Brian M. Rutter: Penn State Board of Trustees candidate

April 10, 2014 

Biographical information

Boalsburg

Age: 32

Education: B.S. marketing, 2003

Work: vice president of operations, ICAT Logistics MDT Division, State College

Experiences and activities: member, Penn State Alumni Association

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

My motivation for running for the board of trustees was relatively basic. Prior to the fall of 2011 I had never paid much attention, like so many of us, to the board of trustees at Penn State. Over the past three years the election has drawn more attention than any year before on the candidates within our Alumni community. In looking at the board members and candidates for the board, so many were dwelling on political pushes of heated issues and their professional accolades rather than having the right kind of people representing Penn Stat. There were few, if any, candidates who represented the masses of “regular” alumni. My motivation was to bring the voice of a hardworking, middle class, Penn State-proud alumni to the board.

While I have had success in business here in Happy Valley, my campaign is not focused on what I have accomplished professionally or bashing candidates for their take on issues in the university. Rather, it’s based around bringing my personal life values to Penn State - commitment, loyalty, integrity, passion, and respect.

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

If you have been on campus in the last 10 years you certainly know that there has been impressive changes to the physical structures that are now present on campus. While this amazing growth is both impressive and helps draw attention to how impressive University Park’s campus is, we need to have a time of conservative spending at Penn State while regaining our positive image throughout the world.

If we can work to slow our investment in large capital expenditures and shift that to drive scholarship opportunities across all income levels we can quickly help to restore our worldwide image. The cost of tuition becomes increasingly difficult for students to overcome and through large private donors sought out by the development office we can make Penn State more accessible to the best and brightest. One of the top priorities of the board must be to support and hold accountable the development team to increase scholarship opportunities university-wide.

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

I support the reform proposals to the board of trustees, specifically to prohibit the president of the university and the state’s governor as voting members of the board. As the board of trustees is chosen to elect the president of the university, there stands to be conflict of interest if the president is then voting against the issues that the majority of the board supports.

We are at a critical time in our university’s history with the major changes in key leaders. We must ensure that the relationship between the president and the board is stronger than ever and has a focus on forward moving positive actions.

Additionally, I support the reform proposal limiting the trustee term limits to nine years in three total terms is a necessary to keep the board from becoming stagnant. We are constantly changing in every other level of the university and must ensure that the top governing group of Penn State is no exception.

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

I support the reform proposals to the board of trustees, specifically to prohibit the president of the university and the state’s governor as voting members of the board. As the board of trustees is chosen to elect the president of the university, there stands to be conflict of interest if the president is then voting against the issues that the majority of the board supports.

We are at a critical time in our university’s history with the major changes in key leaders. We must ensure that the relationship between the president and the board is stronger than ever and has a focus on forward moving positive actions.

Additionally, I support the reform proposal limiting the trustee term limits to nine years in three total terms is a necessary to keep the board from becoming stagnant. We are constantly changing in every other level of the university and must ensure that the top governing group of Penn State is no exception.

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

In all of our hearts we know who Joe Paterno was and still is to Penn State, tens of thousands of alumni, athletes, and members of the community at large. He did more for the university than any other individual in the history of Penn State and we all know and feel this regardless of whether 409 or 298 is next to his stats in the NCAA record books. Should we work to restore his legacy? Yes.

To everyone reading this I ask you this, if Coach Paterno had to answer the same question, how do you feel he would respond? Do you feel that he would dwell on the past on a statistical number or move forward to making the lives for the next PSU student, athlete, alumni, employee, and community better moving forward?

The board must choose and support an outside task force to restore Joe Paterno’s legacy allowing them to pick the fight for what was done. The board needs to then maintain their focus on what coach would want to see, the future.

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

I live, eat, breath, work, play, and relish being a part of the Penn State community. I don’t have all of the answers to fix every problem of the university; no one does. Every year the focus turns to fixing what’s bad. We’ve done a lot of good over 159 years and if you’re voting, you know this. I am running to help grow the already amazing attributes of our university while working to alleviate that negative. Let’s get a local voice backed by honest values to keep Penn State dear in all of our hearts while focusing on forward growth.

More info: www.brianforboard.com, www.facebook.com/groups/591818204228613, Twitter: @Brian4PSUBoT

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