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University Files Stipulation To Dismiss Ongoing Lawsuit With Alumni Trustees

Penn State filed a stipulation on Thursday to dismiss the ongoing lawsuit with six alumni trustees.

In a petition filed to Centre County Court on April 27, six trustees — Ted Brown, Barbara Doran, Bob Jubelirer, Anthony Lubrano, Bill Oldsey, and Alice Pope — made a formal demand to Board Chairman Keith Masser for information regarding the selection of business, industry, and three at-large trustees.

Masser responded to the petitioning trustees, saying he did not agree that access to nomination material was necessary for the exercise of their fiduciary duties to the university. The university eventually granted the request and ultimately made all the materials available. Masser asked the trustees to each respond individually and agree to maintain the information in confidence. Lubrano responded on behalf of the petitioners and maintained it was their right as fiduciaries and they were entitled to review the documents.

The next exhibit in the stipulation is Masser’s response to Lubrano, which he sent to the other five trustees as well to assure confidentiality. “It is quite disturbing to me that none of your communications to me with respect to this issue contains a simple, direct commitment to maintain the confidentiality of Board information.”

The petitioning trustees filed a second petition to compel the information on May 4, and the university made the materials available on May 5. The trustees’ second petition to compel inspection of corporate information and the petition for preliminary injunction will be dismissed, according to the stipulation.

On May 4, the petitioning trustees sent a letter to President Eric Barron demanding the university cover the legal fees incurred by the ongoing lawsuit. Barron denied the request. “Your request is made even more outrageous by your threat of yet another lawsuit against Penn State if we do not pay your costs of suing the university,” Barron said in his response.

“Since we had already offered to give the trustees the documents several days before they sued, the case was already moot and frivolous when filed,” Lawrence Lokman, vice president for strategic communication said in a statement. “We are pleased it has been dismissed, but regret the time, expense and distraction caused by a lawsuit that should never have been filed.”

The full board will meet tomorrow. The stipulation and corresponding exhibits can be read below.

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