Alumni-elected statements on Apr 9 resolution

*Note: This post will be updated to include all statements as soon as we can obtain them.


Trustee Barb Doran

President Barron spoke for all Penn Staters when he said he has tremendous compassion for Jerry Sandusky’s victims.

Although the NCAA’s $60 million fine was an illegal cram down, our compassion makes us very glad that the money will go toward the prevention of child abuse.

We need to remember, however, that highly trained psychologists at Second Mile and at state agencies failed to discover that Sandusky was a pedophile despite years of close contact and numerous interviews. If one wants to find enablers, then one should look to those whose job is monitoring children’s welfare.

The case before us makes it clear that we have gone far enough in using the money entrusted to us for the education of our students to pay for the sins of a lone wolf.

We have easily spent a year’s worth of state appropriations on the Sandusky scandal. The time is now to draw a line in the sand and I therefore vote “no.”


Trustee Ryan McCombie

The legal committee may have sufficient information to make a bona fide, thoughtful decision on this matter. Others on this Board may believe they also have sufficient information to vote for this extraordinary expenditure of funds. The driving impetus for the settlement of this case appears to be the pro-victim bias of the Philadelphia court system. Although this may be one factor, I have not had the opportunity to understand the culpability of Penn State nor the financial risk Penn State may need accept. I have not seen an executive summary of these risks from our outside counsel in this matter. I have not heard the perspective of our insurance companies. With the paucity of information I presently have, in good conscious, I cannot support this resolution at this time.


Trustee Alice Pope

I am a child psychologist and a university professor.  My life has been devoted to promoting the well-being of young people.  I have great compassion for the victims of Jerry Sandusky.

However, as a trustee of this university, I cannot support a victim settlement when we have failed in our duty to protect and defend the university against false accusations.

Every day that we silently stand in support of the Freeh report is a day that we allow the world to believe that we agree with its conclusions.  Our tacit support of the Freeh report exposes the university to claims of our moral and legal culpability that have, in fact, not been established.

I will vote no on this settlement proposal, and I urge my fellow trustees to join me in executing our fiduciary duty to protect the university by repudiating the Freeh report at the earliest opportunity.


Trustee Ted Brown

First, I must express my sympathy for the Sandusky victims, but they are not Penn State victims. I have previously spoken in favor of settlements, but no more. I’m tired of rushing to judgment. We have 30 minutes to discuss an important decision. (actually cut off after 40) Not enough time. Having read about 1000 pages of depositions, I find Penn State’s only guilt is that implied and quoted from the Freeh report as if’s Gospel, and we know it has been refuted by everyone except this Board. If you have not read the depositions, you should abstain or vote no until you do. Once you’ve read them, I believe you’ll join me in voting, no thus defending our beloved Alma Mater.


Trustee Bill Oldsey

I am absolutely uncomfortable with our methods for making a decision of this magnitude today.

A 30 minute telephone conference simply does not cut it when it comes to any decision of this importance involving large sums of University money, and by the way, a decision that may well impact the potential for additional and ever escalating demands from known or presently unknown future claimants.

As Trustees, we have received no written report or formal recommendation from our litigation counsel specifically discussing options and why this settlement is the best course of action for Penn State. It may well be, but I as an individual trustee don’t know that from the paucity of information that has been provided to me.

For that reason alone, I cannot support moving forward with this action and vote emphatically no!


Trustee Bob Jubelirer

I spent thirty two years in Pa. Senate and had to make many tough votes. Today is the first one since I was elected to the board last year that is in that category. Nevertheless, I cannot support this resolution and believe I am fulfilling my fiduciary duty as a trustee with a negative vote. It has been far too common to be given information with little time to digest and then be asked to vote for significant expenditures. The Freeh Report is the lynchpin upon which this resolution and other expenditures have been made. This report has never been adopted by the board but has been used as the vehicle for substantial payouts by the University. I am not able to support this just because we are a defendant with deep pockets. It surely will bring new claimants out of the woodwork regardless of whether they are legitimate. There comes a time to stand firm against this type of legal pressure, turn off the spigot and stand up for the University.  I am casting a negative vote on the resolution to send a strong message that we will not be bullied anymore into paying out claims that we do not owe.


Trustee Anthony Lubrano

I rise in opposition to this Resolution.

I proudly joined this board in July, 2012. In fact, my very first meeting was July 12, 2012, a day that will live in infamy in the Penn State community.  On that day, Louis Freeh released his Report, a Report that has been harshly criticized by many for its unfounded conclusions.

