Penn State board of trustees candidate ballot to be unveiled

mdawson@centredaily.comFebruary 28, 2013 

— The official ballot for the election of three alumni seats to Penn State’s board of trustees will be announced Thursday.

University officials will release the ballot during an open-door drawing to determine the candidates’ positions. The drawing starts at 1:30 p.m. in the Executive Conference Room of The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

Candidates had spent the past month collecting 50 nominations that were required to be on the ballot. The nominating period ended Monday.

The unofficial list compiled by the Centre Daily Times so far includes slightly more than 50 hopefuls, but the number so far has fallen short of the record-breaking 86 who made the ballot last year.

This year, many of the candidates continue to criticize the board of trustees for their handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal fallout and the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in November 2011.

That was the main issue in last year’s race, which saw an unprecedented 37,579 alumni vote and victories for newcomers Adam Taliaferro, Anthony Lubrano and Ryan McCombie.

Candidates who have announced their candidacies to the CDT this week include Rich Bundy, the CEO of the University of Vermont Foundation; Christopher Bartnik, an insurance executive in Virginia; local resident John Diercks; and Nittany Lion letterman Ted Sebastianelli.

Alumni who ran unsuccessfully last year and are making a second attempt include engineer Pratima Gatehouse; former trustee Ben Novak; and Barbara Doran, the fourth-place finisher last year.

The incumbents are Philadelphia-area lawyer Stephanie Deviney, who is the board’s vice chairwoman, and local orthopedic surgeon Paul Suhey, of Boalsburg. The third seat is that of Steve Garban, the former board chairman who resigned in July in the wake of the Freeh report, and his spot was never filled.

Voting will begin April 10, when the election ballots are released to alumni.

The election closes the morning of May 2, and the votes will be tabulated and announced at the board of trustees meeting May 3.

The winners will be sworn in at the trustees’ board meeting in July at the branch campus outside Uniontown, Fayette County.

Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.

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