2012 Platform

This is my 2012 platform. It’s still around for posterity.

The Board of Trustees needs a new group of volunteers who are ready to provide the leadership, integrity and transparency that people across the country demand. As a journalist, I fought for these principles every day. As a trustee, I pledge to fight for you.

1. Provide Leadership more »

Reduce trustee term limits

Trustees should be allowed to serve no more than two consecutive terms to avoid the same people reinforcing the same culture over and over again. Most board members today are limited to 5 terms, and many can serve for an eternity.

End cronyism

Replace the so-called “Business and Industry Trustees” with a new group of alumni who are elected every three years.

Bylaw reform

Remove board rules that prohibit members from conducting their own due diligence and asking tough questions that their positions of responsibility demand.

Freeze tuition rates, and limit spending increases

At a minimum, we must freeze tuition rates over the course of an undergraduate’s career, and stop runaway tuition hikes by limiting spending increases to the rate of inflation.

2. Restore Integrity more »

Disclose conflicts of interest

Trustees, senior administrators and department heads should file annual financial disclosure forms that will allow the public to gauge the extent of outside influences on their decision making.

Reform ethics rules

Stronger and more specific university ethics regulations must replace Penn State’s vague policies about ethical conduct. Pennsylvania’s ethics law would be a good model to follow.

Prevent trustees from taking lucrative university jobs

Stop rewarding trustees like David Joyner with high-paying Penn State positions.

Provide independent guidance

Realign the university’s Office of Internal Audit so that it reports directly to the Board of Trustees. Today, it reports to the administration – the same group that it investigates.

3. Create Transparency more »

Your Right to Know

Adopt the Right to Know Law as a Board of Trustees policy, with a few modifications that would protect employee privacy, keep certain financial information confidential and expand access to other records that the state law doesn’t provide.

Access to investigations

Allow public access to records of police and internal investigations, a right that exists in many other states, but not in Pennsylvania.

Office of Open Records

Create an office to handle requests for records from the public, and institute a process to hear appeals from the public when access is denied.