PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

OT - Trustees election

What has the existing board done wrong, outside of the Sandusky situation?

They may have done everything else right, but the way this has been handled has been FUBAR’D to the max. The only person that was fired in the whole mess was the only one that did what he was supposed to. Curley is on administrative leave and the university is paying his legal bills. Spanier resigned. Shultz resigned. McQueary is on administrative leave. Joepa was fired after 61 years of service over the phone. Those reasons right there are reason enough to clean house.

This is semantics, you realize. House was cleaned.

[quote="tjb, post:17, topic:3089"]What has the existing board done wrong, outside of the Sandusky situation?[/quote]

They may have done everything else right, but the way this has been handled has been FUBAR’D to the max. The only person that was fired in the whole mess was the only one that did what he was supposed to. Curley is on administrative leave and the university is paying his legal bills. Spanier resigned. Shultz resigned. McQueary is on administrative leave. Joepa was fired after 61 years of service over the phone. Those reasons right there are reason enough to clean house.

This is semantics, you realize. House was cleaned.


Floors might have been swept but if you pick up the floor rugs you’ll find the dirt. I would be shocked if the BOT did not know prior to the fecal matter hitting the fan. They were in charge when the crap hit the fan blades. They gotta be held accountable and be taken to the curb. It will be a bad year for the incumbents.
[quote="tjb, post:17, topic:3089"]What has the existing board done wrong, outside of the Sandusky situation?[/quote]

They may have done everything else right, but the way this has been handled has been FUBAR’D to the max. The only person that was fired in the whole mess was the only one that did what he was supposed to. Curley is on administrative leave and the university is paying his legal bills. Spanier resigned. Shultz resigned. McQueary is on administrative leave. Joepa was fired after 61 years of service over the phone. Those reasons right there are reason enough to clean house.

This is semantics, you realize. House was cleaned.


Floors might have been swept but if you pick up the floor rugs you’ll find the dirt. I would be shocked if the BOT did not know prior to the fecal matter hitting the fan. They were in charge when the crap hit the fan blades. They gotta be held accountable and be taken to the curb. It will be a bad year for the incumbents.

Given that the board works for free, I suspect that some, if not all, of those incumbents who are up for reelection this year will be quite content to be replaced. They just might think that it’s not worth the hassle and is a good year to quietly get out of Dodge. Garban and Surma have already stepped down from their high profile positions and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they chose not to run for reelection when their terms are up next year.

I truly worry that the mob is going to get what it’s looking for and winds up putting a bunch of incompetent nut jobs on the board.

FWIW - These are the guys whose terms run out this year and, in parens, how they got on the board:

DAVID R. JONES (2012) Assistant Managing Editor (Retired), The New York Times (elected by Alumni)
ANNE RILEY (2012) Teacher (elected by Alumni)
BARRON L. HETHERINGTON (2012) Special Advisor to the Governor, PA Department of Agriculture; Owner, B & R Farms (elected by Alumni)
KENNETH C. FRAZIER (2012) Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Merck & Company, Incorporated (elected by the Board)
EDWARD R. HINTZ, JR. (2012) President, Hintz Capital Management, Incorporated (elected by the Board) (elected by the Board)
CARL T. SHAFFER (2012) President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (elected by Alumni)
ALVIN H. CLEMENS (2012) Past Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Provident (appointed by the Governor)
MICHAEL F. DiBERARDINIS (2012) Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources, City of Philadelphia; Commissioner, Department of Parks and Recreation (appointed by the Governor)

Take notice of how many of these guys choose to no longer participate and quietly ride off into the sunset.

I’m about as disinterested a Penn State alumni as there is. I attended Main Campus all four undergrad years, but when I graduated, I left Penn State behind. I’ve been back to campus once in the past three plus decades. I’ve never contributed financially. I don’t own any Penn State gear. Although I’ll watch Penn State football, I don’t plan my Saturdays around it and long ago stopped getting excited by wins or devastated by losses.

