We are a group of Penn State students and alumni empowered and motivated to address the damage to the Pennsylvania State University created by the alleged misconduct of Jerry Sandusky. We contend damage to the Penn State community from these events resulted from systemic problems with the Board of Trustees. To help rectify the problems, we ask you to support two resolutions that are coming to a vote by the PSU Faculty Senate on January 24, 2012.
The Board of Trustees did not anticipate the danger the Sandusky situation posed to Penn State, effectively deal with the media in addressing the issue, nor adequately inform the Penn State community and the Public. We believe this failure is symptomatic of the basic structure and functioning of the board.
Power on the board is skewed toward only a few members, largely because of the way various members are selected to serve. Board policy forbids open dissent and compels confidentiality. Other policies inhibit synergy and shared governance among trustees, administration, faculty and alumni.
Although the board is the controlling authority, the Faculty are the foundation of the Penn State experience and therefore should be heard. The Faculty create the educational environment and globally recognized tradition of research excellence that make Penn State the Nation’s leading producer of Fulbright Scholars. The Faculty understand the critical functional issues and challenges of the University.
There are two motions before the Faculty Senate, which will be voted on at their January 24 meeting:
1) A vote of no confidence in the present trustees
2) The need for statutory changes in the structure and functioning of the board.
Ratification of these resolutions from the University Faculty Senate will send a powerful message to stakeholders that a better functioning board is needed to respond in emergency situations.
This petition will be attached to a letter to the faculty senate urging ratification of the motions.
Please sign our petition, and join our Facebook group to participate in, and keep abreast of further developments.
- PSU Students and Alumni for Reorganization of the Board of Trustees
University Faculty Senate
101 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are a group of Penn State students and alumni joined together and motivated to address the damage created by the recent tragedies. The fallout from these events demonstrated conclusively that University governance, particularly the Board of Trustees as the controling authority, is in need of overhaul. To that end, we ask you to support two motions that are coming before the Senate on January 24, 2012.
1) We urge Senators to approve the motion of no confidence in the Board of Trustees.
Following a two year investigation involving numerous high-ranking University officials, the Board of Trustees, as the ultimate controlling authority, was negligent in being prepared for the firestorm that erupted with the Sandusky indictments.
2) We urge Senators to approve the motion supporting change in the structure and functioning of the Board of Trustees, and renewed commitment to shared governance among trustees, administration, and faculty.
Penn State University is one of the largest employers and economic producers in the Commonwealth and enjoys world-wide recognition of academic and research excellence. Effective and transparent management of the institution is paramount. The breakdown in the governing system that enabled the pillory of the institution is not acceptable.
Your vote will speak loudly for positive change in University governance. A smaller, more visible, and more representative Board of Trustees, adhering to the principles of free Democracy, will improve synergy among BOT, Administration, and Faculty, and will more effectively face all challenges.
We encourage all members to vote for unanimous passage of these motions.
Mark E. Kubiske, PhD
’90, ’93 School of Forest Resources
Sam Y. Zamrik, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Engr. Mechanics
Diane L. Acri, Esq.
'85 Liberal Arts
Douglas Robb, BA
’77 Speech Communication
Michele Margie Steinhauser, RN MS
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