Serious challenges face our university. The board badly needs new blood and redirection. Yet, we must still rely on the considerable advantages of life and professional experiences. Two valuable attributes I bring to this responsibility are well-directed advocacy, and insight into effectively engaging state officials and legislators. Twenty-six years in top legislative leadership taught me valuable skills that apply here: Bringing people with differing interests together for results. Regrouping and forging ahead after suffering setbacks.
As state senator, I was a foremost advocate for our university and students. I worked to increase funding for Penn State and for student grants and loans; was part of the team bringing about the renowned Information Science and Technology program and state-of-the-art Millennium Science Center; strongly intervened for four-year programs at the Commonwealth campuses and pushed for expanding the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. And when lobbying efforts went awry I advised on how to constructively make our case.
Penn State has not ably conveyed the remarkable academic and research attributes that make our university a renowned leader. The public believes Penn State puts athletics first because that is what they read. The university needs to remind people what powerful economic engines main campus and its Commonwealth campuses are, and how much graduates give back. The chance to contribute to a brighter PSU future and restore pride is exciting and energizing.
It would be an honor to serve the alumni on the board during these difficult times. We are! And we always will be.