State Senator John Yudichak has officially introduced his Penn State Board of Trustees reform bill which, if passed, would reduce the number of board members from 30 to 23. Yudichak laid out the details of the bill in November and has since garnered 23 co-sponsors in the State Senate. You could say Yudichak likes the number 23 — the true Michael Jordan of the Pennsylvania State Senate.
Yudichak (D), who represents Luzerne, Carbon and Monroe counties, says that the public confidence in the board is eroded, and that reducing the board’s size will be better for the university. Rather than wait for the recently hired Board of Trustees governance consultant to conduct her work, Yudichak wants the state to take action.
“Penn State students and alumni deserve a fully-engaged, efficient and responsive board of trustees – and that can only be accomplished by reducing the size of the current board and closer aligning the composition to governing boards at similar institutions across the country,” Yudichak said. “I am extremely excited about the broad bipartisan support this bill has already received and hope that we can swiftly move this proposal through the legislative process and start to address the glaring shortcomings of the current board governance structure at Penn State.”
Under Yudichak’s proposal, the Board of Trustees would be composed of eight elected alumni, five Governor appointees, five elected members from the Agriculture industry, and five members from business and industry appointed by a trustee committee comprised of the chairperson and one member from each category.
Yudichak, a Penn State graduate, has been one of the universities biggest advocates in Harrisburg. He grilled President Erickson during the state appropriation hearings last year on Penn State’s response to the Freeh report, which many alumni have found to be inadequate.
Whether this bill will ever see the floor is not known, but with Yudichak garnering bipartisan support and co-sponsors, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The Senate will reconvene on Monday after a weeklong break.