Penn State

Penn State board of trustees office director to retire

mdawson@centredaily.comApril 8, 2013 

The longtime director of Penn State’s office of the board of trustees will retire at the end of June.

Paula Ammerman, of Ferguson Township, is leaving behind coordinating the trustees’ meetings and activities, drawing up meeting agendas and working nights and weekends. In place of the duties she knew for 21 years as the office’s director, she said she will spend more time with her family and certainly look forward to a less regimented schedule.

Ammerman called the job she has had since 1992 a “privilege and an honor.”

“To be a small part of transforming the lives of literally thousands of students and individuals who we touch in some small way is really — it’s a pretty awesome experience,” said Ammerman, who is originally from Texas, moved here after marrying a Centre Countian and has worked at the university for 35 years.

In her role, Ammerman is in charge of the trustees office. That leaves her a lot of work come trustee election time, as the run-up to the alumni trustee election has been in the works for months. Voting starts Wednesday and will continue through May 2.

Ammerman also maintains the trustees handbook, prepares presentations and oversees communications. She’s also a fixture at all trustee meetings and has visited all but two of Penn State’s branch campuses.

The trustees’ March meeting in Hershey was the first she has missed, she said.

Ammerman said her job responsibilities have not changed because of the attention on the board of trustees since the Jerry Sandusky scandal and subsequent fallout.

Instead, the biggest change was when the university created a separate corporation for the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in 2000. Her position works with the medical center’s board of directors, and she said the experience was one of the most important periods for her professional growth.

“It’s been a real honor to be part of the fabric of the institution, and I hope I’ve left it in a better place,” she said.

Ammerman said she will miss working with the trustees, people she called volunteers who “work hard and long toward the betterment of” Penn State.

“That’s simply inspiring to be around,” Ammerman said.

The university posted the want-ad for her job on www.psu.jobs last week. The job description is quite extensive — it’s 571 words long. The salary range is $54,900 to more than $115,000, according to university guidelines.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said she knows of no one at the university who knows more about the trustees than Ammerman does.

“While I’m sure we’ll attract a great field of candidates, Paula’s institutional knowledge is something you can’t replace and it will be missed,” Powers said.

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

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