Where Did the Silence Come From?

Given the governance missteps at Penn State, I propose that university bylaws be changed to eliminate the six business and industry trustee seats that have been the core of the board for many years.

Ideally, those six would be replaced with more alumni trustees who are elected in a transparent process.

In 2002, then Penn State board chairman Edward Hintz, Jr. (an industrial trustee) appointed a committee to study and recommend changes to the process for electing industrial trustees. The outcome of the study was a name change to “business and industry” trustees, and the election was eliminated.Not surprisingly, some are the largest financial contributors reported by the university. These trustees birthed and facilitated the Spanier regime.

A fresh start would include eliminating the appointed six-member business and industry group and replacing them with six additional alumni trustees, openly and democratically elected. Their removal would be a giant step toward restoring openness and sunshine, replacing the silence and haze that have been so pervasive.

–Robert Horst, past trustee


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