Board of Trustees

Rep. Scott Conklin to host public hearing on Penn State board of trustees reform

State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, will host a public hearing July 17 in State College on his reform bills concerning the Penn State board of trustees.

In December, Conklin sponsored a series of bills in the state House “to increase accountability and transparency,” his office said Tuesday in a news release.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m. in the State College Borough Building, 243 S. Allen St.

“This is an opportunity to give the Penn State community a chance to give their input on what we see as a very important reform package that Rep. Conklin has put forth in the General Assembly,” Tor Michaels, Conklin’s chief of staff, said Tuesday.

Michaels said Conklin’s office sent letters Monday to all current Penn State trustees and to newcomers elected in May, inviting them to participate in the hearing.

At their May meeting, the trustees adopted reforms that included removing the governor and the university president as voting members and increasing from 13 to 16 the number of trustees that need to be present to constitute a voting quorum.

Conklin’s legislation would further reduce the size of the board and would bring Penn State and other state-related universities more fully under the state’s right-to-know law.

Michaels said Conklin proposes that the board be trimmed to 22 members, the level suggested last fall by then-Auditor General Jack Wagner. The May trustees action reduced the size of the Penn State board from 32 to 30.

“We’re hoping to have a very constructive dialogue,” Michaels said. “The Penn State community has not yet had an opportunity to have a forum like this.”

The trustees will next meet July 11-12 at the Fayette campus near Uniontown. At that time, the board is expected to adopt tuition rates for the next school year.