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Board Of Trustees Discusses ‘We Are All In’ Campaign, Strategic Plan, State Appropriations Request, New Lab Building

The Penn State Board of Trustees met Friday at the Penn Stater to discuss a new campaign on diversity and inclusion, trustees emeriti, and a new state-of-the-art laboratory building.

The meeting began with a recap of recent events, including new student representatives on Board of Trustees committees, the retirement of Vice Presidents Craig Weidemann and Michael DiRaimo, Penn Staters in the Olympics, Penn Staters in the Paralympics (including Shawn Morelli’s first and second gold medals).

Olympians Frank Molinaro and Shane Ryan spoke to the Board about their Olympic experiences, thanking trustees for their support and expressing their pride in Penn State.

President Eric Barron reported on the “We Are All In” campaign, a year-long effort focused on diversity and inclusion. He also briefly mentioned this year’s $836 million in research expenditures, the second highest amount in Penn State’s history.

Provost Nick Jones discussed implementing Penn State’s strategic plan, which was published in February for 2016-2020.

Here’s what you need to know about the Board’s other action items:

  • Barron presented on the 2017-2018 state appropriations budget, recommending Penn State request $350,452,000. If granted the appropriation by state legislature, this budget plan would effectively allow the university to freeze tuition for in-state students. This one caused some controversy, as some Trustees felt that the increase was too much to request.
  • Fenske Lab will be demolished to make way for a $144 million state-of-the-art laboratory building to house the chemical and biomedical engineering departments.
  • Former trustees Al Clemens and Keith Eckel, both members of the controversial 2011 Board that fired Joe Paterno, were granted Trustee Emeritus status.
  • The Board approved a 2.25 percent merit increase for President Barron’s salary based on committee recommendation.
  • The Board appointed Zack Moore as the new Vice President for Community and Government Relations in light of Vice President Michael DiRaimo stepping down.
  • The Board finalized plans to spend $7.8 million on functionality renovations of Research Building West, $8.5 million to add computing power to the recently-completed Tower Road Data Center, $22.5 million to add a combined head and power plant to Hershey Medical Center, and $6.9 million to outfit space at Innovation Park for human resources functions.
  • The Board appointed various non-university-employed leaders to the Penn State Investment Council and appointed Kathy Pape and Thomas Lenkevich to the Hershey Medical Center Board of Directors.
  • The Board appointed President Barron to the Board of Directors of Penn State Health in place of former President Rodney Erickson.
  • The Board amended the Corporation for Penn State bylaws and articles of incorporation such that Penn State is now the sole member of the Corporation, rather than all individuals who are members of the Penn State Board of Trustees. Trustees also elected directors of the Corporation for Penn State.


The Board of Trustees will meet again at University Park November 3-4 for their final meeting of 2017.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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