Update from Chairman Peetz - June 1, 2012
There is no doubt that the Penn State community continues to face challenging times. For all of us who serve on the Board of Trustees, our greatest priority is maintaining Penn State’s longstanding qualities of integrity, responsibility, service to the community and excellence in academics.
That is why, as we remember, learn from and take action to address the past, we remain committed to actively governing to ensure the greatest propriety in all of Penn State’s activities.
Over the last few months, many Penn Staters have sought information on the Board, its authority and its responsibilities, so I would like to take this opportunity to explain our role at the University.
The Board of Trustees is the independent, corporate body established by the University’s charter with “complete responsibility for the government and welfare of the University and all the interests pertaining thereto including students, faculty, staff and alumni.” Our primary responsibilities include:
- Selecting the president of the University;
- Determining the major goals of the University;
- Reviewing and approving the operating and capital budget of the University;
- Informing the citizens of Pennsylvania about the University’s performance of its role in the education of the youth of Pennsylvania; and
- Assisting the president in the development of effective relationships between the University and the various agencies which provide the University with assistance and direction.
Additional information about the Board – including information about our responsibilities, upcoming meetings, minutes and agendas, and recent news – can be found throughout this website, which is a continuation of our pledge for greater openness and providing more and better information to the Penn State community and beyond.
Earlier this year we conducted a listening tour with students, faculty, staff, alumni and other groups to improve upon the University's communications and its overall openness. As a result of this tour, in March, we reorganized our committee structure to improve access to the Board, as well as the Board’s oversight of the University. This included the creation of five new standing committees to supersede the three that had been in place for many years; the new committees are:
- The Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life
- The Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning
- The Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning
- The Committee on Audit, Risk, Legal and Compliance
- The Committee on Outreach, Development and Community Relations
More information about these changes can be found in this announcement.
More recently, in May, we held several elections for trustee members, and set a record for alumni participation. For me, this was a powerful demonstration of the inclusiveness and resolve of the Board and Penn State community to addressing our current issues and preparing for future excellence.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I welcome and congratulate our four new members: Donald G. Cotner, Anthony P. Lubrano, Ryan J. McCombie, and Adam J. Taliaferro. We are excited for the new perspectives and ideas they will bring – and we embrace the democratic process that helps ensure diversity and open communication.
As I continue to share monthly updates on the Board’s progress, I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you – Penn State’s students, alumni, faculty and staff. Together, we will deepen and strengthen the work that has made Penn State a national leader.
Karen B. Peetz ’77
Chairman, Penn State Board of Trustees