Education: B.A. political science, 1991; M.A. political science, 1993; M.B.A., Harvard Business School, 1998
Work: managing partner, pediped footwear, Henderson, Nev.
Experiences and activities: member, Penn State Outreach and Online Education advisory board; board of trustees, The Aloha Foundation, Fairlee, Vt.; lifetime member, Penn State Alumni Association; lifetime member, Football Letterman’s Club; Outstanding Young Alumnus, Penn State political science department, 2005-06 academic year
Please describe your motivations for running for the Board of Trustees.
This board of trustees election is critical to the future of Penn State.
This is a unique moment in the history of higher education. The ‘traditional’ model of college is being challenged online tools are changing the way we learn and information is transmitted. The opportunities and risks are greater than ever.
Penn State has great assets to take advantage of this changing educational landscape. Rising international rankings, high rankings by recruiters, great faculty, outstanding research and a leading position in online education.
We need trustees who can help Penn State navigate this new world of higher education. Trustees with direct experience in the issues and challenges that will enable Penn State to succeed. We need Trustees who are actively engaged in a rapidly changing, globally competitive world.
During my years of service on the Penn State Outreach and Online Education advisory board I have come to understand World Campus and the institutional barriers that slow its potential. These barriers must be broken to insure its continued dominance in online degree granting education.
My company, pediped footwear, competes online against the top companies in the world. We find ways to drive distinction and appeal to a growing breed of empowered, discerning customers.
Now is the time for Penn State to lead the future of higher education. To set the standards for excellence in the classroom: traditional and online. We need Trustees with a demonstrated track record of success in these areas.
What are the most important challenges ahead for Penn State, and if elected, how would you address them?
1. Changes in Higher Education landscape
2. Fiscal Restraint
3. Attracting top academic talent
Online tools and methods are changing the way students take classes and people gather information. Penn State needs a scalable online platform for its World Campus that ensures quality in both instruction and delivery:
1. Technological improvements to improve teaching, scalability and quality
2. Attracting key technology people to State College
Penn State needs to conduct a full review of its existing and proposed infrastructure. This review should rank all infrastructure/assets into three categories:
1. Mission critical assets — invest
2. Complimentary assets that assist or enhance mission critical ones — maintain
3. Unnecessary or obsolete assets that are burdening our budget — divest
The changes in higher education are demanding a different type of human capital. Penn State needs to invest in the people that are going to drive innovation, teaching and research in this new era:
1. Leading scholars and students — from all over the world
2. Dynamic, innovative, risk taking, technologically savvy teachers who can communicate with a global student body
3. Less hierarchical working environment
By aggressively meeting these challenges, Penn State can become the world’s leading university.
If elected, what position would you support on the topic of Penn State board of trustees reform?
To garner my support, a board reform package would have to all or some of the following critical points:
1. Significant increase in alumni positions as percentage of the board
2. Dedicated alumni seats on the executive committee
3. Transparency on candidates, selection criteria, and voting for non-alumni seats
I think alumni should be at least 67 percent of the board and I would push for 75 percent. Until alumni seats are a majority, seat increases will not change the way the board operates.
Alumni participation on the executive committee needs to be part of reform. Alumni representation on the executive committee needs to be in line with overall board representation. The executive committee sets the agenda of the board and drives many of the decisions.
All candidates, evaluation criteria, committee minutes and votes need to be open to the public — and not just for business and industry — for all non-alumni seats. There also needs to be minimum criteria established for being an appointed trustee.
If elected, what position would you support about Joe Paterno?
I fully support honoring the contributions of Joe Paterno to Penn State and the State College community. He should be treated and viewed as one of the great leaders of Penn State, a leader who inspired Penn State and every Penn State graduate to be more than they ever thought they could be.
Is there anything else you want voters to know about you and your candidacy?
My candidacy is differentiated and superior to others because I understand and have direct experience and a track record of success in critical matters facing Penn State: online education, fiscal restraint and the pursuit of truth in the Sandusky scandal.