Ex-Sallie Mae CEO Announces Board of Trustees Candidacy

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Former Sallie Mae CEO Albert Lord announced his candidacy for the Penn State Board of Trustees to the Philadelphia Inquirer and other groups last week, calling the Freeh report “sinister fiction.”

The 1967 Penn State graduate became Chief Executive Officer of the $181 billion company in 2007 and served in that capacity until the beginning of 2014. He also served in that role from 1997 to May 2005.

From the Inquirer’s reporting and his public announcement, it appears Lord will try to appeal to the PS4RS-pathos, mentioning exclusively his disdain for the Freeh report and promising to restore the reputations of Joe Paterno and the three charged administrators. Here’s the excerpt about his positions from the Inquirer:

Count Lord among the critics of PSU’s rapid willingness to dump its top academic and athletic managers after the long-simmering investigations of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky erupted into a public scandal and Sandusky’s conviction on multiple child rape counts. “We must restore the reputations of Penn State, Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz and make these names a part of Penn State’s future,” Lord wrote in his note to friends, fellow alumni, and members of the PS4RS (Penn Staters For Responsible Stewardship) group. He asked them to sign to put him on the ballot for the next election.

Lord expresses “sadness and anger” at the way the past trustees board accepted “the purposeful and sinister fiction that passes as the Freeh Report,” which Lord blames for Penn State’s “rapid descent to mediocrity.” Penn State needs “major leadership change,” and “first rate professionals in the legal, political and PR arenas,” and an “open review” of Freeh’s findings, Lord adds.

He says his own career gives him “the relevant experience – and expertise — to take on the complex political and legal issues into which the Trustees will have plunged our alma mater,” and promises his seat “will not be a quiet seat” on the 30-member Penn State board.

Lord will need to receive 50 nominations by February 25 to appear on the ballot. Voting begins on April 10 (alumni need to request a ballot), and the three winners will be announced at the May 9 meeting. Dozens of candidates are likely to throw their name into the hat (86 ran in 2012, 39 in 2013), and several, including Gavin Keirans, Dan Cocco, Ryan Bagwell, and Bob Jubelirer already have.

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About Author

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014, and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is a director of the Nittany Valley Society 501(c)(3) and is involved in student government.

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