Also, tomorrow on Katie Courics talk show, Sue will be doing an interview with Katie.
“Penn State is in my blood,” she said. Now, Triebold is prepared to give her blood – sweat and tears, too – as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Currently a real-estate consultant in the Florida panhandle, Triebold said the decision to run for the board was an awakening, forcing her to ask herself how she could step up to the plate and make a difference. There’s no limit to issues she’d tackle: From improving student life to fixing current bylaws to dealing with the fallout from November, Triebold said she has the ability to best serve Penn State.
It has been troubling to watch a board that seems so closed off and what seems to be the lack of ability by members to speak freely, she said – comparable to a secret society.
“The recent events have pointed out to me that the university has a broken and outdated system that has consolidated power in a few that clearly has not always acted in the best interests of the entire university,” she said. “November ripped a scab off. Those who love Penn State are bleeding.”
Things need to change, she said, and that starts with a more transparent Board of Trustees. Triebold said she sat and watched in disbelief when no one else spoke up to explain the decision or answer questions on that fateful night in November.
“I would have been standing on the steps of Old Main handing out leaflets. Maybe I’d be fired, but by George, they’d know what happened. Bylaws be damned,” she said. “I’ve stood up to employers before, and it cost me two jobs. I’ve done that twice in my life, and I’m not afraid to do it again.”
One conversation Triebold says the board shouldn’t even entertain is the buzz suggesting Penn State go private, now that the governor has proposed deep cuts to funding – attempting to slice the university’s nearly in half. More responsible spending decisions can be made, she said, rather than hasty decisions.
“Penn State going private is just wrong. There’s no justification for it at all,” Triebold said. “We are the land-grant university – and that’s it.”
As former health-education instructor and gymnastics athletic trainer at Penn State and the wife of Buzz Triebold, Penn State’s director of environmental health and safety, Triebold realizes the importance of higher education and time spent at Penn State for the students. More emphasis needs to be placed on finding a way to offer students the highest-quality education at the lowest price, she said.
Her sticking point is change, and Triebold says she stands out where it matters to make a difference.
“I think we have enough lawyers and company presidents,” she said. “I want to be a representative voice on the board for the average person who has pride in the past, present and future of Penn State.”
Why am I running?
I have been involved in Penn State since 1968 in various ways, as a student, campus organizer, “townie”, instructor, sports medicine athletic trainer, and as loyal and ardent fan of the quality of education Penn State offers as well as it’s athletic program. I am part of 3 generations of Penn State Graduates. The recent events have pointed out to me that the University has a broken and outdated system that has consolidated power in a few that clearly has not always acted in the best interests of the entire University.
What leadership positions have I held?
President, Childbirth Education Association
Purser, Northwest Airlines, overseeing crews on international flights
Fundraiser, Head of Family Mentoring and Family Selection, Habitat for Humanity
What Boards have I served on?
Mount Nittany Medical Center
Childbirth Education Association Critical Incident Stress Management,
Emerald Coast Realtors Association
How do I want the Board of Trustees to change?
1. Increase transparency by eliminating the “hush” rule in the bylaws.
2. Eliminate emeritus board positions
3. Increase in ability of trustees to interact with legislators in Harrisburg to benefit
4. Look at and make changes in the makeup of executive committee
5. Changes in Policies and Procedures that consolidate power in a few.
What Change Management Initiatives Have you led?
1. Employment policies regarding maternity leave at my place of work
2. Workmen’s compensation coverage/lack of coverage at place of work
3. Accessibility to medical care for medicare patients in Centre County
If I want to change the BOT how would I convince the current BOT to agree with my position?
1. By hard work and knowledge I have found in the past that when I prove myself credible and knowledgeable about a subject, people listen.
2. Beginning with the basics of the policies and procedures, I intend to chip away at changes that have occured over the years, realizing that this can’t be an overnight rebellion. The bull in the china closet doesn’t get anything but broken china.
3. The legislative process from the outside working inward is another approach that is and will be reviewed. There is a way to have a voice, and people are working toward that end.
What hurdles/scandals in my personal life have prepared me for dealing with the situation at Penn State?
1. I have lost two jobs because I stood up to the management about things that were wrong. One, I challenged the employer over EEOC rules, lost my job, but the result was that the employer had to go back and rewrite its policy manual regarding maternity leave and coverage for its employees.Two, the other employer asked me to “lie” on an insurance claim form that the injury was not work related because they were not required to carry workmen’s compensation coverage. I refused, lost my job, but ultimately the employer was then required to carry workmen’s compensation coverage for its employees. I never compromised what I thought was right in order to save my own skin, and wouldn’t do that as a member of the board of trustees.
2. There have been many personal hurdles that I have overcome that I don’t want to make public, but I have started over from scratch a few times in my life, picked myself up, dusted myself off, and moved on to the next challenge. I am very happy to say that by the time I was 47 I had indeed accomplished every dream that I had laid out for myself as a teenager–against some daunting odds. Every time I got knocked down, I got back up and was successful at the next venture.
What is my stance on the confidentiality in the bylaws on the board of trustees?
This is an unbelievable and unacceptable situation. The idea that no one asked any questions is incredible to me. This is a basic change that needs to happen quickly. The press conference held in November points out clearly that the confidentiality rule stifled discussion and probably resulted in the board not only doing something morally questionable, but legally as well, having not abided by sunshine laws, and potentially to other legal considerations.