Of course, this body has yet to either accept or reject the findings of the Freeh Report which cost the University 8.3 million dollars.  Instead, we seem to have adopted a policy of “just pay and move on.”

Unfortunately, Penn State continues to pay, quite literally and figuratively, almost three years later.   And today, we look to pay again.

But I say, “No more.”  “No more” Resolutions to approve settlements while denying Trustees full access to the source materials used to prepare the Freeh Report.

“No more” feeding at the trough of Penn State.   As Trustee Lord reminds us, our policy of expedience has been an abject failure.  The time has come for us to say “No more.”

I hereby request that the Secretary note in the minutes that I asked Chairman Masser, through University counsel, for full access to source materials necessary to inform the exercise of my independent judgment on this Board Resolution. My request was repeatedly denied.

Put simply, without full access to this information, I am unable to exercise my independent judgment as a Trustee in this matter.


Trustee Al Lord

In cooperation with Legal Chair D’Andrea I have voluntarily recused myself from participation this meeting.

I accept there are perceived, and likely real, conflicts of interest between and among certain trustees with respect to the lawsuit filed by former Penn State President Graham Spanier which, among other things, alleges disparagement by Penn State Trustees as well as defamation of his character by Louis Freeh.  I further accept that my relationship with President Spanier puts me among such potentially conflicted trustees.  So that this Board of Trustees can fairly make judgments between real and perceived conflicts with Penn State’s “best interests” I call upon this Board to clarify by definition what it deems Penn State’s “best interests” to be with respect to each count alleged in the Complaint filed by President Spanier on March 18, 2015.

Though this vote may not be registered today, I vote NO on the proposed victim settlement(s).  While previous settlements may well have been sympathetically motivated and considered legally expedient at the time, such settlements presume Penn State financial responsibility to victims.  Our policy of expedience has been an abject failure.  Worse, our attempt to pacify the “politically correct others” is based on the presumption that an innocent Penn State is guilty.  Does our cynicism know no bounds?

Victims may be due recompense–from Sandusky not Penn State

7 thoughts on “Alumni-elected statements on Apr 9 resolution

  1. Thank you elected alumni for recognizing that this is another rush to payout without thinking about the consequences. Incredible that so important an issue could have been the subject of a thirty minute conference call but typical of the 11/11 BOT members who appear to have learned nothing from their past rash actions.

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  2. Thank you alumni elected trustees for trying to stop this rush to another payout. Incredible that such an important issue as spending more university dollars would be conducted via a 30-minute conference call. It’s time to turn off the spigot. Just another rash move by the 11/11 board members as they keep throwing away PSU money.

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  3. More evidence of the incompetence and willful dereliction of fiduciary duty by Keith Masser, one of the Trustees whose (more likely than not) defamatory remarks about Graham Spanier has made Penn State a defendant in yet another lawsuit.

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  4. I had the opportunity today to run into BOT member Eckel. The conversation did not go well. He spoke of todays conference call and said he was appalled at the stands taken by the above elected members. Now, as I read your posts, I am convinced that those members who rushed to accept the sanctioned and bogus Freeh report, as well as throw Joe under the bus and sign off on the NCAA penalties, will never admit their wrong doing. This will never be settled until we restructure the BOT!

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  5. We don’t care if Keith Eckel is appalled, or indeed anything else

    To: Penn State Trustees
    cc: alumni networking

    I read at https://ps4rs.org/2015/04/09/alumni-elected-statements-on-apr-9-resolution/ that an alumnus claims to have spoken to Agriculture Trustee Keith Eckel after Thursday’s conference call.

    “I had the opportunity today to run into BOT member Eckel. The conversation did not go well. He spoke of today’s conference call and said he was appalled at the stands taken by the above elected members.”

    Nobody cares whether Keith Eckel is appalled, amused, or anything else. The opinion of a liar—and this is what Keith Masser’s deposition in the Corman-NCAA lawsuit shows Mr. Eckel to be, along with Mr. Masser and every other member of the Board in March 2012—means nothing to what the 19th and early 20th centuries would have called a gentleman or a lady, and the U.S. Military Academy still calls a gentleman or a lady; somebody who does not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.

