Three alumni seats on Penn State’s board of trustees are up for grabs this spring, and the nominating period officially began Tuesday.
Two of the seats are held by local orthopedic surgeon Paul Suhey and Philadelphia-area lawyer Stephanie Deviney. The third is the seat of former board chairman Steve Garban, which has remained vacant since he resigned from the board in July.
Deviney said Tuesday she will seek re-election. She previously hinted toward that, as last week the university announced she would seek the board’s vice chairwoman’s post when the trustees elect officers at their meeting on campus Friday.
Alumni who want a nominating form are asked to email Penn State’s trustees office at firstname.lastname@example.org. The university asks that alumni include their name, the year of graduation, the college and major, and a current email address and mailing address.
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If interest in last year’s race is a hint about the prospects for this year, the election may be highly competitive, with dozens of alumni in the running.
Last year, amid furor in the Penn State alumni community over the board’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal and the firing of former head football coach Joe Paterno, an unprecedented 86 alumni vied for just three seats.
Anne Riley, a former teacher in the State College Area School District, was the lone incumbent to run. She lost to newcomers Anthony Lubrano, the founder of a retirement and wealth management firm; retired Navy SEAL Ryan McCombie and former football player Adam Taliaferro.
This year, candidates need to collect 50 nominations by 5 p.m. Feb. 25 to be eligible for the ballot.
The university has eligibility guidelines for membership. For instance, trustees do not have to be Pennsylvania residents and they cannot be university employees.
Ballots will be available April 10, and the election process closes the morning of May 2. All alumni can vote, and last year, a record 37,579 alumni cast ballots.
Trustees take office in July.
When the trustees convene for their voting meeting on Friday, one of their tasks will be to elect new officers.
Board Chairwoman Karen Peetz has said she will not seek re-election because she has been promoted to president of BNY Mellon. She has said she will not be able to make the time commitment that leading the board requires.
Some trustees have endorsed Schuylkill County potato farmer Keith Masser to succeed Peetz as chairman. Masser said he has made arrangements for his family to take over running his farm so that he can devote his time to Penn State.