The “lowest” rank of members of the Board of Trustees at Penn State seem to consist of those new members (of which I would like to be one), who believe that the Board is actually a deliberative body entrusted to watch over the moral, financial, and educational integrity of the University. In keeping to its original purposes — education of the citizens of Pennsylvania–according to the charter naming Penn State, the Farmer’s High School (reason for location in the geographical center of the state) as the Land Grant University in Pennsylvania.
This group has apparently seen its experience as one of heartache and disappointment. Their opinions were rarely asked for. It has been said that they are never told much of what is going on, except to receive the meeting agendas a week or so before the meetings, there is little for them to do but to attend the meetings and approve whatever is on the agenda. If they raise any serious question, they are told to meet with the appropriate administrators who will answer their concerns — after the meeting is over.” (look out, here I come)
Well, as a trustee, I think it would be my responsibility to follow up with those appropriate administrators and get the answers if I couldn’t get them from fellow board of trustee members. I might not be popular with other board members, (people who question the power brokers are not usually liked very much) but I would have pursued the answers vigorously. As I explained last week to an emeritus associate professor from Penn State in State College, I might have been on the steps of Old Main handing out leaflets to inform and/or I would have been seeking others who could have made a difference by getting the word out. I can guarantee that I wouldn’t have been standing behind a Vice Chairman looking like I had just rubber stamped and agreed with actions that were clearly illegal and morally bankrupt (broken sunshine laws, and a note with a scribbled phone number delivered at bedtime–really?). I am appalled that even now, two months after that famous meeting, that not one board member has spoken out about what happened. The minutes, which you can read here on http://www.PennStateTrustee.com are ambiguous and tell us little (no surprise).
To have people running for the board who were members during the past 30 years now claiming to want to “clean house” seems a bit odd to me. If we had more whistle blowers on the board during the past 30 years, maybe the “November massacre”, the “Penn State Scandal” would not have occurred. I have been proven to be one of the 2 out of 1000 individuals that Eric Silver, a PSU sociologist, referred to in his article in the black covered Penn Stater.
I always try to work within the system first, but if all else fails, and I feel wrong has been done, it is my intention to do what I can to make it right. There are numerous examples in my life that I can show that I bucked the system, and others benefited. I hope to have the opportunity to do the same for my beloved alma mater, Penn State Forever.