Questionable Governance Reforms for Penn State Board of Trustees

The board is considering a change to its standing orders that would allow for the removal of a trustee who violates his or her fiduciary duty or the expectations of board membership.

For instance, board members will be expected to support board decisions and not speak out against them. They will be prohibited from acting on his or her own behalf. And they will need to fulfill their donation pledges to Penn State on a timely basis.

When Lubrano heard on Friday the proposed changes, which originated in a governance committee, he asked if these were being dubbed the “Lubrano rule.”

Trustee Linda Strumpf appeared to give Lubrano a cross look, and she mouthed something at the same time as her gesture, but it was not clear what it was.

Lubrano said he wanted all the trustees held to the same standards.

Lubrano also brought up the idea of requiring trustees to go through criminal background checks, something the university implemented as one of Louis Freeh’s 119 recommendations.

The governance reforms were brought up during Friday’s board meeting for a fuller discussion by all 32 trustees. Lubrano was the only one who made comments.

James Broadhurst, the governance committee chairman, will head to Harrisburg on Monday to testify before a Senate committee hearing about the reforms.


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