The Penn State Board of Trustees held a meeting on Friday, and it touched on a number of topics including appropriations and the Freeh Group’s recommendations.
The board talked over university appropriations, gave an update on the implementation of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s 119 recommendations for the university and decided to keep Gary Schultz’s name on the Child Care Center at Hort Woods for the time being.
Erickson said Friday that he will request an increase of $10.6 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year — a total appropriation of $289.5 million. The board accepted the request; the next step is for the university to submit the total request to the state.
Penn State’s appropriation dodged cuts and remained the same for the 2012-13 fiscal year when Gov. Tom Corbett enacted the budget on June 30.
In July, Erickson said he would propose the smallest tuition increase in 35 years as part of the university’s 2012-2013 operating budget. The board approved the proposal at its July 13 meeting, and with it a 2.9 percent increase for in-state students at University Park and a 1.9 percent increase for in-state students at Commonwealth Campuses.
Erickson moved on to discuss the university’s accreditation. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education issued Penn State an accreditation warning on Aug. 8, according to a press release issued by the university on Aug. 13.
The warning came as a result of the findings of Freeh’s investigative report and the binding consent decree between the university and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition, especially regarding an educational institution that maintains suitable standards.
The commission has required Penn State to submit a monitoring report no later than Sept. 30, and Erickson said the university would submit the report that will come out of the Office of the Provost in about two weeks. The Middle States Commission will visit Penn State at the end of October and then they will meet in November to discuss the report.
The Middle States Commission is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, according to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs website.
Also on Friday, public comment was welcomed by Chairman of the Board Karen Peetz and Penn State President Rodney Erickson for the first time ever during a Board of Trustees meeting.
Many questions surrounding the investigative report done by Freeh’s investigators were a focal point for the commenters.
Peetz said the only part of the report that the board is concerned with is section 10 — where the 119 recommendations are made with regard to how university administrators and the board should change.
Trustee Mark Dambly addressed the assumption that the board had accepted the findings of the report at the end of the meeting and in a separate press conference following the meeting, saying the board never made a statement accepting or denying the findings. He said the board had not taken a stance on the findings.
The board hired Freeh in November and the report of their findings was released on July 12.
During the meeting, the board planned to discuss changing the name of the Gary Schultz Child Care Center , but no change was made and the name remains.
Trustee Linda Strumpf’s motion to change the name of the child care center was tabled after Trustee Anthony Lubrano read a letter that Schultz’s attorney sent asking to keep the name for now.
Schultz, along with former athletic director Tim Curley, is charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse relating to the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case. Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse on June 22. Jury selection for Curley and Schultz’s trial is scheduled to begin