I, too, have noticed the massive building and expenditures over the past couple decades and the ever rising tuition that makes it harder and harder for Pennsylvanians to attend their state university and wondered why the university wasn’t doing a better job segregating “nice to have” from “need to have” capital expeditures. I was embarrased when I would read or see the president going before the state legislature saying how impoverished the university would be if it didn’t keep getting more and more money all while doing nothing to hold down tuition. The topper was the BoT’s performance after learning about Sandusky. To see these members who are leaders in business, government and academia completely unprepared and bumbling about was shocking. As the Sandusky incident rolled along, it was clear the BoT needs radical transformation starting with replacing 3 of the 9 trustees elected by the alumni.

Because I’m a lifetime alumni association member (a graduation gift), I get a trustee ballot each year. It ended up in the recycling bin every year because I didn’t care much one way or the other about the BoT. Not this year, though. My ballot will be in the return mail the day after I get it and will be marked for candidates who will work for transparency and reform of the BoT.

I’d like to put in a plea for people to think hard about what the role of the BoT is before casting their vote. Getting more alumni involved and voting is good, and can hopefully help balance out some of the other interests who often get their way in selecting the boT members. But the board only meets about 4 times a year. They are responsible for setting the long term goals and fundraising. They are NOT involved in the day-to-day operations of the university, and never will be. In fact, it is usually not permitted in the bylaws of the institution for the board to have a direct role in day-to-day operations (at least it is in the college where I work).

We want people with vision. We want people with energy and enthusiasm for Penn State. We do NOT want micro-managers at the board level.

One alum’s plea.

[quote="tjb, post:17, topic:3089"]What has the existing board done wrong, outside of the Sandusky situation?[/quote]

They may have done everything else right, but the way this has been handled has been FUBAR’D to the max. The only person that was fired in the whole mess was the only one that did what he was supposed to. Curley is on administrative leave and the university is paying his legal bills. Spanier resigned. Shultz resigned. McQueary is on administrative leave. Joepa was fired after 61 years of service over the phone. Those reasons right there are reason enough to clean house.

This is semantics, you realize. House was cleaned.

Ah come on…we cleaned the public “living room (maybe)” NOT the rest of the house!! :’(
I think it’s important to note that when I say the entire BOT should be changed I am not saying that every BOT member did terrible jobs during their tenure. LONG or NO term limits is one of the things that has ruined our govt. BOT is allegeally an ad hoc non paying (I don’t really believe this) position. WHY would some one be against change.
The BIGGEST CHANGE I want is the total overhall of this 30 something mostly political appointee member dinosaur! I can not see a more foolish management structure. If this was “Chartered??”…Then change (or work to change) the stinking charter.

I have served on a couple of boards for very small non-profit organizations. I did not get paid and the boards met fewer than 12 times a year, but believe me, it’s very much a job regardless. Unfortunately, most board members don’t take it as much more than ceremonial or to rubber stamp what the board president and his or her very small circle of confidants want to do.

If a board member does not treat his or her board membership as a job that requires research, analyzing data and asking pertinent questions, then he or she does not belong on a board. The BoT’s actions showed none of them had treated their trusteeship as a real job. That’s why they need to be replaced by trustees who WILL take the job of the trustee seriously and put in the necessary work.

[quote=“ronb89, post:25, topic:3089”]I’d like to put in a plea for people to think hard about what the role of the BoT is before casting their vote. Getting more alumni involved and voting is good, and can hopefully help balance out some of the other interests who often get their way in selecting the boT members. But the board only meets about 4 times a year. They are responsible for setting the long term goals and fundraising. They are NOT involved in the day-to-day operations of the university, and never will be. In fact, it is usually not permitted in the bylaws of the institution for the board to have a direct role in day-to-day operations (at least it is in the college where I work).

We want people with vision. We want people with energy and enthusiasm for Penn State. We do NOT want micro-managers at the board level.

