Former Penn State Board of Trustees Chairwoman Karen Peetz announced the members of the Presidential Search and Screen Committee at the board's meeting Friday.
Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington, University Park Undergraduate Association Vice President Katelyn Mullen, and Penn State Alumni Association President Kathleen Smarilli are among the members of the 18-person committee, which also includes deans and faculty from multiple colleges across the university, Peetz said.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson has said he plans to retire no later than June 30, 2014, as previously reported. The board named Erickson as president in November 2011 after then-President Graham Spanier left the post amid the breaking of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case. Prior to that, Erickson held the role of executive vice president and provost.
Peetz chairs the Presidential Selection Council. The newly-identified Search and Screen Committee is responsible for publicizing the position and seeking nominations with the help of a still-unnamed search firm, according to a press release. The committee members will evaluate nominations and applicants and forward a short list to the Presidential Selection Council, which will narrow down the field of candidates again, according to the release.
The final selection, the appointment of the president, is usually made by the full board, according to the release.
The meeting concluded with the unanimous, unopposed election of Keith Masser and Stephanie Deviney as board chair and board vice chair, respectively. At an earlier public seminar where Masser and Deviney spoke and offered to answer questions, no trustees posed any.
Masser said in his acceptance speech at the afternoon meeting that the board needs to "attract the next great president of Penn State." He said he's heard the "passion, disappointment and anger," as well as optimism, in his time as vice-chair.
He looks forward to moving the university forward, he said.
"What we do in the coming months will define Penn State for years to come," Masser said. "We must, as a community, come together to strengthen and improve our university."
Deviney did not address the board after her nomination, but she said at the morning meeting that now, more than ever, the trustees need to advocate for the university and effectively communicate with all their constituents. Her communication skills will help with that, she said.
In the past few months, the administration and board have been working "tirelessly" to make Penn State better, but that shouldn't be construed as an attempt to fix something that was broken, Deviney said at the morning seminar. Nonetheless, the trustees need to work to build a better future, she said.
“I’m not just happy with what is the normal," she said. "Complacency is not an option.”
NOTES: The full list of people selected to the search committee, announced by Peetz, includes: Ann Crouter, Daniel Hagen, Jalon Alexander, Brian Aynardi, Larry Backer, Robert Edwards, Shaun Gabbidon, David Hall, David Han, Madlyn Haynes, Thomas Maullock, Katelyn Mullen, Brian Orland, Margaret Slattery, Kathleen Smarilli, Coquese Washington, Timothy Whitehall and Brenton Yarnal.