After a hardball campaign involving nearly 40 candidates, three Penn State University alumni have been elected to seats on the school’s Board of Trustees.
Winning the election were Barbara Doran, William Oldsey and Ted Brown. Each was endorsed by an alumni group that has been critical of university leadership.
Many candidates focused on addressing fallout from the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal including the report by former FBI director Louis Freeh as well as sanctions and penalties levied by the NCAA.
Penn State grad and newly elected trustee Doran said she ran because she also wants to see reform on the board.
“At 32 people, it’s way too large,” she said. She thinks power has devolved to the executive committee, meaning “you don’t have a fully engaged board and I think that’s been a problem in the past.
“I also think you really need to look at the composition of the board because it’s not been independent. I think there’s a culture of insularity and nepotism that needs to be broken,” she said.
The board of trustees also approved governance reforms Friday as two incumbent trustees learned they were voted out by alumni. The changes include removing the state’s governor and the university president as voting trustees.
Penn State alumnus Robert Nagel from Montgomery County said, for the sake of the Penn State community, the board should focus on what’s happening now.
“I haven’t been as deeply invested in it because I think a lot of issues that are important to the community in terms of the money that’s going to certain education programs, things about the Dickinson School of law, there’s been all types of important things that really aren’t discussed,” said Nagel.
Alumni turnout for last year’s election was record breaking, with 37,000 casting ballots.
Penn State has the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.