One alum’s plea.[/quote]

I join with this. The board placed its faith in Spanier, its chief executive, and he had earned that trust right up to the minute he didn’t. Unfortunately, it was a major, major mistake.

Since then, Spanier, Paterno (the university’s most visible leader), Paterno’s two supervisors, the chair and vice chair of the board have all departed. Enough is enough. The “reformers” that I have seen are primarily motivated by vengeance for Paterno.

If there is a candidate who is saying “I agree with the house cleaning and I have some additional ideas for reform”, I’d listen. But the revenge crew I want no part of.

In the 1960s, Coatesville schools, led by the local versions of Surma and Frazier in what was then a thriving steel town, embarked on creating a state of the art high school and desegregating the district (by “forcing” kids to attend their local schools rather than busing the white kids out of urban neighborhoods). The board was on staggered elections. The first half went in the first election, the second half went in the next. Instead of “elitists”, the board was filled with angry racists who turned out not to have much interest in education or kids (beyond the pretty good football and basketball teams - boys only, of course). Soon after the district was hit with the Tsunami of Lukens Steel (fourth largest plate steel maker in the world!) automating and creating more steel than ever with one-fourth the workforce, and then the demise of the US steel industry. It never recovered, but I believe the board that was in place after desegregation was the primary cause.

If higher ed is headed for a massive restructuring, I want the best and brightest in there. Not angry alumni looking to redeem Joe. Time will redeem him on its own.

My feelings exactly.

So you think “political appointees” is the way to get the best and brightest?? :’( Serious question!
I’m thinking maybe a “radical thinker” might THINK to question the school’s president when he mentioned an alleged sexual incident on school property (naked in the showers) by one of the schools best know people and an approx. 10 year old boy.
If this is the “best and the brightest” I’m >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( and :’( :’( :’( :’( :’( :’( :’( :’(

I don’t think that’s what was reported to the board, but I can’t find the reports of that report. I thought (and this could be wrong) that he informed them a grand jury was investigating the incident at the local school.

[quote="tundra, post:30, topic:3089"]I'm thinking maybe a "radical [b]think[/b]er" might [b]THINK[/b] to question the school's president when he mentioned an alleged sexual incident on school property (naked in the showers) by one of the schools best know people and an approx. 10 year old boy.[/quote]

I don’t think that’s what was reported to the board, but I can’t find the reports of that report. I thought (and this could be wrong) that he informed them a grand jury was investigating the incident at the local school.

That is the version that was given by some BoT members while Erickson was doing the town hall meetings. We haven’t heard Spanier’s version yet. I can’t imagine why Spanier would have chosen to not mention the 2002 situation given it would have had an impact on the school. At this point, I don’t know who to believe. The story has gone from McQueary (I told them it was sodomy) to Curley and Schultz (he said it was horseplay) to Spanier (missing piece) to BoT (it didn’t happen on campus so nothing to worry about). Something doesn’t add up. Even a group of 5th graders could pass on a story with more accuracy than this crowd.

[quote="tundra, post:30, topic:3089"]I'm thinking maybe a "radical [b]think[/b]er" might [b]THINK[/b] to question the school's president when he mentioned an alleged sexual incident on school property (naked in the showers) by one of the schools best know people and an approx. 10 year old boy.[/quote]

I don’t think that’s what was reported to the board, but I can’t find the reports of that report. I thought (and this could be wrong) that he informed them a grand jury was investigating the incident at the local school.


While I’m not 100% sure; I think the PSU INCIDENT was mentioned to BOT.
But, I believe, they claim it was candy coated. But the key question is what version is candy coating??? and who is doing the coating.
I don’t think we will get much info until the trials (civil and criminal.) Maybe we best curtail this discussion until then!

I share the concerns about the priorities of the alumni running this year.

Lar is also correct about certain trustees quietly leaving the board when their terms expire. It’s a shame too because some of those guys have done great things for PSU and served the school with the best of intentions.

