Board of Trustees

Penn State trustees keep public comment changes

People watch the public comment period via video stream at the Penn State board of trustees meeting in January. The comment period was held before the meeting was called to order, in the room where the trustees were holding their executive session. The public was invited to watch on screen in another room, or via streaming through WPSU. That arrangement will continue at the trustees’ meeting next week in Hershey.
People watch the public comment period via video stream at the Penn State board of trustees meeting in January. The comment period was held before the meeting was called to order, in the room where the trustees were holding their executive session. The public was invited to watch on screen in another room, or via streaming through WPSU. That arrangement will continue at the trustees’ meeting next week in Hershey. CDT file photo

The Penn State board of trustees is sticking with the public comment arrangement it started in January.

That is when it decided to move the comment portion from the end of the meeting, when several members of the board and administration have missed them due to prior commitments . Instead, it held them before the meeting was called to order, in the room where the trustees were holding their executive session. The public was invited to watch on screen in another room, or via streaming through WPSU.

That will be the same setup for the meeting Friday in Hershey. Public comment will be held at 11 a.m. in the Nigerian Room at the Hershey Lodge. The public will be in the Crystal Room.

One small switch? The board of trustees is slated to be at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center for the executive session until noon. The voting session of the trustees meeting will be called to order in the Nigerian Room at 1:30 p.m.

“The new public comment protocol worked as it was intended to work,” said Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers in an email.

“Students who requested it be first on the agenda were granted that wish. Those who wanted to share their thoughts with the board on matters before a vote, also had their concerns addressed. Those who wanted to speak directly to board members without disruption or comment from the crowd are able to do so.”

Powers added: “The purpose of the session is to allow individuals to address the board — the public is still able to hear and see the speakers and speakers are able to have input prior to the public afternoon sessions of the board.”

The two-day session starts Thursday with committee meetings that will include discussions on press box improvements to Beaver Stadium, renaming the Blue Band building in honor of retiring director Richard Bundy, emeritus membership on the board, and the establishment of a School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science that would include the current departments of electrical engineering and computer science and engineering.

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