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Trustee Election Information

Membership Selection

The names of trustees currently serving on the Board are included on the Membership List and Biographical Information. The terms of all regularly elected or appointed trustees begin on July 1 of the year of election or appointment.

Penn State's 32-member Board of Trustees is composed of the following: Five trustees serve in an ex officio capacity by virtue of their position within the University or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They are the President of the University (non-voting); the Governor of the Commonwealth (non-voting); and the state secretaries of the departments of Agriculture; Education; and Conservation and Natural Resources. Six trustees are appointed by the Governor; nine trustees are elected by the alumni; six are elected by organized agricultural societies within the Commonwealth; and six are elected by the Board of Trustees representing business and industry endeavors.

The Charter, Bylaws, and Standing Orders of the University provide for the selection or election of trustees. Specific information relating to governance responsibilities can be found below.

Current Board Membership
Trustee Qualifications for Membership
Trustee Responsibilities
Expectations of Membership
Trustees Elected by the Alumni
Qualifications of Electors
Procedures for the Election of Trustees by the Alumni
Trustees Elected by Agricultural Societies
Procedures for the Election of Trustees by Agricultural Delegates
Trustees Elected by Business and Industry
Selection Group on Board Membership for Business and Industry Trustees
Trustees Appointed by the Governor

Members of the Board of Trustees

(as of December 1, 2013)

(The years in which the terms of the Trustees will expire are given in parentheses. Gubernatorial appointees serve until their successors have been appointed and confirmed.)
*Trustees whose terms expire this year.

Ex Officio:
Rodney A. Erickson, President of the University
Thomas W. Corbett, Jr., Governor of the Commonwealth
Carolyn C. Dumaresq, Acting Secretary of Education
Ellen M. Ferretti, Acting Secretary of Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
George D. Greig, Secretary of Agriculture

Appointed by the Governor:
Kathleen L. Casey (2015)
Alvin H. Clemens (2012)
Mark H. Dambly (2014)
Peter A. Khoury (2014)
Ira M. Lubert (2013)
Paul H. Silvis (2013)

Elected by the Alumni:
* Marianne E. Alexander (2014)
* H. Jesse Arnelle (2014)
Edward “Ted” B. Brown (2016)
Barbara L. Doran (2016)
Anthony P. Lubrano (2015)
Ryan J. McCombie (2015)
* Joel N. Myers (2014)
William F. Oldsey (2016)
Adam J. Taliaferro (2015)

Elected by Delegates from Agricultural Societies:
Donald G. Cotner (2015)
Keith W. Eckel (2016)
M. Abraham Harpster (2016)
* Betsy E. Huber (2014)

* Keith E. Masser (2014)
Carl T. Shaffer (2015)

Elected by the Board representing Business and Industry:
* James S. Broadhurst (2014)
Richard K. Dandrea (2016)
Kenneth C. Frazier (2015)
Edward R. Hintz, Jr. (2015)
Karen B. Peetz (2016)
* Linda B. Strumpf (2014)

 

TErM limits

Bylaws, Section 2.01

(b) Each Trustee shall serve for a term of three (3) years. Term limits for Trustees (other than ex officio Trustees) will be 12 years, effective with terms beginning July 1, 2013 or thereafter. This provision for term limits shall not apply to members of the Board of Trustees while serving in the capacity as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Such individuals will be considered eligible for re-election or re-appointment as a member by the respective constituent group. For Trustees with terms beginning prior to July 1, 2003, the previously enacted 15 year term limit is effective as of July 1, 2003. For Trustees with terms beginning on July 1, 2003 through and including July 1, 2012, the previously enacted 15 year term limit is effective with the date of such Trustee’s initial election or appointment. The Trustees shall be separated into three groups of substantially equal number so that the terms of one third of the Trustees shall expire each year. Each Trustee shall serve until his or her term expires, and thereafter until such Trustee’s successor is duly elected, or until such Trustee’s earlier death or resignation.

Trustee Qualifications for Membership

Bylaws, Section 2.02

  1. Members of the Board of Trustees shall be natural persons of full age who need not be residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  2. A person who is employed in any capacity by the University shall not be eligible to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees. This qualification for membership shall not apply to a person who is an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees, nor to a person who is a student employed part-time by the University.
  3. A person shall not be eligible to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for a period of five (5) years from the July 1 coincident with or next following the date of (a) last employment in any capacity by the University or (b) the last day of such person’s employment with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Auditor General or State Treasurer. This qualification for membership shall not apply to a person who is an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees, nor to a person who is a student employed part-time by the University.
  4. Only graduates of The Pennsylvania State University who shall have received an associate degree, a bachelor's degree, or an advanced degree from the University shall be eligible to serve as a trustee elected by the Alumni. No member of the faculty or the governing board of any other college or university in Pennsylvania shall be eligible to serve as a trustee elected by the Alumni.

