Penn State

Four incumbent Penn State trustees get new terms, nine set to join board in July

Vice chairwoman Kathleen Casey listens during a Penn State Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, May 8, 2015.
Vice chairwoman Kathleen Casey listens during a Penn State Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, May 8, 2015. CDT photo

A list of nine new members was approved by the Penn State board of trustees on Friday, but it was a vote including one member of the current board that gave one of the only surprises in an otherwise routine meeting.

Most of the names raised no eyebrows.

Luke Metaxas was rubber-stamped as the first student trustee and David Han as the faculty trustee. Kay Salvino will automatically move into a seat as the immediate past president of the Penn State Alumni Association when her term expires and the new fiscal year starts.

Donald Cotner was re-elected by the agriculture delegates Thursday, along with Chris Hoffman, vice president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, who takes over the seat of Carl Shaffer, a board member since 1997.

Liberty Property Trust Chief Operating Officer Robert Fenza and Follett Corp. CEO Mary Lee Schneider, both Penn State alumni, were named the new business and industry representative trustees, replacing Ed Hintz and Kenneth Frazier.

The alumni trustee elections had no surprises, with just three candidates for the three open seats. Outspoken board critic Anthony Lubrano got the most votes, with 14,795 alumni casting a ballot for him. Fellow incumbent Ryan McCombie got 14,779, and newcomer Rob Tribeck picked up 14,502.

But when it came to the three at-large trustees, the votes were not unanimous.

Like the student, faculty and PSAA seats, the at-large positions are new, created under governance changes in November. They were part of the 11th-hour “A-plus” plan that was submitted as a compromise by board Chairman Keith Masser in September. Masser’s vice chairwoman, Kathleen Casey, will be among the first to hold one of the seats.

Casey, senior adviser at Patomak Global Partners LLC, was one of former Gov. Tom Corbett’s appointees in 2013. Her appointment expires June 30, but instead of leaving the board, she will take on a new at-large position, along with former alumni trustee candidate Matthew Schuyler, chief human resources officer at Hilton Worldwide, and Julie Anna Potts, executive vice president and treasurer of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

However, about a third of the board did not vote for any of the trio.

Lubrano announced that he would abstain, and Masser directed a roll-call vote. The present alumni-elected trustees were joined by Russell Redding, acting secretary of agriculture, and Pedro Rivera, acting secretary of education, in withholding votes. Casey also abstained.

“I didn’t feel I had sufficient information on the other candidates to make an informed decision,” Lubrano said.

Along with fellow alumni trustees Ted Brown, Barbara Doran, Bob Jubelirer, Bill Oldsey and Alice Pope, he petitioned the board for full information on how the business and industry and at-large trustees were being selected April 27. That was resolved Thursday as the two sides came to an agreement that the information would be provided but kept strictly confidential.