Corbett to appoint student representative to PSU board of trustees

mcarroll@centredaily.comMay 8, 2014 

Philadelphia Schools-Corbett

Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to appoint a student to the Penn State board of trustees before the July meeting, governance committee Vice Chairman Carl Shaffer said at a committee metting Thursday.

MATT ROURKE — AP photo

— There will be a student on Penn State’s board of trustees when the group meets in July to discuss future tuition rates.

But it won’t be because the board voted to add a student as a permanent voting member of the board.

Instead, Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to appoint a student to the board before the July meeting, governance committee Vice Chairman Carl Shaffer said Thursday.

Expanding the board and adding a student member was on the agenda of Friday’s board of trustees voting meeting, but the board left the door open to pause the issue if Corbett appointed a new student to the board before then.

Incoming president Eric Barron, addressing students last month, supported the notion of adding a student member.

“My entire time at Florida State, the president of the student body was a sitting and voting trustee,” he said at the time.

The governance committee previously approved the notion of a student trustee, and sent the matter on for discussion and possible vote by the entire board.

Specifically, the proposal calls for an undergraduate, graduate or World Campus student in good standing to serve a two-year term on the board.

The proposal was developed by the three student government organizations representing the undergraduate, graduate and commonwealth campus student bodies.

Peter Khoury, who was appointed by Corbett and joined the board in November 2011, will graduate this week, and there was concern about having no active student on the board this summer when the trustees are discussing tuition rates.

Shaffer said Thursday that Corbett hasn’t made the appointment yet, but that he would do so before July.

Trustee Anthony Lubrano said that if that doesn’t happen, the board can take steps before the July meeting to ensure there is student representation. He said the board could hold a special meeting if necessary.

“There is a stop-gap measure,” Shaffer said.

In light of the coming appointment, discussion on a permanent student spot is essentially being tabled. The issue could be included in larger board reform talks the governance committee is undertaking.

The committee met to discuss reforming the size and makeup of the board, and members broke into small groups for private conversations about how to move forward.

Trustee candidate Alice Pope asked the group Thursday to share its findings from those breakout sessions.

Several committee members characterized the talks as productive, and said the results would be released at a future meeting.

Check back for updates from Thursday’s board of trustees committee meetings. Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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