It’s great to see a calm and civil discussion about this here. The other PSU boards are a witch hunt. People have no idea how the whole thing played out and are making a lot of bad assumptions.

I don’t think the members that get elected this year can do much changing even if they are running on “One issue”. The BOT is big enough that it will take multiple election cycles to create any real shifts. I do think that it would be unwise for the acting A.D. to stay much over a year or two, for alumni relation reasons and public relations standpoint.

[quote="ronb89, post:25, topic:3089"]I'd like to put in a plea for people to think hard about what the role of the BoT is before casting their vote. Getting more alumni involved and voting is good, and can hopefully help balance out some of the other interests who often get their way in selecting the boT members. But the board only meets about 4 times a year. They are responsible for setting the long term goals and fundraising. They are NOT involved in the day-to-day operations of the university, and never will be. In fact, it is usually not permitted in the bylaws of the institution for the board to have a direct role in day-to-day operations (at least it is in the college where I work).

We want people with vision. We want people with energy and enthusiasm for Penn State. We do NOT want micro-managers at the board level.

One alum’s plea.[/quote]

I join with this. The board placed its faith in Spanier, its chief executive, and he had earned that trust right up to the minute he didn’t. Unfortunately, it was a major, major mistake.

Since then, Spanier, Paterno (the university’s most visible leader), Paterno’s two supervisors, the chair and vice chair of the board have all departed. Enough is enough. The “reformers” that I have seen are primarily motivated by vengeance for Paterno.

If there is a candidate who is saying “I agree with the house cleaning and I have some additional ideas for reform”, I’d listen. But the revenge crew I want no part of.

In the 1960s, Coatesville schools, led by the local versions of Surma and Frazier in what was then a thriving steel town, embarked on creating a state of the art high school and desegregating the district (by “forcing” kids to attend their local schools rather than busing the white kids out of urban neighborhoods). The board was on staggered elections. The first half went in the first election, the second half went in the next. Instead of “elitists”, the board was filled with angry racists who turned out not to have much interest in education or kids (beyond the pretty good football and basketball teams - boys only, of course). Soon after the district was hit with the Tsunami of Lukens Steel (fourth largest plate steel maker in the world!) automating and creating more steel than ever with one-fourth the workforce, and then the demise of the US steel industry. It never recovered, but I believe the board that was in place after desegregation was the primary cause.

If higher ed is headed for a massive restructuring, I want the best and brightest in there. Not angry alumni looking to redeem Joe. Time will redeem him on its own.


I don’t want revenge for Joepa, but I do want revenge for my university. This Board of Idiots sat there on national TV and smugly fired a man that they trotted out like a prized trick pony every time they needed $$$$. Then they kept quiet until Bill O’Brien was hired.

They also sent PSU council to represent Curley and Shultz only to latter say that she wasn’t representing them she was just there to represent the university. Something is stinking in Denmark. These people are plotting and scheming to fix what they have already screwed up.

[quote="ronb89, post:25, topic:3089"]I'd like to put in a plea for people to think hard about what the role of the BoT is before casting their vote. Getting more alumni involved and voting is good, and can hopefully help balance out some of the other interests who often get their way in selecting the boT members. But the board only meets about 4 times a year. They are responsible for setting the long term goals and fundraising. They are NOT involved in the day-to-day operations of the university, and never will be. In fact, it is usually not permitted in the bylaws of the institution for the board to have a direct role in day-to-day operations (at least it is in the college where I work).

We want people with vision. We want people with energy and enthusiasm for Penn State. We do NOT want micro-managers at the board level.

One alum’s plea.[/quote]

I join with this. The board placed its faith in Spanier, its chief executive, and he had earned that trust right up to the minute he didn’t. Unfortunately, it was a major, major mistake.

Since then, Spanier, Paterno (the university’s most visible leader), Paterno’s two supervisors, the chair and vice chair of the board have all departed. Enough is enough. The “reformers” that I have seen are primarily motivated by vengeance for Paterno.

