Sunday, December 21

PS4RS: December 15th Statement of Senator John Yudichak

"Good afternoon.
I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts on the two most pressing issues facing Penn State University: board governance reform and the University’s refusal to join the Corman and McCord lawsuit against the NCAA.

I applaud the trustees who initiated today’s special meeting under the appropriate bylaws of the University for the purpose of passing a resolution that would make Penn State University a plaintiff in the litigation between Senator Jake Corman, Treasure Rob McCord and the NCAA.

Regrettably, as a result of Chairman Keith Masser’s unprecedented move to prevent a quorum from being present, you are not able to vote on the resolution. Separate from the merits of the resolution, which I fully support, the egregious actions of Chairman Masser point to a disturbing trend by the board majority to contravene the spirit of University bylaws and to stubbornly ignore long-standing state laws that prescribe membership on the Penn State Board of Trustees.

As you well know, Senator Corman and I have worked diligently to forge a compromise on board governance reform through Senate Bill 1240 and subsequent efforts. The thrust of our reform efforts center on creating a smaller, more engaged board of trustees that reflects the vast majority of most major public research universities in the United States. Chairman Masser has rebuffed our legislative efforts in favor of a reform proposal that suits only the narrow agenda of his current majority by increasing the size of the board to 38 members. 

Ironically, when questioned why the full Board of Trustees was not informed about the NCAA consent decree former President Rod Erickson noted, under oath, that the 32 member board was too large to gather for such a discussion. Mr. Erickson’s admission that he did not inform the full board about the most significant decision facing Penn State in its history – a decision that has cost the University over one hundred million dollars and its hard earned reputation — is an indictment of his weakness as President and an indictment of the structural deficiencies of the Penn State Board of Trustees. 
Furthermore, the lack of disclosure before the full Board of Trustees is clear evidence that the consent decree should be legally challenged by the University. The alumni trustees are justified in calling for the passage of a resolution that compels the University to join the worthy cause being led by Senator Corman and Treasure McCord that challenges the validity of the NCAA actions against Penn State University.

I am proud to be an alumnus of Penn State, and proud to join the alumni trustees gathered here today who continue the good fight on matters of the utmost importance to the public mission of Penn State University– effective governance, accountability and the restoration of Penn State’s reputation.
I am happy to join your conversation in this forum or answer any questions you may have of me”.

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