Board of Trustees

Kathleen Casey nomination to Penn State Board of Trustees unlikely this year

Approval for Gov. Tom Corbett’s nominee to fill an open seat on the Penn State board of trustees seems unlikely to take place before the end of the year.

The state Senate needs to approve the nomination, but it only has two scheduled session days left this year — one today and one Nov. 14.

State Sen. Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, said typically legislation is not considered after an election.

“We may have to wait until next year,” Corman said recently.

Corbett nominated Kathleen Casey, a 1988 Penn State graduate and former U.S. Securities and Exchange commissioner, to fill the seat. Casey is a senior adviser at Patomak Global in Washington, D.C.

The governor appoints six of the board’s 32 members.

One group, Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, came out against the nomination, saying it opposes any appointments until the board updates its conflict of interest policy and gets training related to that.

An alumni-elected seat has also been open since July. Steve Garban, facing criticism for his role as former chairman and the university’s response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, stepped down. That seat will be up for election in 2013.

Board Chairwoman Karen Peetz announced at the board’s September meeting that the alumni seat would remain open until elections next year. She said that a special election would have been the fairest way to fill it and that by the time that was completed the elected trustee would have only had two meetings left.

Corman said it is understandable that some of the alumni are concerned about the Corbett appointment in light of the fact that the board vacancy created when Garban resigned has been left unfilled.

“We want to give her a fair opportunity to come in and introduce herself, and we’ll make a decision at that point,” Corman said.