If there is a candidate who is saying “I agree with the house cleaning and I have some additional ideas for reform”, I’d listen. But the revenge crew I want no part of.

In the 1960s, Coatesville schools, led by the local versions of Surma and Frazier in what was then a thriving steel town, embarked on creating a state of the art high school and desegregating the district (by “forcing” kids to attend their local schools rather than busing the white kids out of urban neighborhoods). The board was on staggered elections. The first half went in the first election, the second half went in the next. Instead of “elitists”, the board was filled with angry racists who turned out not to have much interest in education or kids (beyond the pretty good football and basketball teams - boys only, of course). Soon after the district was hit with the Tsunami of Lukens Steel (fourth largest plate steel maker in the world!) automating and creating more steel than ever with one-fourth the workforce, and then the demise of the US steel industry. It never recovered, but I believe the board that was in place after desegregation was the primary cause.

If higher ed is headed for a massive restructuring, I want the best and brightest in there. Not angry alumni looking to redeem Joe. Time will redeem him on its own.


I don’t want revenge for Joepa, but I do want revenge for my university. This Board of Idiots sat there on national TV and smugly fired a man that they trotted out like a prized trick pony every time they needed $$$$. Then they kept quiet until Bill O’Brien was hired.

They also sent PSU council to represent Curley and Shultz only to latter say that she wasn’t representing them she was just there to represent the university. Something is stinking in Denmark. These people are plotting and scheming to fix what they have already screwed up.

Cynthia Baldwin is out, as are, in your words, “the people who sent her.” It’s hard for me to see how your list of issues doesn’t amount to anger about Joe.

Was it Mencken who said the job of editorialists was to vist the battlefield after the battle was over and shoot the wounded? Garban, Surma, Spanier, Paterno, Schultz, Curley, Baldwin, McQueary – all of whom served the university well except for their handling of this outrageous incident – are all gone or are on their way out. The Sandusky battle is over, so to base a decision on the future of the BOT based on that is in my mind little more than vengeance.

Which is not to say that you can’t vote that way, obviously.

I started this thread looking for a shortcut to determining who were good candidates not motivated by vengeance for Joe. Which is solely my criterion, not some claim that that is the only viable position.

[quote="tjb, post:37, topic:3089"]The Sandusky battle is over, so to base a decision on the future of the BOT based on that is in my mind little more than vengeance.[/quote]

Which is not to say that you can’t vote that way, obviously.

I started this thread looking for a shortcut to determining who were good candidates not motivated by vengeance for Joe. Which is solely my criterion, not some claim that that is the only viable position.

Tim, my anger is not about Joe or how they handled Joe, but how they handled this whole situation. It was a pissing match to say the least. Joe resigned effective the end of the season. But it was like the old movie line when and employee quits. “You can’t quit, because I fired you!” Then the students revolt and they (the BOT) sat there like we didn’t see this coming. I’m not saying that either Joe or the BOT handled things correctly, but you don’t fire somebody after 61 years of service, a man who has helped raise millions of dollars for the school over the freaking phone. That was callous and cowardly. And like I said Joe was the only person fired while the people that he reported this too were put on administrative leave and except for the ones who resigned are still on administrative leave, and the school is still paying their legal defense.

Then instead of getting out in front of the situation they remain mum and let the school twist in the wind until Spanier finally swallowed his cyanide capsule. Watching the whole thing made me sick and embarrassed that these people were the so called leaders for a great institution.

I want the school cleaned of the people that were there when this happened, that includes all the BOT and our governor who knew about this issue when he was the AG. Can’t wait to see those re-election ads.

tjb has articulated his position on this quite well, both in this thread and elsewhere. I will be a PSU alum in May and I grew up near State College and have been a Penn Stater since birth, but I am not part of the reactionary anti-BOT movement. The mentality of that crowd makes me uneasy.

I suppose my reason for posting this is to add some support to the minority side. I can’t explain my reasoning better than tjb has but I agree with him and his position.