The curious case of Keith Eckel

Published September 22, 2013

Rolling your eyes at trustees’ antics has become the norm at Penn State board meetings. But Trustee Keith Eckel, who heads the trustees’ Governance and Long-Range Planning Committee, took inanity to a new level with two anti-transparency comments that left his mouth over the last few months.

First, there was his Sept. 12 comment about why a consultant on future board reform measures should also be a lawyer. Most institutions choose consultants based on their expertise. But according to the Centre Daily Times, Eckel wanted more:

Eckel said he liked the idea of hiring a lawyer so the attorney-client privilege will apply to the work done. He said the lawyer should have expertise in nonprofit and corporate board governance.

Yes, you read that correctly. Eckel wants a lawyer solely for the purpose of making it exceptionally difficult for you to find out what he’s up to.

Then on Thursday, Eckel and his committee engaged in a robust debate about keeping trustees from doing exactly that – debating. Aiming squarely at Anthony Lubrano, Eckel warned the alumni-elected trustee not to criticize board decisions once they’ve been made.

“It’s not any of our individual opinions. It is the university’s position when we’re done,” he said, according to the CDT.

At some point, you’d think Eckel would remember Freeh recommendation no. 1.6:  “Emphasize and practice openness and transparency at all levels and within all areas of the University.” From the outside, it’s hard to understand how he can’t.

But it’s clear that Eckel has no idea what transparency is, or has no interest in letting the sun shine in.

  • Rick Sanson

    Man, what an IDIOT!

  • Anonymous

    He wants to return to the days of yore, when he can go back to playing with Penn State like it was his own personal Lego set. Not going to happen….

  • Marie Cornelius

    I was at the BOT meeting. I couldn’t believe that he kept his back squarely turned away from all of the public commenters. Didn’t even bother to turn around ever so slightly. What a jerk!

    • Anonymous

      I attended a BoT meet a few months back. I was, too, shocked at their body language. They need to pay an “open meeting” body language consultant, as well.

      • Doug Robb

        How about we don’t pay anybody to show supposedly responsible adults how to act toward members of their own community and instead we get rid of jerks like Eckel and save the money for students who need aid with their tuition? How ’bout that?

  • It’s all Joe’s fault

    Be careful Eckel, your true self is showing.

  • Anonymous

    Hey look, it’s a picture of a manure spreader next to a piece of farm machinery.

  • billlevinson

    Keith Eckel is a drittsekk: an apologetic bag of meadow muffins. (Meadow muffins = bovine solid waste)

    Remember that he’s the one who said openly that the Board fired Paterno without having all the information at hand. Then he (and the rest of the Board) lied about it in March 2012 when they said they fired Paterno for “failure of leadership.”