Pa.’s state-related universities go overboard on trustees, auditor general says

    Pennsylvania’s four state-related schools, which receive hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from the commonwealth, have recently come under fire for the size of their boards of trustees.

    A report by the state’s outgoing auditor general has questioned the need for a 32-member board of trustees at Penn State.

    Jack Wagner’s study was released as a follow-up to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    He says the case showed it’s too difficult to keep so many trustees informed in a fast-moving crisis.

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    But Wagner says for the other state-related schools in Pennsylvania — Pitt, Temple, and Lincoln — trustee boards exceed the size suggested by various academic associations.

    “The consensus among experts in academic governance is that the optimal size for a board of trustees is fewer, and I repeat, fewer than 20 members,” Wagner said.

    Lincoln University’s board has 39 voting members, the same number as Temple University’s board, which includes three nonvoting members.

    The University of Pittsburgh’s board has 40 members; four are nonvoting.

    Neither Temple nor Pitt returned a request for comment. Lincoln University was closed the week before the Thanksgiving holiday.

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