You Know It's the Offseason When...; We Have 3 New Trustees.

In an off-season like no other in the history of Penn State - we have found, and will find, ourselves contemplating ideas and participating in events we never imagined possible or necessary. Sure, many things will stay the same, but a lot will not.

One that was historical was the 2012 campaign for the Alumni voted members of the Penn State Board of Trustees.

PSU currently has a 32 member board, with 9 of the members being voted in by Alumni. On a 3 year cycle, 3 such spots are voted for each year.

For 2012, one incumbent board member, Anne Riley, sought re-election, and 85 fellow alumni joined her on the ballot.

Yes, 85.

In 2011, 6 people ran for the 3 alumni spots - but then, quite a bit has happened since May, 2011.

Regardless of one's position on anything that has happened at Penn State in the past months (or 20 years), the sheer number of individuals who were able to get on the ballot (each candidate required 50 nomination votes) and that over 35,000 alumni ultimately voted shows that most people were looking for a change.

Each voter (who had to be an alum, registered with alumni association or requested a ballot) was able to vote for (up to) three individuals.

Despite the pretty much ridiculous number of candidates, the final voting was not overly diluted. The top 2 candidates each received over 10,000 votes and the third received over 4,000.

So, Penn State's new alumni trustees are:

Adam Taliaferro (05) receiving 15,629 votes;
Anthony Lubrano (82) receiving 10,096 votes; and,
Ryan McCombie (70) receiving 4,806 votes.

The board re-elected business and industry trustees Kenneth Frazier and Edward Hintz.

Delegates of "the agricultural societies" elected incumbent, Carl Shaffer, and new trustee, Donald Cotner.

I'm not going to get into the politics of all this and investigate procedures or backgrounds like the fact that Cotner's only political contribution in 2010 was to Tom Corbett, but I do challenge the new trustees, mainly the new alumni trustees, to do what they can to clear the atmosphere and culture of secrecy and disjunction.

3 new Trustees (sorry Don) are not going to change anything that has happened in the last 12 years 6 months, but they can strive to update the structure and procedures of the BOT - what they can do right away is:

  • ask questions and expect answers
  • participate
  • research proposals/individuals
  • follow up
So congratulations to the new Trustees and good luck to you all.


Need to disclose that, upon my further not digging any deeper into any of this, it has come to my attention that Mr. Cotner is not the only new Trustee who wrote a check to our esteemed governor's 2010 campaign. Mr. Anthony Lubrano also supported Corbett, at least monetarily. I will also mention that neither Mr. Cotner nor Mr. Lubrano come anywhere close to the amounts contributed by other (now) big name PSU donors (and their affiliations) - but it's just interesting. Right?

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