This Friday, the Penn State Board of Trustees plans to elect its new chairman and vice chairman during the public meeting, which starts at 10:30 a.m. at Deans Hall of the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.
Current Vice Chairman of the board Keith Masser is currently alone in the running for the position of chairman. Alumni Trustee Stephanie Deviney is also the only trustee competing for the position of vice chairman.
After almost three years of serving on the Board of Trustees and a year of being the current Chairwoman of the Board, Karen Peetz decided not to run for re-election.
Peetz could not be reached for comment as of press time Monday.
This past month Peetz was appointed president of Bank of New York Mellon , a company that provides financial services.
“At all times, and particularly now, our university needs a chairman with the ability to commit virtually unlimited time and energy to guiding this great institution to its promising future,” she said in a December press release.
Masser said after the elections on Friday, the newly-elected chairman and vice chairman will “basically take over at the end of the meeting.”
Though Masser and Deviney are currently the only people competing for the positions, nominations can still be made at the meeting.
Masser said there is still the possibility of competition, but Masser and Deviney had the benefit of submitting their notice by Dec. 28. This action enabled them to advertise their biographies and position statements to the public before elections, Masser said.
Masser graduated from Penn State in 1973 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering, according to Board of Trustees website. He was elected into the board in 2008 and then elected vice chairman in 2012, according to the website.
“[Penn State is] an institution that changes lives. And it changed my life,” Masser said.
Deviney graduated from Penn State Dickinson School of Law in 1997 after attending University of Richmond, according to board’s website. She was voted into the Board of Trustees by alumni in 2010.
Masser said the pair’s No. 1 priority is to keep the school affordable and accessible. In order to do so, Masser said the board will choose a new president for Penn State and work with the commonwealth.
As previously reported, Penn State President Rodney Erickson plans to retire after his contract expires in 2014. At that time, it will be the board’s responsibility to select the new president, Masser said.
Deviney said Penn State needs “leaders that are willing to step up.” She believes she has the skill set to lead the board, and added she has a positive outlook and good communication skills.
“It is very important to communicate with the university as a whole. Now, more than ever, people want to hear from their Board of Trustees,” Deviney said.
Masser said he is also planning on keeping the promise to keep Penn State a safe place to go to school. He said he looks forward to being part of the changes that Penn State will experience and the opportunity to continue the board’s strict standards.
“Every higher education institute will be looking at Penn State,” Masser said. “I am very excited for that.”