Nationwide election attention may be set to wrap up with the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, but the Nittany Nation is gearing up for a whole new electoral process.
Every year, Penn State’s 39 trustees, 33 of them voting members of the board, get a slight shake-up. New members are tweaked in almost every category.
The governor changes at least every four to eight years, but he might switch out his secretaries of education, agriculture or conservation of natural resources more often. The immediate past president of the Penn State Alumni Association takes over for the last officer to represent the group on the board. New trustees are chosen from business and industry. A new student representative will be selected in 2017 and the governor replaces two of the gubernatorial-appointed trustees. For that category, Gov. Tom Wolf has already announced that David Kleppinger, chairman of Harrisburg law firm McNees Wallace and Nurick; and Alex Hartzler, founder and managing partner of real estate developer WCI Partner, also of Harrisburg, will replace Cliff Benson and Paul Silvis.
Two elections will be held. Two trustees will be chosen by agricultural societies as Betsy Huber’s and former chairman Keith Masser’s terms expire.
Three are picked by Penn State alumni. That election starts with the nomination process, which begins Sunday.
The seats up for grabs are those occupied by former state senator and Lt. Gov. Bob Jubelirer, former Sallie Mae CEO Al Lord and St. John’s University psychology professor Alice Pope.
Nomination ballots are automatically sent to alumni with valid addresses on file who have not opted out of communications, according to the university. Students, both undergraduate and graduate, are not eligible to vote. Any other alumni who want to participate need to request a ballot. That can be done via the university website.
Nomination ballots are accepted until 5 p.m. Feb. 25. The final election ballot will then be prepared.