Penn State’s problems during the past few years all stem from a clearly identifiable source. John Surma’s “leadership” on Nov. 9, 2011, admitted falsely on Penn State’s behalf that the university was responsible for Jerry Sandusky.
In July 2012, Karen Peetz and Kenneth Frazier affirmed the Freeh Report’s findings of guilt without authorization by the board, and probably without bothering to read Freeh’s report. This gave the NCAA the excuse to impose on Penn State the kind of sanctions it normally reserves for the most corrupt and abusive athletic programs in the country. Surma, Peetz, and Frazier were or are all business and industry trustees who, because this faction appoints its own members, are responsible and accountable to nobody.
Now the business and industry faction is unhappy that alumni-elected trustee Al Lord has just introduced a resolution to drag the board kicking and screaming into performance of its fiduciary duty (two years late is better than never) by studying the Freeh Report, and then voting to accept or reject it. Business and industry trustee Richard Dandrea has therefore proposed a cut in the number of alumni-elected trustees.
The business and industry faction has made it clear that the role of Penn State’s alumni is solely to donate money when asked, act as goodwill ambassadors for the university and otherwise keep their mouths shut.
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Dandrea and the Nov. 9, 2011, holdovers are, however, now in the minority, so the rest of the board can prevent this self-serving clique from adding university-alumni relations to its already extensive litany of destruction.