The high cost of attending Penn State vexes many students. President Eric Barron presented a series of very insightful and data-driven ideas for making a Penn State education more affordable. Just a few months into his tenure, Barron already is providing the strong, visionary leadership that Penn State has lacked the last few years.
A much different future was foreshadowed by Kay Salvino, president of the Penn State Alumni Association (PSAA). Salvino proposed that a seat on the board be designated to be filled by the past president of the PSAA. Perhaps not coincidentally, in 2015 the past president will be, you guessed it, Salvino. Whereas Barron’s proposals were strategic, creative and generous, Salvino’s plan can only be characterized as cynical and self-serving.
Worse, Richard Dandrea, vice chairman of the board’s governance committee, expressed a desire to confiscate one of the nine alumni-elected seats and hand it to the PSAA. Nearly 30,000 alumni voted in the 2014 election. It is appalling that Dandrea would disenfranchise tens of thousands of Penn Staters for the benefit of a select privileged few.
What sort of future awaits Penn State? Hopefully it will be a future that mirrors Barron’s wisdom and not the political shenanigans of Salvino and Dandrea.