#2 Rob Tribeck

“Restoration of the reputation of Penn State — and some very fine people who were trampled by the Board — is incredibly important to me, and I will never give up efforts to right those wrongs.”

Connect with Rob Tribeck:
email white navy buttonFacebook white navy buttonlinkedin white navy buttontwitter white navy buttonwww


Position Statement

I have considered seeking a position on the Board of Trustees for many years. Over the past decade, I have watched the operations of the Board and the Administration, with some concern. I now realize that I should have stepped forward long ago. Had I done so, I am confident that the events that transpired in and after November 2011 would have taken a far different course.
As a Trustee, I will make every effort to restore confidence in our University leadership, as well as to bridge the incredible divide that exists both within the Board, and between the Board and its constituents. I will work tirelessly and in the best interests of the University, its students, faculty, employees, and alumni. I will advocate for greater transparency, for board and governance reform, and for enhanced accountability. I am confident in my abilities to lead and to stand strong in the face of adversity, and firmly believe that those traits will serve the Board well as we move forward. In particular, my prior experience as legal counsel to governmental and quasi-governmental entities, including post-secondary educational institutions, provides me with invaluable experience that is currently lacking on the Board.
Restoration of the reputation of Penn State — and some very fine people who were trampled by the Board — is incredibly important to me, and I will never give up efforts to right those wrongs. There is no question in my mind that, either through malfeasance, nonfeasance, or reliance on egregiously bad advice, the Board improperly placed blame on the Penn State football program and Coach Joe Paterno starting in November 2011 for actions that had nothing to do with athletics. This included the improper and illegal termination of Coach Paterno, an incomplete report that has been pilloried by every critical review of it, and the blind acceptance of grievous (and illegal) sanctions from the NCAA on the football program.
The genesis of many issues faced by the University related to this matter is the Board’s purported acceptance of the so-called Freeh Report. I have conducted, participated in, and directed hundreds of internal investigations in my career, and can state unequivocally that the Freeh Report was, in no uncertain terms, improperly done, grossly incomplete, and flawed at its very core. The fact that it was used by the media, the NCAA, and the Board itself to cast Penn State, as well as its students, alumni, faculty, and leaders, in an unfair and wholly inaccurate light is simply tragic. Our University cannot fully move forward and heal until that report is publicly denounced by the Board.
While I have been greatly troubled by actions of the Board over the last three years, I would be far from a single issue Trustee. I have serious concerns regarding escalating tuition costs, student and faculty rights, support for Commonwealth campuses, a need to enhance the University endowment, unchecked building projects, and a movement away from the core values upon which Penn State was founded. If steps are not taken, Penn State will soon become cost-prohibitive to the very families that have worked, sometimes for generations, to support the University. I also fear that our young alumni will be choked with an ever-growing student debt that is simply untenable, thereby limiting their options in the workforce. We must work to remedy those issues and pursue novel ideas for stemming the escalation of tuition costs. This involves a step back to review exactly what the core values of our University are and how we can, working together, achieve those goals.
I am also deeply disturbed by what is viewed by many as a secretive and arrogant attitude regarding the operation of the University by the Board. The Board (or a small group of the Board itself) cannot be permitted to run amok without regard to the best interests of the University as a whole. It is the students, faculty, employees, and alumni, not the Board, who are the most important assets of Penn State. As such, their collective voices, concerns, and issues must be heard. In this regard, since 2012 I have been involved with proposals for reform and restructure of the Board, and those efforts will continue as a Trustee. The current Board structure is oversized in comparison to all similarly situated organizations, inconsistent with the scope of the University in its makeup, and places far too much power in a small group of self-appointing (Business and Industry) members.
As noted, I will always place the well-being of the students, faculty, employees, and alumni at the very forefront of my efforts. I pledge to work with all members of the Board to insure that we provide a quality, affordable education at a world-class University. The Board cannot insulate itself from the students, who are the very basis of the Board’s existence and the sole reason for the Board. I will work closely with the students to understand their needs, their desires, and their ideas for a better Penn State. Nor can the Board isolate itself from the alumni, who are the lifeblood of the University. I will work with the alumni to understand their concerns, their goals, and their ideas for a better Penn State. Finally, I will work with, understand the needs of, and support the faculty and other employees of Penn State. Without their hard work, both inside and outside the classroom, our University cannot thrive in carrying out its mission.
In sum, it is a time for change at our University, and I am ready, willing and able to lead that change.


Education

The Pennsylvania State University, 1991, Bachelor of Science, Economics
Ohio Northern University, 1994, Juris Doctor

Professional Background

Chief Legal Officer, Post Acute Medical, LLC
Partner, Rhoads & Sinon LLP

Current Residence

Enola, Pennsylvania

Contact Information

Biographical Sketch

Robert J. Tribeck is Chief Legal Officer at Post Acute Medical, LLC, a Central Pennsylvania-based health care provider which owns and operates long-term acute care and rehabilitation hospitals throughout the United States. He is also a partner in the Harrisburg-based law firm of Rhoads & Sinon LLP, where he is an elected member of its Executive Committee and previously served as Chair of the firm’s litigation department. He is a member of the firm’s Employment and Labor, Intellectual Property, and Internal Investigation and Corporate Compliance practice groups.
Rob received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Pennsylvania State University in 1991. Following graduation, he was awarded a Judicial Scholarship to the Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree, with highest distinction, in 1994. While in law school, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, was a member of the Moot Court, and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Upon graduation, Rob was appointed to, and served a federal judicial clerkship with, the Honorable William W. Caldwell of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania from 1994 to 1996.
Rob has served on local non-profit boards, served as a youth sports coach in football, lacrosse, and basketball, and was a founder of the Pennsylvania e-Commerce Association. He also lectures on various aspects of law, including the proper conduct of internal investigations, corporate compliance and the Pennsylvania Sunshine Law, and has testified before Pennsylvania Senate Subcommittee on State Government regarding proposed amendments to the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law. Rob is a member of the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and Federal Bar Associations, as well as the Penn State Alumni Association and many other professional and civic organizations.
Rob resides in Enola, Pennsylvania with his wife Karen, a 1991 graduate of Penn State, and his two teenage children.