Bagwell is not the real trustee

Published May 5, 2012

At Joe’s January memorial service, Phil Knight ended his eulogy with a question few were able to answer. “Who is the real trustee at Penn State University?” he asked.

Today, I’m disappointed to report that I am not the real trustee. Instead, the record 37,000 alumni voters elected Adam Taliaferro, Anthony Lubrano and Ryan McCombie to lead us on a journey to restoring our reputation.

Until yesterday, Adam, Anthony and Ryan have been silent about what changes they think should be made going forward. And since they lack experience in dealing with ethics and transparency laws, I’m skeptical that they’ll come up with ways to achieve those values that others, like myself, would have pursued.

Nonetheless, the ball is in their court. It’s their responsibility to lead the board into a new era of doing business in a manner that the alumni and the rest of the nation demand.

Adam, Anthony and Ryan have my complete support, and I wish them luck in their challenge.

To the 482 people who supported my campaign, I cannot thank you enough. You backed my plans to improve transparency and ethics on the Board of Trustees by making board members file annual financial disclosure statements, preventing trustees from taking lucrative administrative jobs, imposing shorter trustee term limits and allowing public access to university records. Few of the 85 other candidates proposed any specific plans, and an even smaller number offered ways to impose our values of ethics and openness.

So be proud. You voted with your mind, as well as your heart.

And because of that, you are the real Penn State trustees.

For an interesting post-election analysis of where my campaign fell short, click here.

**Correction: an earlier version of this blog post incorrectly indicated the three elected candidates haven’t revealed their priorities. Anthony Lubrano laid out his priorities in an acceptance speech yesterday.