On the final day of a two-day retreat (Aug. 26), Penn State trustees discussed the pending search for a new University president to replace Rodney Erickson when he retires in less than two years. The search is expected to start in earnest in early 2013.
Erickson, who took over in November as Penn State’s 17th president, is expected to retire on or before June 30 2014, as was announced previously. Since the search for a university president is generally a lengthy process, plans for naming several special committees to outline procedures and establish criteria and qualifications of candidates will begin soon, according to Trustee James Broadhurst, chairman of the board’s Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning.
Chairman Karen Peetz delivered the following remarks during a special meeting of Penn State's Board of Trustees on Aug. 25.
University Trustees are participating in a series of special meetings this weekend at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel on the University Park campus; public sessions are being streamed live online. For more information about the meetings, visit http://live.psu.edu/story/60837.
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The following remarks were made by BOT Chairman Karen Peetz during today's (Aug. 12) special meeting regarding the NCAA consent decree:
Over the last few days, questions have been raised about the process in which the NCAA crafted and imposed, and the University accepted, what are unquestionably harsh sanctions that will have a significant impact on the University and its students, student-athletes, alumni, faculty, staff and other constituencies. Questions have also been raised about the Freeh Report and how that report was used by the NCAA as the basis for its action.
I had intended to call for a vote this evening to ratify the Consent Decree. Not because ratification is legally required. It is not. But, rather, because President Erickson's authority had been challenged publicly by some of our own trustees, the leadership of the Board wanted to publicly demonstrate the Board's support of President Erickson and the University's commitment to fully perform and comply with the Consent Decree. We had hoped to clear up any lingering misunderstanding with respect to the Board's and the University's position on this matter. Given that Trustee McCombie yesterday indicated publicly that he has instructed his lawyer to refrain from taking any further action, a formal vote may not be as necessary as we had initially anticipated.
The Penn State Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting via conference call at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12. The sole purpose of the special meeting is for the trustees to consider ratification of the binding consent decree imposed by the NCAA and accepted by the University. The public can listen to the meeting at the following web site online: WPSU.org/live.
In addition, those interested may also call in to the following conference call number, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of 50 people: 1-866-393-1766. The following access code is required: *1855# (star, 1855, pound key).
To read the NCAA consent decree, visit http://www.ncaa.com/content/penn-state-conclusions online. President Rodney Erickson's statement regarding NCAA consent decree can be found at http://live.psu.edu/story/60475 online. Statements also have been made by the Board of Trustees (http://live.psu.edu/story/60509), Penn State Acting Athletic Director David Joyner and Head Football Coach Bill O'Brien (http://live.psu.edu/story/60478); Penn State's varsity athletic coaches (http://live.psu.edu/story/60489); and members of the football team (http://live.psu.edu/story/60506).
The Penn State Board of Trustees met for a discussion tonight. A vote was not required and none was taken. The Board finds the punitive sanctions difficult and the process with the NCAA unfortunate. But as we understand it, the alternatives were worse as confirmed by NCAA President Mark Emmert’s recent statement that Penn State was likely facing a multi-year death sentence. The University and Board resolve to move forward together to recognize the historical excellence in Penn State’s academic and athletic programs. We anticipate and look forward to demonstrating our outstanding performance in complying with the sanctions. We continue to recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider University community as we strive to appropriately balance academic and athletic accomplishments. Penn State will remain a world-class educational institution of which our students, faculty, staff and alumni can be justifiably proud. The commitment demonstrated by our student athletes in recent days embodies all that is good about Penn State and we look forward to unprecedented support by the Nittany nation when we take the field this fall.