Board Of Trustees Election Results And Appointments Announced

The Board of Trustees adjourned its meeting in an unusually timely fashion Friday afternoon. The hour and a half affair was undoubtedly the quickest meeting in recent memory. Following reports from President Eric Barron and Provost Nick Jones, 13 trustees were confirmed by election or appointment to begin terms on July 1.

Three alumni-elected trustees ran unopposed for three open spots: Incumbents Anthony Lubrano and Ryan McCombie, and newcomer Robert Tribeck, all endorsed by PS4RS, secured the seats. Lubrano received the most votes (14,795), followed by McCombie (14,790), and Tribeck (14,502).

Adam Taliaferro announced in January he would not seek reelection for a second term, leaving his seat up for grabs. Following the election results, PS4RS posted to Facebook that “the election results send a clear message that alumni are engaged, committed, and united.”

For the alumni who are distraught by the Board’s internal fighting and nonsense, take heart. Keith Eckel, chair of the Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning, noted ongoing efforts to fulfill Trustee Allie Goldstein’s motion that was passed at the Board’s January meeting. The motion charged the Board’s Committee on Governance and Long Range Planning to examine a self-evaluation in search of more healthy discussion.

In other news, agricultural society delegates reelected Donald Cotner and elected Chris Hoffman, who will take over for the outgoing Carl Shaffer. Hoffman was appointed to the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s board of directors in 2006, its executive committee in 2008, and was elected as vice president in 2014.

The governance reform approved in November added six seats to the Board with a codified student trustee, an academic trustee, three at-large trustees, and the immediate past president of the Alumni Association.

Kay Salvino will assume a seat on the board as the immediate past president of the Alumni Association. Luke Metaxas was unanimously approved as the student trustee, and Alumni Fellow Dr. David Han will serve as the faculty representative.

The Board voted on the selection of the two business and industry trustees and three at-large trustees as well. The selection process of the five positions was a point of contention among a group of trustees. The university filed a stipulation to dismiss the lawsuit yesterday, and all five positions were filled at today’s meeting. Before the vote, Lubrano and a host of other alumni-elected trustees announced they would abstain from the vote. Chairman Keith Masser called for the vote and the positions were unanimously approved.

Business And Industry

Robert Fenza and Mary Lee Schneider were appointed as new business and industry trustees to replace the outgoing Ira Lubert and Ken Frazier. Fenza retired this March as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Liberty Property Trust. He earned a doctoral degree in both landscape architecture and real estate from Penn State and is a member of the Society of Distinguished Alumni. Schneider graduated from Penn State with a journalism degree and is the president and CEO of the Follett Corporation. She earned an MBA in business and a master of science degree in medical informatics from Northwestern and a master’s in printing technology and imaging systems from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

At Large

Kathleen Casey, Matthew Schuyler, and Julie Potts were appointed as the Board’s first at-large trustees. Casey’s name may be a familiar one because she’s currently on the Board as a gubernatorial appointee. She tendered her resignation for that position effective June 30, which will allow the Governor to make a new appointment.

Schuyler is a Penn State accounting grad and is the chief human resources officer of Hilton Worldwide. He earned an MBA from Michigan, and is a member on the board of visitors of the Smeal College of Business, College of Information Sciences and Technology, and the School of Hospitality Membership. Potts is the executive vice president and treasurer of the American Farm Bureau Federation. She studied at Bryn Mawr College where she graduated with a degree in English before attending George Washington University Law School. She was chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry from 2009-2011.

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The meeting went off without a hitch despite recent events — at least the public part of the meeting. The 13 new appointees will assume their positions before the next full Board meeting on July 17.

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