The Penn State Board of Trustees announced 18 individuals who will serve on the Presidential Search and Screen Committee, elected a new chair and vice chair and approved several construction projects throughout campus.
The committee will search for a new university president to replace current university President Rodney Erickson who announced he plans to retire no later than June 30, 2014.
Lady Lions Head Coach Coquese Washington, University Park Undergraduate Association Vice President Katelyn Mullen and Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes will be among members of the committee, former chairwoman of the board Karen Peetz said.
Peetz said the committee would also include nine faculty members, one staff member, two academic deans, one vice president, two undergraduate students, one graduate student and one representative from both the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Alumni Association.
“At a young age, we were taught when you’re knocked down, you get right back up and confront what knocked you down,” Peetz said. “We’ve done that here at Penn State, and we will continue to do so. And we’ve learned from adversity comes strength. We are better today than we were yesterday, and we will be better tomorrow than today.”
The trustees also elected the new board chair and vice chair. Trustee Keith Masser and Trustee Stephanie Deviney ran unopposed for chairman and vice chairwoman, respectively, and both were elected without opposition.
In his acceptance speech, Masser said he was “humbled and honored” that the board had entrusted him with the responsibility of being chairman.
He said the board has several goals, including finding a new president, partnering with the Pennsylvania Commonwealth and creating a safe on-campus environment.
“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.”
The trustees also approved a $26.1 million project to renovate and expand the Intramural Building. The funds for the project have been paid for primarily with University Park’s Student Facility Fee funds.
The first phase of the renovations will add 48,000 square feet and is based off the design of the Recreation Hall fitness center. The project is expected to begin in February and be completed in May 2014. It will address the lack of fitness facilities near East Halls residences.
Another project approved by the board was the plan to construct an addition to the Education Activities Building at Penn State Harrisburg. The construction is designed to accommodate the increase in student enrollment.
In addition, the board approved plans for the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub headquarters building complex at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The total project budget is $39 million and will contribute to national efforts to be more energy efficient.