During the public comment portion of Friday’s board of trustees’ meeting, Penn State Alumni Council member Samuel M. Bernstine said that 78 percent of graduates believe the university is on the right track. By doing so, he misrepresents the results of a survey that isn’t nearly as positive as he would have you believe.
According data from the alumni association, only 16 percent of alumni trust the board of trustees, and only 28 percent trust the administration. Only 40 percent believe the university is committed to openness and transparency. And of course, a whopping 81 percent of graduates believe the university should honor Joe Paterno.
The alumni association’s own figures clearly show that its members have little respect for the university’s leadership. But Bernstine would prefer to sugar-coat the true sentiment of the alumni by cherry-picking his favorite survey results.
Adopting a positive spin will do nothing to eliminate the persistent strife within the Penn State community. The path to moving forward will only begin with recognizing the source of that discord and supporting leaders with the courage to eliminate it.
It is time for Bernstine and the alumni association to acknowledge the wishes of their members. I call on them to join me and hundreds of other Penn Staters who demand greater transparency and accountability from a university leadership that refuses to care about either.