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Attorney Running For Penn State Board Of Trustees Receives Sue Paterno’s Endorsement

by Geoff Rushton

Alvin de Levie, an attorney and civil rights advocate, announced that he is running for an alumni seat on the Penn State Board of Trustees, and he has the endorsement of Sue Paterno.

The nomination period for three alumni-elected seats on the board is open through 5 p.m. on Sunday.

A 1973 Penn State graduate, de Levie said he is calling for greater diversity, accountability and transparency for the board, which he said is “run by a clique of Trustees who have controlled important decisions” and who silence dissenting members.

That along with a board size and composition he described as outdated and unmanageable, have led to bad decisions and have undermined trust and confidence in the university’s leadership.

“I will work to reform a broken system that has led to unabated tuition increases because the board has failed to fulfill the mission to educate the children of hard working Pennsylvanians and prevent them from drowning in a sea of student debt,” he said. “I will insist the current board leadership make sound economic decisions regarding tuition and fees, and that those take place in full public view.”

He added that he would work to change the size and composition of the board and “the process by which members are selected by Pennsylvania politicians.

With offices in Philadelphia and State College, de Levie represented former Penn State fencing coach Emmanuil Kaidanov in his wrongful termination lawsuit against the university. The case was settled out of court in December 2015. Terms were not disclosed, but de Levie said Kaidanov, who coached at the university for 31 years before being fired in 2013, was “welcomed back by Penn State” and that “justice was served.”

De Levie was raised in State College and his father, Dagobert de Levie, was a Penn State professor.

“I am acutely aware of the culture that makes State College and Happy Valley a great place to live and study,” he said. “I am also acutely aware of the need for the University to be a good neighbor and work with the local residents and municipalities in meeting the needs of both the University and the residents and municipalities.

In her endorsement letter, Paterno said de Levie shared the same commitment to Penn State she and her late husband, Joe Paterno, have had.

“Joe and I dedicated our lives to our family, to community and charitable causes, and to Penn State,” Paterno wrote. “I know that you share these same commitments, built on a foundation of your being raised in State College, graduating from Penn State, practicing law in our community and in Philadelphia, and promoting the welfare of our students, faculty, and staff. You respect Penn State’s history, values and traditions in the same way I do.

“Knowing that you share a commitment to the future excellence of the university, I want to support your candidacy as an alumni trustee on  the forthcoming ballot for the Board of Trustees.”

Alumni who had a valid email address on file should have received a nomination ballot by email. Those who haven’t received a ballot can request one here.

Alumni that receive 250 nominations will be added to the ballot, which will be sent by email on Tuesday, April 10. The election will close at 9 a.m. on May 3, with results announced at the May 4 board meeting.

Along with de Levie, several other alumni are actively seeking nomination. Among them are incumbents Anthony Lubrano, Ryan McCombie, and Rob Tribeck, whose current terms end this year. Lubrano and McCombie are nearing the end of their second terms on the board, having first been elected in 2012, while Tribeck has served since 2015.

Challengers include Rob Bowsherwho was nominated on last year’s ballot, former Penn State football All-American Brandon Short, and “Joe Out” host Laurie Stanell, a member of the Penn State Alumni Association’s Alumni Council who has previously run for a seat on the board.

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