With the call for nominations and applications for the business and industry trustees, Trustee John Surma confirmed that he will not seek re-election for the Penn State Board of Trustees, the university announced Thursday.
Surma informally told board leadership in December 2012 that he would not seek re-election, citing several new and continuing business commitments, according to a press release. Surma’s current term as a trustee representing business and industry will expire in June 2013.
Surma, most known for being the person who told the late head coach Joe Paterno he was fired over the phone, has been a trustee since 2007 and was vice chair of the board in 2010 and 2011.
Surma — along with other board members behind him — was the trustee who made the public announcement on Nov. 9, 2011 that former university President Graham Spanier and Paterno would no longer work at the university
Chair of the Board Keith Masser said in a statement provided by Penn State spokesperson David La Torre that the community owes a debt of gratitude to Surma and his family.
“His years of service to this university and our students is a source of inspiration and pride,” Masser said in the statement. “We thank him for his sacrifice and celebrate his unwavering commitment to Penn State. I am proud to have served with him on the Board of Trustees.”
Surma currently works as the chairman and chief executive officer of the United States Steel Corporation.
“He’s certainly a busy individual who stepped up to fulfill a number of incredibly difficult activities in his tenure on the board,” student Trustee Peter Khoury said.
Trustees Surma, Keith Eckel, Linda Strumpf, Kenneth Frazier, Anthony Lubrano and Mark Dambly could not be reached for comment on the matter by press time Thursday.