Kathleen Casey Approved for BOT Seat
Barbara Doran, Ted Brown, and Bill Oldsey got most of the hype as far as new Board of Trustees members go, but Penn State will be adding another trustee at its next meeting in July.
Kathleen Casey, nominated by Governor Tom Corbett on Oct. 1 last year, was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania senate earlier this week to serve on the board. Casey, a 1988 Penn State graduate, was a Republican commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 2006-2011 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. Casey received her J.D. from George Mason in 1993.
Despite no longer receiving a vote on the board themselves, the Pennsylvania governor appoints six seats to the Board of Trustees. Casey will fill the seat vacated by Michael DiBerardinis whose term expired last June. The Senate was unable to act on the nomination last year, but Casey was renominated in February.
“Kathy’s financial background, oversight experience, and international perspective will make her an asset to Penn State’s Board of Trustees,” Corbett said in a statement at the time. “I am proud to nominate someone of her caliber.”
Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS), a group aimed at reforming the Board of Trustees, initially opposed Casey’s nomination back in October based not on her qualifications but on principle.
“While Kathleen Casey appears to be a very accomplished nominee,the members of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship strongly oppose the appointment of Ms. Casey, or anyone else, until the Board of Trustees updatesits conflict of interest policy and gets the appropriate training around this component of governance, as clearly stipulated in the Freeh Report,” the group said in a statement at the time.
The Board passed a conflict of interest policy at its meeting a week ago but some have accused the reform of being too vague or not enough. The Penn Stater Magazine has a detailed explanation of the new policy.
State Senator John Yudichak, a Penn State alum who has been quite vocal about his displeasure for the Board of Trustees, released a statement soon after Casey was confirmed.
“While I have no reservations on today’s vote to confirm a very highly-qualified nominee in Kathleen L. Casey to the Penn State University Board of Trustees, I strongly believe that the vote should have taken place after the General Assembly addresses the many issues with board governance at all of our state-related institutions,” Yudichak said. “We need to make certain that the nature and size of our University governing boards do not again foster an environment that can lead to the tragic outcomes that the world witnessed at Penn State. The General Assembly must demand more answers from the Board on how they will address the shortcoming of the Freeh report; more answers on its cost to the University; and more answers on the broad implications of the harsh NCAA sanctions.”
Additionally, 1994 graduate Abe Harpster will join the board in July after being elected as one of six agricultural representatives. Incumbent Keith Eckel was re-elected to the other seat.