Sunday, May 5

Franco Harris: "We will never give up."

Franco Harris and others tell it like it is during the open comment session of the May 3, 2013 PSU BOT meeting.

Recap of  Speakers

1.  Robert Bannon:   Robert spoke of his unique perspective as a survivor of child molestation and as a Penn Stater.  Mr. Bannon shared his perspectives on the Sandusky scandal by writing letters to all of the November 2011 BOT members -- none of whom had the decency to respond.   Mr. Bannon called their failure to resign from the BOT "unfortunate" and their desire to seek re-election "repugnant."

2.  Bill Cluck:  Bill reminded the BOT/Keith Masser of his promise to vote on each of the recommendations of Auditor General Eugene DePasquale - then held a single vote on all measures.  Bill also chastised the BOT for their lack of openness and transparency regarding the conflict of interest rules.   Cluck finished by recommending that a new Creamery ice cream be named after Paula Ammerman - Trustee Fudge.

3. Vincent Crespi:  Professor Crespi chastised the BOT for their lack of concern for the residents of the State College borough by accelerating the vote on the natural gas pipeline in November 2011 to eliminate the  opportunity for the public to be informed.  Crespi noted that the pipeline project has now been delayed due to public dissent over it and alleged violations of the State College Borough's home rule that specifically outlawed pipelines in the borough.

4.  Gordon De Jong:  The distinguished emeritus professor remarked that academics should always be the focus and Penn State and that PSU should strive to be the Stanford of public institutions.

5.  Janet Engeman:  Ms. Engeman also spoke to the lack of information and lack of transparency provided by PSU regarding the construction of the natural gas pipeline.

6.  Franco Harris:  Franco remarked that the PSU General Counsel has chosen to defend against a lawsuit alleging responsibility for sexual abuse suffered by Victim 6 in 1998 but yet chose not to defend against those allegations with regard to the NCAA sanctions.  Harris chastised the BOT for their lack of leadership during the Sandusky crisis and for letting BOT vice-chair cram decisions down their throats.  He offered that they might want a drink of "kool aid" (ref. to John Surma) to wash it down.  Franco ended by telling the BOT that the alumni will never give up.

7.  Paul Ferrera:  Ferrera is a soon to be graduate who voiced his displeasure about recent BOT candidates who had nothing in their platforms aimed at the current students, such as improvements of general studies programs, on-line learning, and interdisciplinary majors.  Ferrera believes the BOT members are too focused on reforming the Board and pro-Paterno agenda.

Comment:  I wish Mr. Ferrera well in the unemployment line.  Maybe at that point,  he will learn that the November 2011 BOT caused him to earn a degree from Pedophile State University -- and not Penn State. Then, maybe he'll figure out who is looking out for our student's best interest.

8.  Jeff Goldsmith:  Jeff spoke to reforms needed to the BOT and that the current Board is insular and not representative of the interests of Penn State.  It has taken a "circle the wagons" mentality and spent untold sums of money of failed PR efforts.

9.  Brian Hand:   Brian addressed the rising tuition costs and how they squeeze out students from working class families and that the BOT has not helped by adding exorbitant costs (e.g., the Freeh Report).  He noted that that BOT is not fighting for the University.

10.  Herb Kunkle:  Kunkle, an orthopedic surgeon from Chester County, gave his background with Penn State and that PSU needs to focus on education.

Ed Hintz:  Business and Industry BOT representative remarked that he felt it was inappropriate for speakers to single out BOT members by name for decisions made by the Board....then he singled out John Surma, Paul Suhey, and Stephanie Deviney for their service.  Uh, okay.  His final comment on his accessibility to the speakers was met with derision by a few members of the audience.


  1. My initial reaction to Mr. Hintz's comments were that he seemed incensed that speakers would call out individuals by name during the public comments but, he was quiet as a mouse when Louis Freeh did the exact same thing at his press conference back in July. Without evidence to support his claims, Mr. Freeh publicly indicted Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz and Mr. Hintz apparently had no problem with that! At least the speakers at last week's board meeting, who spoke publicly about Governor Corbett, John Surma, Paul Suhey and Stephanie DeViney did so with evidence to back up their statements.

  2. Hintz, like the rest of this insular, arrogant, corrupt board fails to recognize that they aren't infallible and it is the duty of those of us in the alumni community as an elected segment of the board and the PSU community to question them and their actions when we find they haven't lived up to their governance responsibilities. For this reason precisely Hintz should be forced to resign from the BoT. He lacks the integrity or humility that every board member should possess as a "good steward" of Penn State. He can praise Suhey and Deviney all he wants. But it just proves Hint's arrogance and being out-of-touch with PS alumni since they overwhelmingly voted Suhey and Deviney OUT of their alumni seats on the board. The alumni have issued their continuing wake-up call to this failed BoT yet again. To bad Hintz is too deluded and unaware to heed or accept it.

  3. I'm a bit disappointed in your comment regarding Paul Ferrera. My daughter is also a recent grad and has had no problem obtaining 3 separate job offers since the allegations came to light. While I don't agree with what Paul had to say, I think your comment was uncalled for.

    1. I wish your daughter well. My comment stands.

      In the aftermath of the Board's November 2011 decisions, many companies publicly stated they would not hire graduates from PSU. Some PSU alums were derided over the scandal in their workplaces and denied promotions. Other PSU alums faced verbal abuse and suffered acts of vandalism to their property - particularly their cars.

      Mr. Ferrera believes because the alums were not on campus, we didn't experience the negativity the students felt. He is sadly mistaken. He was lucky to be "sheltered" from harm on PSU'scampus.

      He will soon learn that the November 2011 BOT has reaped nationwide scorn on PSU.

    2. Ray is correct, and I'm glad he didn't back down from his comment. We should not hide from the truth. Isn't that what the haters are accusing Penn Staters of doing?

  4. If you want to discourage the Trustees from stifling dissenting viewpoints, you might want to provide an example by not vilifying dissenting students in your reports.

    1. I don't think the Trustees base their decisions based on how I respond to comments on this blog.

      I did not vilify Paul Fererra, btw. I simply pointed out that he has a very naive view on what really matters to a $4B enterprise known as PSU and the role of the BOT. Under the current governance provisions, the BOT delegates the authorities for academic matters that Mr. Fererra spoke of to the President. Mr. Fererra is wholly misinformed about the role of the BOT and his comments on the platforms of BOT members was misguided.

      A BOT members most important role is to fulfill their fiduciary responsiblities to PSU. The November 2011 BOT failed miserably -- the cost to PSU was enormous. The alumni (PS4RS, et al), the PA legislature, and most thoughtful people understand this, but the November 2011 BOT members deny their failures.

      Healing will occur when the November 2011 BOT admits that they failed and begin to operate ethically and with openess and transparency.