    Lying is cause for expulsion at the USMA because (1) a liar cannot command, and does not deserve, the trust, confidence, or respect of other soldiers, and (2) lying can result in loss of personnel, equipment, and/or mission. As an example, scapegoating a purportedly gay sailor for the U.S.S. Iowa turret explosion jeopardized the entire battleship fleet by diverting attention from the accident’s likely root cause. In Penn State’s case, scapegoating Joe Paterno (as proven below) and then lying about it caused enormous damage to the University’s finances and reputation. Somebody who scapegoats any subordinate is not qualified for any position of supervisory responsibility whatsoever.

    If Mr. Eckel finds this assessment offensive, I remind him of how eloquently his fellow liar Kenneth Frazier put it during his racist tirade in March 2013. “The fact of the matter is, those documents say what they say, and no amount of hand waving will ever change what those documents say.” Well, here is what the documents say, and no amount of hand-waving can ever change what they say. Mr. Eckel, Mr. Frazier, Mr. Masser, Karen Peetz, and every single one of their colleagues were parties to the following statement which is still hosted at psu.edu as an official statement of the University.

    http://progress.psu.edu/resource-library/story/report-of-the-board-of-trustees-concerning-nov.-9-decisions

    “While Coach Paterno did his legal duty by reporting that information the next day, Sunday, March 3, to his immediate superior, the then Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley, the Board reasonably inferred that he did not call police. We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno. …At about 9 pm, we unanimously made the difficult decision that Coach Paterno’s failure of leadership required his removal as football coach.”

    In other words, Mr. Eckel was party to this statement that Paterno was fired for “failure of leadership,” and that phrase was repeated twice, even though Mr. Masser later testified under oath that he was fired for no reason other than to gratify public opinion. http://onwardstate.com/2015/01/19/board-chairman-still-thinks-paterno-wasnt-fired/

    “The decision to remove Coach Paterno had nothing to do with what he had known, what he hadn’t done. It was based upon the distraction of having him on the sidelines would have caused the university and the current football team harm. It had nothing to do with what Coach Paterno had done, or hadn’t done.”

    Kenneth Frazier’s testimony at http://av.pasenategop.com/ncaa/discovery/depositions/ken-frazier/transcripts/frazier.pdf supports Mr. Masser’s, although not as explicitly. The bottom line is, however, that if “the decision to remove Coach Paterno had nothing to do with what he had known, what he hadn’t done,” then Paterno was not fired for “failure of leadership.” This means every Trustee who was a party to the indicated statement not only scapegoated Paterno on November 9, 2011, he or she then lied about it in March 2012.

    As for the settlements with Sandusky’s victims, a Trustee should remember that his or her position is one of stewardship. That means one does not squander one’s organization’s money in a manner in which one would not spend one’s own money. As a simple example, if you stay in a mid-range hotel when traveling on vacation, you do not stay in a four-star hotel when your employer is paying the bill; you spend your employer’s money as you would spend your own. In this case, unless Mr. Eckel and his friends would pay their own money to people who have, at best, a nebulous claim on it, they shouldn’t squander the tuition of Penn State students and the taxes of the Commonwealth in this manner. This is simply another example of what the Commonwealth Court opined was dereliction of fiduciary duty a year ago, and it reinforces Senator Yudichak’s perception that personal agendas, rather than a Penn State agenda, are driving Board decisions.

    In addition, Trustee McCombie pointed out, “I have not heard the perspective of our insurance companies.” I cannot give legal advice but, if the insurance companies refused to pay these settlements, and left Penn State holding the bag, I would have to agree with them. The actions of the Business and Industry, Agriculture, and Governor-appointed Trustees (mistakes I hope Governor Wolf will remove soon) are similar to those of somebody who, upon peripheral involvement in a multi-vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver, tells everybody he is responsible, and his insurance company will pay the damages. I can’t give legal advice, but I doubt that any court would order the insurance company to pay.

    In any event, when Senator Yudichak’s legislation to restructure the Board becomes law, Mr. Eckel will no longer be a problem, and the same goes of course for Mr. Eckel, Mr. Frazier, and the rest of the 11/9/2011 holdovers.

    William A. Levinson, B.S. ‘78

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  6. To: Penn State Trustees
    cc: alumni networking

    I read at https://ps4rs.org/2015/04/09/alumni-elected-statements-on-apr-9-resolution/ that an alumnus claims to have spoken to Agriculture Trustee Keith Eckel after Thursday’s conference call.

    “I had the opportunity today to run into BOT member Eckel. The conversation did not go well. He spoke of today’s conference call and said he was appalled at the stands taken by the above elected members.”

