Joel Myers has been on the Penn State Board of Trustees for 33 years, and he’ll hope to make that 36 years after the alumni election in May. He announced his candidacy in an open letter yesterday, and came out swinging against the reform group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship.
“Our alumni deserve a chance to speak to what I have come to believe is the central question before us,” Myers wrote. “Do they believe, as I do, that it is time to surge onward, toward a bright future and out of the Sandusky darkness? Or do they support the group calling itself Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS) whose eyes seem to look only backward, using counter‐productive acrimony and recriminations to continue to churn our collective hurt?”
“I believe it is time to move onward, and I am running to offer our alumni that choice.”
The Founder and President of AccuWeather has been a lightning rod for criticism for the PS4RS crowd. The group even preemptively ran negative advertisements against Myers (he responded) in the fall, although it evidently did not dissuade him from running.
“My fellow alumni, you need to know that Penn State is back,” Myers wrote. “We are knocking the cover off the ball. Applications for enrollment are up again, increasing a stunning 18%. We are ascending in the national rankings. Research funding is up at Penn State, even as other schools’ research funding declines. Our world‐class faculty is committed. Our athletic program is doing us proud, winning national championships the Penn State Way. But here is the truth: As long as we fight among ourselves, the world will pay more attention to our conflicts than they will to our accomplishments.”
Myers is the only one of the three incumbents to announce his reelection bid — Jesse Arnelle and Marianne Alexander may run again, but haven’t said so publicly. Time will tell if 2014 is the year a PS4RS-endorsed candidate loses, and Myers will undoubtedly be leading that charge.
“Anger is not a plan. And catharsis is not a strategy,” Myers wrote. “Continuing to focus our energies on the anger of the past is holding Penn State back from its future.”
The election is currently in its nomination stage — Myers and other potential candidates won’t officially appear on the ballot until they receive 50 or more nominations — which will last until February 25. Voting begins on April 10 (alumni need to request a ballot), and the three winners will be announced at the May 9 meeting.