Albert L. Lord: Penn State Board of Trustees candidate

April 10, 2014 

Biographical information

Naples, Fla.

Age: 68

Education: B.S. accounting

Work: Private investor

Experiences and activities: life member, Penn State Alumni Association; distinguished alumni recipient; alumni fellow; member, President’s Club

Please describe your motivations for running for the Board of Trustees.

I believe Penn State, after an unsullied century-and-a-half record, is today in a limbo between its past and future. Our current trustees paid some $8 million for an investigation by Louis Freeh and now purports not to have accepted or rejected it.

I believe the indictment of Penn State’s culture in the Freeh Report must be either accepted or rejected. I reject it but I believe the report should be examined and completed by the trustees. The Penn State that the report describes is not the Penn State I attended or remember in the 50 years since I started in 1964.

I have been an active alum for most of my life and I have invested very heavily in the school. I have long planned to invest considerably more late in life. My success moving my fellow trustees to come to grips with the Freeh Report will help me decide my future involvement.

What are the most important challenges ahead for Penn State, and if elected, how would you address them?

Penn State has the same challenges all schools have, principally financial. Education is today more critical than ever and its importance will grow as our world demands higher skill levels.

We have another challenge that other schools do not have — the lingering unanswered Freeh Report. Most of us try to ignore the obvious assault on our culture and behave as if all is well. All is not well. We are less competitive today because of reputational damage to our former leaders and our school generally.

If elected, what position would you support on the topic of Penn State board of trustees reform?

Our board is too large. It is filled largely by persons appointed not elected and therefore not accountable. Skin in the game is vital to all positions of authority, most of our trustees do not have it.

I suggest at least 50 percent or more of directors be elected by alumni whose reputation is at risk for the actions of this board. Special positions for government, business and farmers are far too numerous and frankly give authority to individuals with no responsibility for their acts.

If elected, what position would you support about Joe Paterno?

Joe is gone. I miss him very much. After watching his career closely and in its entirety, I am certain he knew nothing of the severity of Jerry Sandusky’s actions. I was fortunate enough to know Joe and his family. His life and accomplishments are the antithesis of the politically correct debacle that ensued upon our weak kneed trustees who discarded all of our leaders and conceded our reputation.

Penn State is Joe Paterno. He is singly the most effective leader to set foot on our campus in its 150-year history. Our football team was successful and the finest collection of college student athletes in America. Further, while Joe improved our football reputation, he also was almost singly responsible for the academic improvement of the university experienced in the past 40 years.

Is there anything else you want voters to know about you and your candidacy?

Much divisiveness and animosity have prevailed since November 2011. It will only be repaired when the infection born by trustee missteps in 2011 and since is excised. Penn Staters are divided in two camps — our leaders either knew or they did not know. The shortcomings of Freeh's Report must be repaired so we can unify around truth.

I am committed to finding the truth about what happened. I hope the long delayed trial of our three noteworthy defendants takes place soon. I am committed to helping those defendants in any way I can.

Though I will be just one among thirty members I have operated successfully as a minority board member. Penn State must put this tragedy behind it. I intend to encourage members to take their heads out of the sand and deal with the elephant in the room.

If elected, I will work for the appropriate recognition of Joe Paterno and the culture he promoted.

More info: alord@crvslm.com

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