Trustee Responsibilities

Governance of the University

Standing Orders, Order V

(1) Role of the Board of Trustees in University Governance

(a) Guiding Policies. In the exercise of its responsibilities, the Board of Trustees shall be guided by the following policies:

  1. Delegation of authority, As set forth in the Bylaws, the authority for day-to-day management and control of the University, and the establishment of policies and procedures for the educational program and other operations of the University, is delegated to the President of the University, and by him or her either by delegation to or consultation with the faculty and the student body in accordance with a general directive of the Board of Trustees.
  2. Advisor to the President. It is the duty of the Board of Trustees to advise the President on any University matter.

(b) Responsibility to Inform the Citizens of Pennsylvania. The Board of Trustees shall inform the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of the University’s performance of its role in the education of the youth of Pennsylvania.

(c) Responsibility for Development of Effective Relationships. The Board of Trustees shall assist the President in the development of effective relationships between the University and the various agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America which provide to the University assistance and direction.

Expectations of Membership

(d) Expectations of Membership. In exercising the responsibilities of trusteeship, the Board of Trustees is guided by the expectations of membership, each of which is equally important. It is expected that each Trustee will:

  1. Understand and support the University’s mission, vision, and values;
  2. Act in good faith at all times and in the best interests of the University in a non-partisan manner, without regard to the manner in which such Trustee was appointed or elected to the Board of Trustees;
  3. Make the University a top philanthropic priority to the very best of one’s personal ability and fulfill on a timely basis all financial obligations and pledges of support to the University;
  4. Prepare diligently, attend faithfully, and participate constructively in all Board of Trustees meetings and related activities by reading the agenda and supporting materials;
  5. Speak openly, freely and candidly within the Board and publicly support decisions reached by the Board; it being recognized and understood that once the Board of Trustees, as the governing body of the University, makes a decision, it can be counterproductive and potentially damaging to the University for individual Trustees to publicly criticize or attempt to subvert such decision;
  6. Make decisions and instruct the administration collectively as the governing body of the University; it being recognized and understood that unless specifically authorized, no individual Trustee has the authority to act on his or her own on behalf of the University or the Board;
  7. Participate regularly in events that are integral parts of the life of the University community;
  8. Disclose promptly and fully any potential or actual conflicts of interest in accordance with the Board’s conflict of interest policies, and personally maintain exemplary ethical standards;
  9. Refrain from requests of the President or staff for special consideration or personal prerogatives, including admissions, employment, and contracts for business;
  10. Maintain the confidentiality of confidential information without exception; it being recognized and understood that for this purpose “confidential information” includes nonpublic information concerning the University, including its finances, operations and personnel, as well as nonpublic information about internal Board discussions and dynamics;
  11. Advocate the University’s interests, but speak for the Board or the University only when authorized to do so by the Board or the Chair; it being recognized and understood that it is important for the Board of Trustees to convey a consistent message and that, in most instances, the Chair of the Board of Trustees should serve as the spokesperson;
  12. Respect University policies relating to the acquisition of information and communication; it being recognized and understood that all such information should be used only for purpose consistent with such Trustee’s duties and responsibilities to the University; and
  13. Extend goodwill to one another and to all members of the University community

Regular attendance at meetings by members of the Board is expected. If a member of the Board is unable to attend at least four of the six scheduled meetings each year, such Board member should discuss with the Chair of the Board of Trustees the question of his or her ability to continue attendance appropriate to a Trustee.

Trustees Elected by the Alumni

Beginning on April 10, election ballots are automatically sent to all alumnus/alumna who have a valid email address on file in the University's alumni records.

Those alumni who have requested a ballot during either of the last two elections do not need to re-request this year. It will automatically be sent.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you must request a ballot by going to Election Ballot Request Form or calling Votenet at 866-307-0041. After you have submitted your request, please allow a 24-hour response time. Forms will be processed Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Upon qualification of your alumni record, a ballot link and credentials will be sent to you via e-mail from PSU Board of Trustees <noreply@votenet.com>, beginning on April 10. Be sure to check your SPAM and JUNK MAIL folders.

Election ballots will be available beginning April 10, and the election will close at 9:00 a.m. (EST) on May 8.

Upon conclusion of the election on May 8, the ballots are tabulated and the three candidates receiving the highest number of votes are declared elected.

Qualifications of Electors

excerpts from the Charter, C-3

(1) Alumni

  1. All graduates who have received a first or bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree from the University, and former students (limited to those persons who have satisfactorily passed one semester’s or two terms’ work, or more, in any University program which requires two years, or more, for completion and which results in a degree) shall be eligible to vote for alumni trustees, at the election next following the year of their graduation or the year following that in which they were no longer in attendance at the University, subject, however, to the procedure next stated.
  2. Procedure in Conducting Nominations and Elections: Ballots for the nomination and election of alumni to the Board of Trustees of the University shall be sent electronically to:

    1. Electors (qualified as above set forth) who have a valid email address on file in the University's alumni records as of the date of distribution of such ballots, or
    2. Electors who make individual request, in writing to the University, that such ballots be furnished to them.
  3. Rules and Regulations: The said Board of Trustees is hereby authorized and empowered to make and alter, from time to time, such rules and regulations for the election of all alumni members thereof as it shall deem necessary and expedient for carrying out the purpose of this act.

