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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: November 22, 2013 10:44 AM
From: Senator John T. Yudichak
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation Reorganizing the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees
I am introducing legislation that would reform the Board of Trustees for the Pennsylvania State University. My legislation, “The Pennsylvania Board of Trustees Reorganization Act,” will continue the storied 158 year-old partnership between the Commonwealth and the University. The legislation is an opportunity to enshrine in state law the necessary board reforms that will create a more engaged, inclusive, and accountable board.

The ultimate goal of the legislation is to make the board more effective stewards of the public mission of Penn State University.The strong partnership forged between the Commonwealth and Penn State University has produced unparalleled success in the classroom, in the research lab, and across Pennsylvania’s economy.

The Board of Trustees now has 32 members (recent action by the board removed the President and the Governor as voting members of the board). Research has shown that large boards are less effective and less inclusive.

The legislation I am introducing would reduce the board to 23 members:
- 8 members who are alumni elected by the alumni
- 5 members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate
- 5 members representing the agricultural community
- 5 members representing business and industry
- the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Education will serve on the board as nonvoting and ex officio members of the board.

The governor, lieutenant governor, Attorney General, Auditor General, and State Treasurer are prohibited from serving on the board during their terms of office.

In addition, the board shall establish a five-member selection committee to review and recommend to the full board individuals to be appointed to the board. The term of office for board members is three years.

Thank you for your consideration. I believe this legislation puts the board on strong legal ground and rebuilds public confidence in the board.

Introduced as SB1240