11-20-2013: Legislative reform necessary first step

PS4RS CALLS LEGISLATIVE REFORM OF PSU BOARD OF TRUSTEES “A GOOD AND NECESSARY FIRST STEP”

November 20, 2013 — Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS), the grassroots watchdog group that has been critical of the Penn State Board Trustees’ handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, applauds a first step towards boardreform, in the form of legislation proposed this morning by Senators John Yudichak (D) and Jake Corman (R).

“Considering this is the first major attempt to change the charter in more than 60 years, this is a step in the right direction,” said PS4RS spokesperson Maribeth Roman Schmidt. “We applaud the senators and we also applaud the many alumni who have donated their time to evaluate the board composition of comparable universities and offer recommendations for Penn State.”

“In conjunction with the PS4RS mission of replacing the nine alumni-elected trustees (three each year), we support board reform,” Schmidt continued. “This is a good and necessary first step, and we look forward to working with state legislators to further strengthen these reforms with the goal of bringing much-needed transparency to Penn State governance.”

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, with more than 20,000 members, was formed in November 2011 to effect positive change within the Penn State University Board of Trustees. Since the organization’s inception, 13 of 32 Penn State trustees have either been replaced through alumni elections or have resigned. It is the non-negotiable mission of PS4RS to remove or replace all of the trustees who were at the helm in November 2011.

“They must be held accountable for their blatant ignorance of the Sandusky grand jury proceedings; their knee-jerk scapegoating of a valued employee upon its release; their inexcusable commissioning of the biased Freeh Report; their lack of defense of the Penn State culture; their acceptance of the NCAA sanctions; and their premature settling with Sandusky victims before the accused Penn State administrators have had an opportunity to explain their actions in court,” Schmidt said. “The overall feeling is that the trustees do not represent the best interests of Penn State; that they are far more concerned with their personal self interests. We’re thankful today that the Pennsylvania legislature is stepping in to change how they operate.”

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