Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

State senators call for fewer Penn State trustees

A Penn State University logo on the side of a merchandise trailer. (AP photo)
A Penn State University logo on the side of a merchandise trailer. (AP photo)

HARRISBURG A new legislative proposal outlined Wednesday would shrink Penn State's board from 30 to 23 voting members, a change designed to make the board work more efficiently and create a more inclusive system for doing business.

The sponsor, Sen. John Yudichak (D., Luzerne), said trustees would also be more accountable to the public if the university board were reduced to eight elected alumni, five gubernatorial appointees, five elected by the agricultural community, and five people from business and industry selected by the trustees.

Yudichak called the approach "the art of the possible" and predicted it would improve the school's governance structure without going too far.

"I don't think it's the place of the General Assembly to micromanage Penn State or the state-related universities," Yudichak said.

A university spokeswoman released a statement saying the school welcomed Yudichak's support and interest. The lawmaker was joined at a Capitol news conference on the topic by fellow alumnus Sen. Jake Corman, a Republican who represents the State College region where Penn State's main campus is located.

The university is reviewing its internal oversight and procedures and is considering hiring a consultant to help with that process.

Penn State's board has come under heightened scrutiny because of the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal, for which three top administrators face allegations of a criminal cover-up of complaints. Sandusky was convicted of child sexual abuse and is appealing a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.

Yudichak said he was seeking cosponsors and planned to introduce the legislation in the near future.

Associated Press
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