Kudos to Penn State trustees for their alertness to duty last week.
They discovered and voted to delete a disturbing amendment within a package of governance changes.
The amendment would have removed Robert’s Rules of Order as the guideline for conducting board meetings. Most organizations rely on Robert’s Rules because they promote fairness, support the deliberative process, protect the rights of members and provide stability.
The board’s appalling alternative to would have given individual chairmen their own laissez-faire discretion in conducting meetings — an unwise move that would have invited disaster.
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For instance, Robert’s Rules defines a simple majority as more than half. Under the proposed amendment, a meeting chairman could have defined a decision-carrying majority as far less — or whatever suited the chairman’s agenda — or dispensed with voting altogether.
Opportunities for chicanery would have been endless.
Penn State could have been left with what amounts to a mini-Politburo as its governing body.
One wonders why such an odious idea was included in a proposal approved by the Governance Committee in September.
Mary Yoder Agliardo