One the foremost lessons Penn State coach Joe Paterno taught his teams over the years was that each player was a highly visible representative of the football program, as well as the entire university.
To earn respect, we learned to demonstrate respect toward others — on and off the field.
It was a simple formula.
Likewise, members of the board of trustees are highly visible representatives of Penn State.
Sadly, many of our trustees do not grasp the concept of respect and the upholding of core values in portraying Penn State in a positive light.
On Dec. 15, a substantial majority of the Penn State trustees led by Chairman Keith Masser and joined by President Eric Barron boycotted the special board meeting duly called by the alumni-elected trustees. This constituted an act of disrespect.
Suppressing fellow board members’ concerns via an orchestrated boycott of a legitimately called trustees meeting cries of fiduciary irresponsibility.
Moreover, it mocks the values of integrity, professionalism and success with honor by failing to treat one’s own teammates — fellow board members — with the respect they deserve.
Masser issued a statement insisting that there are matters of finance more worthy of the board’s consideration. Wouldn’t the recovery of about $100 million qualify as a financial matter of significant consequence that could positively impact the students?
It is time for the majority members of the board to show a little respect to the elected representatives of the heart and soul of Penn State — its alumni.