Time of Election

The election of trustees shall be held annually, by ballot, in manner as provided by the Board of Trustees, on such day and hour during Commencement week and on such day previous to the day for the final public exercises of Commencement as from time to time shall be determined by the Board of Trustees.

Notice of Election

Notice of such date for the election of trustees and of the meeting or meetings to be held for such purpose shall be provided by the Secretary of the Board of Trustees at least sixty days prior to the date of said election to (a) the qualified electors described in Section (1)(b) under “QUALIFICATIONS OF ELECTORS” above, and (b) the societies and associations hereinbefore named shall be sent by the Secretary of the Board of Trustees at least sixty days prior to the date of said election to such agricultural societies or associations as appeared eligible at the next preceding annual election. Such notice shall be also similarly given at least sixty days prior to the date of said election for the election of business and industry trustees. Notice shall also be posted on the University’s website at least sixty days prior to the election.

Place of Election

All elections shall be held at the institution by so many of the electors and alumni above mentioned as shall be present at the regular time for holding elections, under the direction of the Board of Trustees and by ballot, as now provided by law.

Judges of Election

It shall be the duty of said Board of Trustees to appoint two of their number as judges to hold such election, to receive and count the votes, and return the same to the Board of Trustees with their certificate of the number of votes cast, and for whom, whereupon the said Board shall determine who have received the highest number of votes and who are thereby elected.

Term of Trustees

The term of the trustees appointed and elected as aforesaid shall be three years; two of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, annually; three of whom shall be elected by the alumni of the University annually; two of whom shall be elected annually by the delegates representing the agricultural societies and associations, and two of whom shall be elected annually representing business and industry; all of whose terms of office shall begin on the first day of July following their appointment or election, as the case may be.

Procedures for the Election of Trustees by the Alumni

Standing Orders, Order I (See also the Charter and the Bylaws)

  1. Date of Election. Elections for alumni members of the Board of Trustees shall be held each year on the day preceding the annual Commencement, under the direction of two judges annually appointed for that purpose by the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and may be held either in connection with the Delegate Convention for the election of other members of the Board, or at such other hour of the same day, and such other place, as the Chair of the Board of Trustees may from time to time direct.
  2. Nominations. The Secretary of the Board of Trustees, or such other officer as may be from time to time designated by the Chair of the Board of Trustees, shall send to each qualified elector as established in the Charter, whose email address is known a notice stating the date at which the next election will be held and the names of alumni trustees whose terms will expire by law on the thirtieth day of June next following. Such notice shall be sent each year not less than ninety days preceding the date on which such election is to be held, and shall invite nominations for vacancies then to occur. All persons who are nominated by as many as fifty electors shall be announced as soon as practical after the tenth day of April each year in a circular sent to all electors, with a form of ballot.
  3. Form of Ballot. Only the official nominating and voting ballots may be used to nominate and vote for candidates.

  4. Position on Ballot. Immediately after the last day fixed for depositing ballots to nominate candidates for alumni trustee, the Chair of the Board of Trustees shall fix a day and hour for casting lots for the position of names upon the election ballots. The Secretary of the Board of Trustees shall give at least three days’ notice of said date and hour to all candidates nominated. Any candidate may appear in person or by a representative duly authorized in writing. In the event that any candidate is not present in person or by duly authorized representative at the time of casting of lots, it shall be the duty of the Secretary to appoint some person to represent such absentee. After said lots are cast, the Secretary shall accordingly establish the order in which the names of said candidates are to appear on the election ballot.
  5. Designation of Incumbents. Incumbents shall not be identified as such on election ballots, but biographical sketches shall identify incumbents with an asterisk.
  6. Position in Booklet of Biographical Sketches. Candidates’ names shall be in alphabetical order in any publication of biographical sketches.
  7. Duplicate Ballots. A duplicate ballot may be issued to a voter only on a written or personal application to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees stating that the original ballot has been lost, mutilated, or destroyed.
  8. Deadline for Receipt of Nominations. Ballots for the nomination of alumni trustees must be received at the office of the Secretary of the Board of Trustees before 5:00 p.m., February 25.
  9. Candidate May Withdraw Name. Each candidate nominated shall be given the privilege of withdrawing his/her name.
  10. Election Returns. All ballots for alumni trustees returned to the proper official in response to said circular and received by him/her on or before the day of election shall be safely kept by him/her, and by him/her delivered at the time and place of election to the two judges selected by the Chair of the Board of Trustees and shall by them be counted as cast at that time and place. Said judges shall make return to the Board of Trustees of the persons for whom ballots have been cast, either by letter or by electors in person, with the number of votes for each person; and the Board of Trustees shall thereupon determine and declare what persons have been elected to fill the vacancies aforesaid. A plurality of votes only shall be required to elect and, in case of an equality of votes between two or more candidates, the person or persons who shall hold said office or offices of trustee shall be designated by ballot of the Board of Trustees.
  11. Announcement of Results. The names of the winning candidates in the election shall be given publicity in the public press. The names of all candidates and the number of votes received by each shall be made available for publication.
  12. Electronic Notices and Voting. In order to be good stewards of the limited financial resources of the University, electronic mail may be used to communicate any required notices or other correspondence under this Order I and an electronic balloting and voting process may be used so long as reasonable accommodations are made to permit any qualified elector without access to electronic mail to participate in the election.

