Board of Trustees

Penn State trustees committee recommends bylaw changes

The Penn State finance committee gave approval to bylaw changes that include tweaking what requires board approval. Renovations to the Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex would not have required approval.
The Penn State finance committee gave approval to bylaw changes that include tweaking what requires board approval. Renovations to the Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex would not have required approval. Centre Daily Times, file

The Penn State trustees may have slightly different decisions on their plate if new recommendations go through.

On Thursday, in a special teleconference meeting, the finance, business and capital planning committee approved a slate of changes to the bylaws.

According to the proposed revisions posted on the university website, changes include tweaking what actually requires board approval.

Some of them seem like streamlining, changing “the determination of the major goals of the university, including the establishment and review of long range plans for the education, financial and physical development of the university” with “the university’s strategic plan.”

Others were more specific. The board would still have to approve real estate purchases and capital projects, but the thresholds shifted. Instead of $1 million as the minimum for a land buy, the trustees would only be involved at the $2 million or more mark. Construction or renovation or other projects, including those bond-financed, would go up 400 percent before requiring the trustees’ involvement, moving from $5 million to $20 million.

According to the university’s information, that would have changed the number of construction or renovation projects requiring the board’s rubber stamp from 38 to 19 between 2014 and 2016. Projects that would not have required approval would have included: renovations to the Lasch Football Building locker and equipment rooms, $12 million; University Park Airport infrastructure improvements, $10.7 million; and Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex renovation, $10.3 million.

The move passed by a vote of 4 to 0, with trustee Bill Oldsey abstaining.

Nothing, however, changes yet. The recommendations now move from the finance committee to governance and long range planning in the May meeting of the trustees. If that committee gives its approval, the changes would then move to the full board for consideration in July.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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