Group says faculty reps. should be added to PSU board of trustees

Penn State added goalkeeper Eamon McAdam of Perkasie and defenseman David Thompson. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

One thing Pennsylvania State University’s board of trustees definitely needs is the faculty perspective, so concludes a report by a special committee of faculty and administrators.

The report unveiled this week states that two faculty members should be added to the board, but that the current 32-member size of the board also should be reduced to 22 members.

The committee’s report is the latest commentary in an ongoing debate over the structure and operations of the Penn State board in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal.

Larry Cata Backer, faculty senate chair and an international affairs professor, credited the board of trustees for being more welcoming of faculty input at committee meetings but said more is needed. The faculty senate this week voted to endorse the new report.

“Faculty are critical to the production of those things the university is known for – research and teaching,” he said.”…By not having faculty on the board, you’ve effectively broken a circuit.”

Backer noted that the report also calls for a more expert board with knowledge about academics and higher education and a reduction in the number of seats given to agricultural, business and industry representatives.

The Senate State Government Committee on Monday will hold a hearing in Harrisburg to examine the structure and operations of Penn State’s trustees board.