Auditor general offered trustee reform plan in 2012
Penn State trustees are right on one thing: The structure of the board needs to change.
State Auditor General Jack Wagner made this clear in 2012, and we agree.
The unwieldy 32-member — soon to be 38-member — board contributes to the crisis in governance that has been seen for more than a decade.
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This makes the board’s decision last week to increase its membership testament to the board’s inability to reform itself.
Only one solution remains: the General Assembly. The current Penn State board with dozens of members puts accountability on no one, and it’s high time legislators reform the 19th century Penn State charter, which is more focused on representing its many constituencies than protecting taxpayers and students.
The board needs to be reduced to no more than 15, with appointing authority placed with the governor, along with clear and full accountability for the performance of alumni and non-alumni trustees.
Good governance requires direct accountability and thoughtful reform, not more trustees at an already crowded table.