Board of Trustees

Robert G. Milnes III: Penn State Board of Trustees candidate

Biographical information


Age: 35

Education: B.S. mechanical engineering, 2002; M.B.A. university of Tennessee, 2009

Work: senior engineer, Westinghouse Electric Co., Cranberry Township; professional engineer’s license, state of Connecticut

Experiences and activities: life member of Penn State Alumni Association, member of the Pittsburgh chapter of Alumni Association

Please describe your motivations for running for the Board of Trustees.

In 2012, there were a record 86 Penn Staters running for the board of trustees. In 2013, only 39 people ran for the positions. The past three years have seen a record number of candidates vying for the available alumni representative positions on the Penn State board of trustees. Rob is neither wealthy nor famous: He is a Penn Stater who cares deeply about our university.

If elected, Rob will strive to:

• Advance and expand the educational and economic role that Penn State plays within the commonwealth and beyond while implementing comprehensive and innovative communication systems.

• Construct and enact reform of the structure of the board of trustees to both modernize the system and safeguard that all factions of the university are proportionally and fairly represented.

• Work with the incoming president of Penn State to ensure that changes are supported and welcomed by university personnel, students and alumni. Penn State has been running on temporary leadership for two years and will need to return to leadership that can successfully implement long-time goals.

• Help to contain tuition and room and board expenses to make Penn State the first choice for in-state students by managing the university budget.

• Honor the past while respecting the future. The university needs to re-examine the flawed Freeh report to get to the truth. Joe needs to be finally be honored by the university. We also need to show our new coach that he is now one of us too.

What are the most important challenges ahead for Penn State, and if elected, how would you address them?

The biggest challenge to the university is making it affordable for current and future students. As alumni, we understand the value a Penn State education provides. A Penn State degree along with the network of loyal and enterprising Penn Staters has been a huge bolster to each of us. Passing this gift on to future students is key. The university has several ways to do this: Increase student enrollment, increase income, cut costs or combinations of the three. As Penn State overall enrollment continues to increase, making sure that costs for the individual student are low helps to continue this trend. State funding is also key to the advancement and accessibility of the university. A Penn State education for citizens of the commonwealth promotes better lives and drives economic growth. Showcasing this will help to maintain appropriation dollars. Cost-cutting is a dreaded phrase as it generally means losing capability. However, a fresh and comprehensive review of the current budget and expenditures is necessary to rule out waste and maintain that the university is running as efficiently as possible. In addition, Penn State must create and implement innovative technologies that are long-term wins for both the environment and our budgets.

If elected, what position would you support on the topic of Penn State board of trustees reform?

I am in favor of reforming the board. The board needs to be smaller and more responsive to the voices of the alumni. The average Pennsylvanian needs to have a say in how the university runs.

If elected, what position would you support about Joe Paterno?

Penn State needs to honor the past while respecting the future. Joe put us on the map. The university needs to re-examine the flawed Freeh report to get to the truth. Joe needs to be finally be honored by the university. We also need to show our new coach that he is now one of us, too.

More info:,,, Twitter: @RobMilnes4PSU