The discussion of a new university president, election of a new chair and vice chair and the possibility of internal reforms are all topics the Penn State Board of Trustees will address at its meetings today and Friday.
Trustee Anthony Lubrano said that Friday morning the trustees will discuss the future of the university, and during a public session in the afternoon, will elect the new leaders of the board.
Lubrano said the reforms being discussed will include recommendations made by Auditor General Jack Wagner and former FBI Director Louis Freeh in the Freeh Report to make changes to the board.
Lubrano said he believes the reforms will be “very significant” and could change the essence and structure of the board as it currently stands.
“There is a culture problem at Penn State; however, that culture problem isn’t athletics, it’s in the Board of Trustees,” he said. “My hope is that our reform effort will change that.”
Lubrano said he believes the board will be downsized, which he said could include the elimination of the governor and university president as voting members.
He said the changes in leadership on the board would also be important to the university, as the board is responsible for the governance of the institution.
“Obviously, leadership is always important because you hope you can look to leadership for direction,” Lubrano said.
Lubrano said there is too much political patronage rather than concern for the governance of the university with the way people are selected to be on the board —either by being appointed or elected.
“We need people who are engaged in the business of Penn State,” he said.
Lubrano said the only group that is legitimately elected to the board is the alumni, but said the process was more of a popularity contest than a democratic process.
“It’s a disgrace that we have a process that’s so closed to the light,” he said.
Trustee Paul Silvis said he thinks the presidential search may be the most important item the board will discuss. He said the search for a new university president would be a long and detailed process.
“Penn State really needs a special type of president right now in these times,” he said.
Trustees Peter Khoury, Keith Eckel, Keith Masser, Carl Shaffer, James Broadhurst, Kenneth Frazier and Mark Dambly could not be reached for comment by press time Wednesday.