Board Of Trustees Will No Longer Stream Public Comment Session
Penn State’s Board of Trustees decided this week that it will no longer live stream or record the 8 a.m. Friday public comment session. This is the same public comment session that was moved from the beginning of the full Board meeting on Friday afternoons to an executive session Friday morning.
The change was made public in a university press release announcing the full Board will, as per usual, be live streamed. Penn State offered no reason as to why the session would no longer be live streamed, instead just highlighting the fact that the public will still have the opportunity to voice their opinions.
This means the Board will have further control over the public’s comments. Individuals must pre-register if they would like to address the Board during the public comment, which has been true since the inception of the session in 2012. Videos of the public comment used to be uploaded to YouTube but that will no longer be the case.
An email from Trustee Anthony Lubrano to Board Chairman Ira Lubert was posted on Twitter that shows the internal opposition to the unilateral decision and highlights the lack of transparency in discontinuing the live streaming of the public comment.
— LBerkland (@Berkland4) October 30, 2016
In the realm of transparency, there was also discussion at September’s Board meeting about a Trustee membership guidelines change that would prohibit Trustees from discussing Board decisions in any public platform covered by the media, including social media. The decision was tabled until this week’s Board meeting.