Penn State Trustees File Lawsuit Against Alumni Association
Four alumni trustees filed a lawsuit today against the Penn State Alumni Association (PSAA), claiming that their names were withheld from the ballot for upcoming the PSAA Council election.
Trustees Edward Brown III, Anthony Lubrano, Bill Oldsey, and Alice Pope took action against the PSAA, petitioning for an injunction that will restore their names to the ballot. According to their court complaint, the four trustees were not provided proper instructions for how to appear on the ballot for the Council, and the PSAA has failed to rectify the error following this realization.
However, these were the same four trustees who were barred from candidacy because, according to PSAA Executive Director Roger Williams, they are university trustees.
In a statement released today, the trustees spoke about their disappointment in the PSAA, and are pushing for their placement on the ballot in order to greater acknowledge the importance of alumni involvement.
“At every turn, the alumni are being stripped of their collective voice in our great school,” the trustees said in the statement. “The Executive Director of the PSAA works at the direction of the university administration and yet claims autonomy… All power within the PSAA has devolved to them.”
This falls succinctly behind another recent lawsuit against the PSAA regarding its ballot. In March, the PSAA conceded a legal battle against James Smith, and allowed both his and Elizabeth Morgan’s names to appear on the upcoming ballot.
It is possible that something similar may happen with these four trustees. With the election not beginning until May, there is still time for their names to be included on the ballot.
In their statement, Brown, Lubrano, Oldsey, and Pope speak to the PSAA, and finish with an invitation for the association to challenge their lawsuit.
“What do the leaders of the PSAA fear?” the trustees wrote. “In the end, this matter can be resolved quickly by placing our names on the ballot and allowing the nearly 180,000 members of the PSAA to choose for themselves who they want to represent them on council.”