Trustees Elected by Agricultural Societies

Agricultural trustees are nominated and elected by ballot, at a meeting held on May 8, 2014 on the University Park Campus, with the chair of the Board presiding. Two trustees are elected each year by delegates representing county agricultural societies. Societies shall endeavor to select delegates that reside in the counties they represent. The balloting is supervised by trustee tellers, and the two nominees receiving the highest number of votes are declared elected.

Procedures for the Election of Trustees by Agricultural Delegates

Standing Orders, Order II (See also the Charter and the Bylaws)

The Charter of the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University provides for the election of six trustees who represent the organized Agricultural Societies or Associations in the Commonwealth.

  1. Date of Election. Election for agricultural delegate members of the Board of Trustees shall be held each year on the Thursday prior to the day for the annual Commencement, under the direction of two judges annually appointed for that purpose by the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
  2. Delegates. Agricultural societies are not entitled to send delegates unless they have been organized and in existence at least three months preceding the election, and have duly notified the University of this fact at least sixty days prior to the election. Each society is invited to send up to three delegates each to participate in the election. Societies shall endeavor to select delegates that reside in the county they represent. Employees of The Pennsylvania State University are not permitted to serve as delegates. The societies are to provide each delegate with appropriate credentials to present as proof of eligibility to vote on the day of the election. No proxies are permitted.
  3. Candidates. Candidates must be an active member of an agricultural society. Individual candidates are invited to notify the Secretary of the Board of Trustees by February 25 of each year. The names of the candidates (along with a biographical sketch and position statement for each candidate, the agenda for the meeting, the governance provisions for the election, and the delegate credential cards for each organization) will be distributed to society secretaries in advance of the election in order to better inform agricultural society delegates.
  4. Nominations. Nominations will be required for all trustee candidates on the day of the election. Nominations of additional candidates not included in the election mailing are also permitted.
  5. Registration. Registration of delegates is required on the day of the election. Delegates must present a valid Credential/Registration card, and can be registered as a delegate in one organization/county only.
  6. Eligibility and Voting. Only those delegates in attendance and duly registered are permitted to participate in the election and voting. The following provisions also apply:

    1. Each county is permitted a maximum of three votes each for the candidates.
    2. If a county is represented by more than three delegates, a caucus is required to determine the three from their number who will represent the county.
    3. If fewer than three delegates represent a county, the county is permitted only as many votes as there are delegates.
  7. Announcement of Results. The names of the winning candidates in the election shall be given publicity in the public press. The names of all candidates and the number of votes received by each shall be made available for publication.

Trustees Elected by Business and Industry

Business and Industry trustees are elected by the Board of Trustees. The Selection Group on Board Membership for Business and Industry Trustees shall recommend two candidates for membership on the Board of Trustees annually representing business and industry endeavors following a review of nominations received from a broad-based, open nomination process. Nomination forms must be submitted to the Office of the Board of Trustees by the deadline specified.

Selection Group on Board Membership for Business and Industry Trustees

Standing Orders, Order II (See also the Charter and the Bylaws)

The Selection Group on Board Membership for Business and Industry Trustees shall be composed of five members (three seated Trustees representing business and industry endeavors excepting those standing for reelection; and two trustees from among those elected by the alumni, elected by agricultural associations, or appointed by the Governor). The selection group shall be appointed annually by the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the purpose of recommending, in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Trustees from time to time, two candidates for membership on the Board of Trustees representing business and industry endeavors. The names and qualifications of the candidates shall be submitted for confirmation by the Board of Trustees (approval or rejection of recommended candidates only).

Trustees Appointed by the Governor

As the name implies, gubernatorial trustees are appointed at the discretion of the governor of the Commonwealth, two each year for three-year terms "and until their successors are appointed and confirmed." Such gubernatorial appointments are subject to confirmation by the state Senate.