Board of Trustees

Laurie A. Stanell: Penn State Board of Trustees candidate

Biographical information


Age: 57

Education: B.S. biology, 1980; D.M.D. Temple University School of Dentistry, 1985

Work: dentist, president of corporation

Experience and activities: adjunct professor, Temple Dental School; Spend a Summer Day at Penn State for potential students; accepted students alumni tour guide; member, Mount Nittany Club, President’s Club, American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Penn State Alumni Association, Floating Lions, Phi Sigma Biology Honor Society, dance marathon alumni interest group

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

In 2011 when I believed the board of trustees and administration had the alumni, students’ and university’s back, I found that was horribly untrue. The board and administration acted in haste to fire Joe Paterno without due process, and accept the NCAA sanctions, I realized I needed to become more than just a volunteer at Penn State. I volunteer because I love Penn State and all it contributed to my life and you could have knocked me over with a feather in the days around Nov. 9, 2011. I knew I needed to use my passion and intelligence to help Penn State right those horribly wrong decisions and move forward, not only beyond the Sandusky scandal, but stay current as a board, representing the alumni, students and faculty transparently and with a vision for our future as a world class institution.

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

• Keeping Penn State as one of the top universities in the world while, keeping the costs at a minimum for the students in these years of decreasing state and federal funding while university operating costs increase.

• Creating a board of trustees that represents the university as it is in the 21st century, not 1855, with truth and transparency.

• Get to the truth behind the Sandusky scandal, determine who the true guilty parties are in the cover up and do as much as possible to vindicate the innocents. The scandal was a Sandusky scandal not a Penn State scandal, but the media and our own university pulled it right onto us by jumping and firing,thinking, I believe only in protecting themselves and definitely, not thinking it through with due process. Then once this has been accomplished Penn State can move forward to a stronger more unified university — it is not beneficial to anyone to ignore mistakes, push them under the so-called rug and move forward .... or history may repeat itself. We must correct the way we handled things, get to the truth, before we can move on.

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

I would support board reform, both in size and representation. Penn State’s board is one of the largest in the United States and totally outdated in percentages of representation. These both need to change in order for our board to work effectively in the coming years.

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

Whenever the truth is discovered about what happened I will support the results. At this point I find it impossible for a man who was such a decent, honest, upstanding man to have anything to do with a cover-up of child abuse. I believe if all the evidence is allowed to be seen by the public, the Paterno family and lettermen et al., Joe Paterno will be vindicated. It is a horrible shame that he had to die before this.

Is there anything else you want voters to know about you and your candidacy?

I feel I am the most qualified to represent the alumni, students and faculty, first because I have been all three in my life and also am a fourth-generation Penn Stater with a vested family interest in maintaining the success and high academic standards of our great alma mater. I will work hard and smart for Penn State.

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