Board of Trustees

Which Penn State trustee is saying no to re-election?

Ryan McCombie speaks during the opening ceremony for the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall at Penn State's Innovation Park in 2017.
Ryan McCombie speaks during the opening ceremony for the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall at Penn State's Innovation Park in 2017. adrey@centredaily.com

For the second year in a row, a Penn State trustee is stepping away from re-election after the nominations have closed.

On Sunday, just after the 5 p.m. deadline for nominations for the three alumni-elected trustee positions, Ryan McCombie said he would not run.

“Since joining the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees almost six years ago, I have been rewarded with some of the most interesting, tumultuous, gratifying and challenging experiences of my volunteer life,” McCombie said in a letter released after the deadline.

McCombie, a retired Navy SEAL and military attache who became a finance executive, was elected to the board in 2012 at the height of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. He was one of a large number of candidates critical of the university’s handling of the situation.

“There was never a shortage of demands or struggles to address. Almost immediately after taking office, I lodged a plea against the unwarranted sanctions the NCAA had imposed against Penn State,” he said. “This event influenced and shaped much of my time on the board.”

In 2017, Al Lord stepped away from the election after his name had already been listed first on the ballot, amongst controversy over statements he made about “so-called” victims of Jerry Sandusky. Despite clarifications about his statements and protestations that he would not be going anywhere, Lord eventually said he would finish his term but not run again.

Others who were seeking nominations for this year’s election included incumbents Anthony Lubrano and Robert Tribeck, former NFL and Nittany Lion player Brandon Short, California writer and accountant Robert Bowsher, Bucks County dentist Laurie Stanell, State High grad and insurance agent Seth Walizer, lawyer Alvin de Levie and Penn State professor Barry Fenchak.

The ballot has not been announced yet. Elections will take place through April and into May, with the results announced at the May 4 board meeting.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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