Penn State trustees Keith Masser, Stephanie Deviney candidates for board chair, vice chair

mdawson@centredaily.comJanuary 11, 2013 

— Schuylkill County potato farmer Keith Masser is the lone candidate running for the chairman’s post of the Penn State board of trustees, the university announced Friday.

The trustees will vote for new board officers as part of their meeting next week. Philadelphia attorney Stephanie Deviney is the only trustee who voiced an interest in seeking election as the vice chairwoman.

Chairwoman Karen Peetz is not going to seek re-election because she was named the president of BNY Mellon. Peetz has said she will not be able to make the time commitment to the board that she had under her old position at BNY Mellon.

Masser is currently the board’s vice chairman, and Peetz was among several trustees who endorsed Masser to succeed her.

The trustees’ voting meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 18. The election of officers is the last item on the agenda.

Penn State said the trustees can nominate others at the election.

The candidates will have a few minutes during a public session the morning of Jan. 18 to discuss their views and answer questions from the trustees.

In his position statement provided to Penn State, Masser said his experience as the vice chairman and his long history in the Penn State community “will allow for a smooth leadership transition and a steady path forward.”

“As a trustee and vice chair, I have worked to improve the safety of our campuses through enhanced compliance, governance and oversight, and will continue to further these goals,” Masser wrote. “I am committed to engaging full board involvement, building consensus and unifying our community.

In Deviney’s position statement, she said her strengths include being positive, winning others over and communicating.

“While we have come a long way since I joined the board less than three years ago, we still have far to go to fulfill our fiduciary obligation to our (u)niversity,” she wrote. “Our work is not nearly complete. There is much more to be done, particularly in establishing the best governance practices.”

Masser, a 1973 graduate, is the chairman and CEO of Sterman Masser Inc., a family farm. Masser has said he has made arrangements for his family to take over running the farm in the event he is elected the board’s chair.

Deviney is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP in Exton. She graduated from the Dickinson School of Law in 1997.

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