil the Jerry Sandusky scandal and fallout it has caused, including harsh NCAA sanctions.

The board held a public teleconference last Sunday to review those penalties and President Rodney Erickson’s decision to agree to them. 

And while trustees didn’t take a formal vote because of concerns about whether the meeting met the requirements for adequate public notice, each board member had a chance to say whether he or she supported Erickson’s decision. Almost all did.

The upcoming retreat starts with a visit to football practice Friday afternoon, according to a copy of the agenda obtained by the Centre Daily Times.

On Saturday, trustees will hear from a partner with Weil, Gotshal & Manges, an international law firm, on governance issues, including financial duties, risk oversight, conflict of interest, board structure and leadership, and governance “best practices.”

That one-hour session will be followed by team-building sessions in the morning and after lunch According to the agenda, Davis Taylor, a founder of TAI Inc., a leadership consulting company, will meet with people from the university beforehand to discuss issues including the culture at Penn state and what role the board should have in leadership culture at the university.

Those meetings, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, are only for voting board members.

The board had previously said it would have a retreat this fall.

A public meeting will start at 3 p.m., followed by board committee meetings that are also open to the public. Next Sunday’s meeting is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m.

Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy

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