Five Alumni-Elected Trustee Candidates Announced
The always contentious alumni Board of Trustees election begins on April 10, but the ballot was released yesterday by Penn State. Incumbents Barb Doran, Ted Brown, and Bill Oldsey are seeking another three-year term, along with newcomers Larry Schultz and Dan Cocco (although the latter two probably couldn’t be more different).
PS4RS, the three-year kingmaker in these elections, is currently going through its endorsement process to decide the odd person out between Doran, Brown, Oldsey, and Schultz. There’s been some level of contention, as current trustee Anthony Lubrano endorsed Schultz/Oldsey/Brown, while most of the other alumni trustees have endorsed the incumbent slate.
Alumni can request a ballot for the election on the Board’s website. Here’s a bit about the candiates:
Doran graduated from Penn State in 1975, went on to Harvard Business School, and is now a senior portfolio manager at Lebenthal Asset Management. Her priorities include budgeting, reforming the board to include more diversity and transparency, and facing unresolved issues surrounding the Sandusky Scandal and perception of Penn State’s culture. “I believe the Board of Trustees needs a diverse set of people who are independent and fair-minded, who embrace transparency and accountability, and who are not afraid to stand up and fight for Penn State and its values, whether it is against the media, the NCAA, Louis Freeh, or Rutgers football fans(!),” Doran said in her PS4RS Letter of Intent.
Brown is a 1968 Penn State graduate and current President and CEO of KETCHConsulting, Inc. The majority of his platform revolves around honoring Joe Paterno. “How different things might have been had I been a Trustee in November 2011. Probably, no one would have been fired, due process would have been followed and the media would have been dealt with differently,” Brown says in his PS4RS Letter of Intent. Brown often notes his membership in the Crisis Management Hall of Fame. His self-proclaimed top three plans and goals if elected for a second term are honoring Joe, seeking the truth, and no tuition increase (Brown has voted for no tuition increase three times, including being the lone trustee to vote for such in his first two years on the board).
Cocco is a 2008 Penn State graduate was THON Overall his senior year. He received his M.S at Columbia and he’s currently a management consultant at Ernst & Young LLP. According to his website, some of his priorities if elected are “supporting access to a World-class Penn State education” by increasing capacity for certain programs and controlling tuition costs, to “change lives through groundbreaking research, and to “recognize and reward dedicated faculty and staff.” Cocco had previous run for the board under the now-defunct Upward State effort but has indicated that he’s going independent at it this time. It’s safe to say Cocco is the alternative to the PS4RS ideology in this election.
Schultz graduated in 1980, went to law school at West Virginia, has been a trial lawyer for almost 30 years, and serves on a seven-member West Virginia Board of Law Examiners. He outlines his goals in his Letter of Intent, highlighted by a call to speed up change. “If I attain a seat on the Board, I know I can help extract the truth from the Freeh source documents. I have the skills,” Schultz wrote. His letter states honoring Paterno as a “non-negotiable,” but also says “no Trustee has any more important duty than to ensure that [American] Dream stays vibrant. This means lower tuition, including reined-in spending on capital expansion and other projects, and it means more scholarship help for those who need it. As Trustee I will fight for restrained tuition and scholarship help.”
Oldsey believes trustees should receive “full and unfettered access” to Freeh materials so that definitive action can be taken by the Board upon review (like the other alumni trustees, his name was on the lawsuit to obtain the documents). His ultimate goal is to refute the report entirely. “Then, and only then, can the Board and the University begin the long overdue job of fully restoring Penn State’s brand and cultural reputation. We possess a once in a lifetime legacy that demands complete restoration — Coach Paterno’s legacy,” Oldsey said in his PS4RS Letter of Intent. Oldsey also pointed out the board’s substantial size, and how it’s hindered overall decision-making and leadership efforts. Oldsey calls for a complete reformation of the board’s trustee appointment processes and “agricultural elections.” Oldsey has also been instrumental in scrutinizing big spending projects on the Board’s Finance Committee.