Penn State

Trustees approve $10 million capital project threshold

According to a February report by GoFundMe, Pennsylvania students raised $1.9 million from 2014 to 2017 in crowdfunding for tuition and other college expenses.
According to a February report by GoFundMe, Pennsylvania students raised $1.9 million from 2014 to 2017 in crowdfunding for tuition and other college expenses. Centre Daily Times, file

At a telephone meeting in April, Penn State’s finance, business and capital planning committee approved a change to the bylaws that would move the threshold for a capital project being presented to the board from $5 million to $20 million.

On Thursday, the committee on governance and long-rRange planning reconsidered that number.

“It’s a big jump,” said trustees Chairman Ira Lubert.

Administrators said the proposal was about better utilization of the board’s time. In the past three years, 38 capital projects more than $5 million have been brought to them. At the new level, it would have been cut in half. A number of the projects were not new construction, but maintenance or renovation of existing buildings that “would almost certainly be approved,” according to counsel Frank Guadagnino.

“I think if we were spending time approving a roof repair, that might not be the best use of time and talent,” university President Eric Barron said.

Trustee Chris Hoffman had concerns about stepping back during uncertain economic conditions.

The committee split the difference, opting to step up to $10 million.

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