Letter to the editor | Seems like a setup

August 29, 2013 

The action by leadership of the Penn State board of trustees that led to the withdrawal of student trustee Peter Khoury from the Paterno lawsuit against the NCAA became public knowledge 30 days before the scheduled September meeting.

An Aug. 20 CDT headline declares, “Penn State board leaders say trustee participation in Paterno lawsuit ... constitutes a ‘conflict of interest.’ ”

According to the CDT, trustee plaintiffs Anthony Lubrano and Alvin Clemens also were asked to withdraw, and we may conclude that remaining trustee plaintiffs Ryan McCombie and Adam Taliaferro were likewise asked to withdraw.

At minimum, we can expect that trustees who remain parties to the lawsuit will be removed from their committee assignments, as was threatened against Khoury if he did not withdraw.

However, I suspect more serious punishment: removal as members of the board of trustees.

According to a new university by-law, a proposal for removal “shall be furnished in writing to each member of the Board of Trustees not less than 30 days prior to the meeting ... at which such matter is to be considered.”

Note that the next meeting is Sept. 20, which satisfies the by-law requirement.

The process requires that the chairman of the governance committee (James Broadhurst) and the board chairman (Keith Masser) jointly provide the proposal in writing and present it for vote by not less than two-thirds of trustees present.

It is sad that three alumni-elected trustees and a gubernatorial appointee must choose between loyalty to the Paterno lawsuit against NCAA and fulfillment of their trustee obligations.

Robert L. Horst, Lancaster

The writer is a former member of the Penn State board of trustees.

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