PSU Alumni Trustees Elected


UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State alumni spoke with their ballots — electing a former Nittany Lion football player, an outspoken critic of the board and a retired Navy SEAL to serve as trustees.
While there have been sharply different ideas among some of the incoming and current members, people on both sides sounded an upbeat note Friday, saying they’ll be able to work together.
Board Chairwoman Karen Peetz said trustees have already talked with Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, a group that’s been calling for change and endorsed Anthony Lubrano and two other candidates in the race. She said she doesn’t think the win by Lubrano, who’s been vocal about recent board decisions, will be a problem.
“I think the board is always open to people discussing what their issues are, whether it’s incoming members or members who are already on the board,” Peetz said.
Adam Taliaferro, an attorney in Swedesboro, N.J., who played under Joe Paterno and overcame injuries that were expected to paralyze him for life, carried the election. He was followed by Lubrano, a Glenmoore resident who runs a financial services company, and Ryan McCombie, a retired Navy SEAL captain who lives in State College.
Lubrano, too, signaled a desire to work with trustees he’s been taking to task for the decision to terminate Joe Paterno as head football coach.
“I’m looking to … counter my critics who say I won’t be able to work with this board,” he said.
“My message resonates with the alumni,” he said. “They acted with their votes.”
He said the university has been preaching openness, transparency and accountability, but not practicing it. He gave the way votes from the alumni election were reported as an example. Voting ran from April 10 to Thursday morning, and Lubrano said daily updates on the number of voters could have been posted online.
“I don’t think anyone intended to be secretive. I just think we’ve done things a certain way for so long, that that’s the only way we know how to do it, and it might take someone like me to give them a little nudge and challenge them to think outside the box,” he said.
He didn’t back off the push for a Paterno apology.
“Let’s just admit we made a mistake, apologize, and we can move on,” Lubrano said.
Taliaferro said later he’s honored for the amount of support he received. He said he’s looking forward to working with alumni.
“They really put a lot of faith in me in this election,” he said.
He said the university should try to be as open as it can and he’s interested in the board’s new website — announced at the meeting — that will be up on Monday.
On the question of honoring Paterno, Taliaferro said “all alumni thought things could have been handled differently. The first thing is to talk about it.”
Board member Ken Frazier, chairman of the special task force overseeing the trustees investigation into the scandal, said everybody on the board and those who ran are there “because we care deeply about this institution.”
“The reality of the world is that as a board we must come together, we must look at these issues, we must figure out how to drive this university to greater heights going forward,” he said.
McCombie in a statement said he’s “confident that Penn State will be a better university because of this election and the issues that have been revealed.”
Sandy Deveney, a campaigner for McCombie, said the three new board members are bringing a message that “change is on the horizon, reform is on the horizon, and openness and transparency will prevail.”
A record number of alumni — 37,579 — cast ballots in the election, which attracted 86 candidates. Anne Riley, the only incumbent to run for re-election, lost her seat.
Along with media, some Penn State graduates turned out for Friday’s meeting. Joe Tylka said he voted in the election.
“I don’t expect things to change today or in a couple hours, but it’s an opportunity for the school to take a step back and set a very high standard for how the school operates,” Tylka said.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2012/05/04/3185718/board-of-trustees-meeting-about.html#wgt=rcntnews#storylink=cpy

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