Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Eric Barron missed opportunity by skipping trustees meeting

Why wasn’t confidentiality discussed at the Dec. 15 Penn State board of trustees meeting?

President Eric Barron came out strongly in favor of complete confidentiality with regards to reviewing the Freeh report yesterday. I am concerned that this attempt to keep those interviewed by Louis Freeh anonymous is misguided.

Without knowing who said what, how will any critical review be able to find interviewer or interviewee bias, particularly regarding controversial figures like Vicky Triponey and Cynthia Baldwin. A true review must look at who said what ... and why they said what they said.

But most frustrating is the method with which this news was delivered. On Dec. 15, there was an “entire” board meeting on this topic. Thanks to the urging of Chairman Keith Masser, many trustees decided they didn’t have to attend. Why couldn’t President Barron have attended and discussed this confidentiality topic in person? I do not think he is trying to cover anything up and do firmly believe he is doing what he thinks is best. But by not taking the opportunity to discuss this topic with the alumni trustees and the public at large, President Barron leaves himself and any review up to the question, “Why is he keeping it so confidential?”

I do believe in President Barron and fully support his student-based endeavors (see his student sustainability report to the board just a few months ago). I just urge him to be forward and public with all Freeh report documentation and not hide under the veil of confidentiality, which the majority of the board continues to do.

Evan Smith