    Nobody cares whether Keith Eckel is appalled, amused, or anything else. The opinion of a liar—and this is what Keith Masser’s deposition in the Corman-NCAA lawsuit shows Mr. Eckel to be, along with Mr. Masser and every other member of the Board in March 2012—means nothing to what the 19th and early 20th centuries would have called a gentleman or a lady, and the U.S. Military Academy still calls a gentleman or a lady; somebody who does not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.

    Lying is cause for expulsion at the USMA because (1) a liar cannot command, and does not deserve, the trust, confidence, or respect of other soldiers, and (2) lying can result in loss of personnel, equipment, and/or mission. As an example, scapegoating a purportedly gay sailor for the U.S.S. Iowa turret explosion jeopardized the entire battleship fleet by diverting attention from the accident’s likely root cause. In Penn State’s case, scapegoating Joe Paterno (as proven below) and then lying about it caused enormous damage to the University’s finances and reputation. Somebody who scapegoats any subordinate is not qualified for any position of supervisory responsibility whatsoever.

    If Mr. Eckel finds this assessment offensive, I remind him of how eloquently his fellow liar Kenneth Frazier put it during his racist tirade in March 2013. “The fact of the matter is, those documents say what they say, and no amount of hand waving will ever change what those documents say.” Well, here is what the documents say, and no amount of hand-waving can ever change what they say. Mr. Eckel, Mr. Frazier, Mr. Masser, Karen Peetz, and every single one of their colleagues were parties to the following statement which is still hosted at psu.edu as an official statement of the University.

    http://progress.psu.edu/resource-library/story/report-of-the-board-of-trustees-concerning-nov.-9-decisions

    “While Coach Paterno did his legal duty by reporting that information the next day, Sunday, March 3, to his immediate superior, the then Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley, the Board reasonably inferred that he did not call police. We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno. …At about 9 pm, we unanimously made the difficult decision that Coach Paterno’s failure of leadership required his removal as football coach.”

    In other words, Mr. Eckel was party to this statement that Paterno was fired for “failure of leadership,” and that phrase was repeated twice, even though Mr. Masser later testified under oath that he was fired for no reason other than to gratify public opinion. http://onwardstate.com/2015/01/19/board-chairman-still-thinks-paterno-wasnt-fired/

    “The decision to remove Coach Paterno had nothing to do with what he had known, what he hadn’t done. It was based upon the distraction of having him on the sidelines would have caused the university and the current football team harm. It had nothing to do with what Coach Paterno had done, or hadn’t done.”

    Kenneth Frazier’s testimony at http://av.pasenategop.com/ncaa/discovery/depositions/ken-frazier/transcripts/frazier.pdf supports Mr. Masser’s, although not as explicitly. The bottom line is, however, that if “the decision to remove Coach Paterno had nothing to do with what he had known, what he hadn’t done,” then Paterno was not fired for “failure of leadership.” This means every Trustee who was a party to the indicated statement not only scapegoated Paterno on November 9, 2011, he or she then lied about it in March 2012.

    As for the settlements with Sandusky’s victims, a Trustee should remember that his or her position is one of stewardship. That means one does not squander one’s organization’s money in a manner in which one would not spend one’s own money. As a simple example, if you stay in a mid-range hotel when traveling on vacation, you do not stay in a four-star hotel when your employer is paying the bill; you spend your employer’s money as you would spend your own. In this case, unless Mr. Eckel and his friends would pay their own money to people who have, at best, a nebulous claim on it, they shouldn’t squander the tuition of Penn State students and the taxes of the Commonwealth in this manner. This is simply another example of what the Commonwealth Court opined was dereliction of fiduciary duty a year ago, and it reinforces Senator Yudichak’s perception that personal agendas, rather than a Penn State agenda, are driving Board decisions.

    In addition, Trustee McCombie pointed out, “I have not heard the perspective of our insurance companies.” I cannot give legal advice but, if the insurance companies refused to pay these settlements, and left Penn State holding the bag, I would have to agree with them. The actions of the Business and Industry, Agriculture, and Governor-appointed Trustees (mistakes I hope Governor Wolf will remove soon) are similar to those of somebody who, upon peripheral involvement in a multi-vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver, tells everybody he is responsible, and his insurance company will pay the damages. I can’t give legal advice, but I doubt that any court would order the insurance company to pay.

    In any event, when Senator Yudichak’s legislation to restructure the Board becomes law, Mr. Eckel will no longer be a problem, and the same goes of course for Mr. Eckel, Mr. Frazier, and the rest of the 11/9/2011 holdovers.

    William A. Levinson, B.S. ‘78

    Like

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