Student Trustee Spearheads Board Self-Evaluation Effort
It was a crazy Friday for Penn State’s leadership, but believe it or not, the Board of Trustees discussed business other than the settlement with the NCAA at its January meeting.
And there, student Trustee Allie Goldstein turned some heads with an unexpected — but important — motion to help the trustees stop hating each other’s guts so much. Passing, it will charge the board’s Committee on Governance and Long Range Planning to examine a self-evaluation in search of more healthy discussion.
“Penn State was accused of having a culture problem – and three years later, we are still fighting over it,” Goldstein said. “I am not troubled by the fact that we are discussing it, nor the fact that there are different opinions on the matter, as debate and discourse are healthy and allow us to consider the potential impact of the various options available to us. What I am troubled by is the fact that we are fighting, and more importantly how we are fighting.”
This is notable for a few reasons. Goldstein has been pretty quiet since her election to the board this summer (but still more engaged than most of her colleagues, being one of the only non-alumni trustees to attend this debacle in December). Students should be encouraged that their representative on the board is speaking up about something that often makes the university look bad.
Moreover, this ridiculously fragmented board needs a semblance of unity. Committee meetings consistently run way past their allotted time because of minutes devoted to bickering, and the debacle I mentioned above speaks for itself. How effective a self-evaluation will be is certainly questionable, but props to Goldstein for trying something.
Her address to the full board on Friday is below.
Image: AP Photo/Andy Colwell