Letter to the editor | Penn State board still seems self-serving

July 25, 2013 

As a Penn State alumnus, I read with interest Penn State board of trustees Chairman Keith Masser’s recent comments (“PSU improving governance, moving forward,” CDT, Saturday).

He mentions that recommendations from various interests “led to the most sweeping board governance reforms since Penn State was founded in 1855.”

That’s fine, but ask yourself what they have done that affects their current membership?

Aside from making the president and governor “nonvoting” members and opening up their meetings to include a public comments session, they really haven’t done anything that impacts their terms as trustees.

The board set term limits at 12 years, not retroactively, mind you, but effective this month.

They talk about establishing background checks not for themselves, but for newly elected trustees. Now the governance committee is interested in bringing in expert governance counsel to help them — among other things — with the election and selection processes for trustees.

Evidently, they’re not overjoyed with the results of the past two alumni trustee elections. The board extended the time to move from the board to a university position to five years, but here again not impacting anyone already in that position.

Finally, have we seen any movement toward bringing the university fully under the state’s Right-to-Know Law? Sadly, the answer is no.

The real question is when, if ever, the will board tackle true, meaningful reform?

Ted Sebastianelli

State College

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