Some might be troubled by the fact that alumni voting for Penn State’s board of trustees is behind the pace set in 2012 and 2013. But we see a potential upside to the slow start.
Could it be that alumni are spending more time contemplating the candidates and studying their positions?
With so many quality individuals seeking just three seats, we suggest just that approach.
Voting began April 10 and continues until 9 a.m. May 8.
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That gives alumni plenty of time to make sound decisions — given a diversity of candidates — and still approach or surpass the record 37,500 total votes cast two years ago.
Jennifer Bird-Pollan, a professor and first-time candidate, said: “I hope that interested voters will read the candidate statements, and vote based on the qualifications and message of the candidate, rather than based on the money spent by that candidate in the election.”
We hope Penn State graduates will consider all 31 names on the ballot, those sponsored by organizations and those running independent campaigns.
The Centre Daily Times provided an extensive look at the candidates that can be found at www.centredaily .com/pennstate-trustees.
Many are advertising their views on our website and in the printed CDT. The candidates have their own websites and social media outlets.
The “message” is out there for alumni to find and contemplate.
The candidates make up an impressive group of business, education and government leaders who care about Penn State and want to see the university thrive.
But which ones have the best vision for making that happen?
That’s what voters have to decide.
State College businessman Joel Myers is the lone incumbent in the hunt. Trustee Marianne Alexander chose not to run for re-election, and Jesse Arnelle withdrew before voting started.
So, at least two seats will be filled by newcomers.
The options are varied, and include:
• Three university professors (Bird-Pollan, Alice Pope and Allen Soyster), a university president (Ricardo Azziz) and a retired schools administrator (George Weigand)
• Attorneys (Jason Kutulakis, Joshua Fulmer, Edward Kabala and John Graham Jr.) and a retired probation officer (Robert Hooper).
• A district attorney (Seth Williams), a former district judge and county commissioner (Keith Bierly), and an ex-state senator (Robert Jubelirer).
• Two Penn State football lettermen (Ted Sebastianelli and Rudy Glocker) who went on to successful careers.
• Media and marketing professionals (Amy Williams, Daniel Cocco and Ryan Bagwell) and defense/government specialists (Ned Rauch-Mannino, Vincent Tedesco III).
• An engineer (Robert Milnes III), an accountant (Robert Bowsher) and several corporate executives (Julie Harris McHugh, Matt Schuyler, Albert Lord and Brian Rutter).
• A dentist (Laurie Stanell) and writer/therapist (Art Greenwald), a 2010 Penn State graduate (Gavin Keirans) and a stay-at-home mom (Christine Rhoads).
Together, they are a collection of individuals suited for the challenge of helping take Penn State into the future.
But voters must choose three.
We urge alumni to get involved in the process, to research all of the candidates. And then vote.