On Monday, the Senate State Government Committee began examining possible changes, in the operation of Penn State University, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky conviction on child abuse charges.
While University board members say change is needed, the details are where agreement needs to be realized.
Much of the discussion focused on a number of recommendations, made last year by retiring Auditor General Jack Wagner. His successor, Eugene Depasquale, answered some of those questions.
Areas of agreement between the Auditor General, Board of Trustees and Senators became apparent. The Governor would no longer be a voting member of the Board of Trustees, nor would the University President. Also, the number of trustees would be reduced, and the make up of the board would be changed. Trustees would also be limited to three, three-year terms.
Senator Lloyd Smucker, Chair of the Senate State Government Committee, outlined the scope of the review. "This isn't another investigation into who did what, where or who failed to act when they should have. Rather we want to find out if there are structural differences deficiencies in the Penn State Board or whether it's failures are a function of the personalities involved."
"At this late date no one should need to be reminded that the board is meant to be a watchful instrument of governance not a prestigious social club." Smucker said.
Two other recommendations were discussed at the meeting. One would have a student trustee on the board elected by the student body. Another would have either the Mayor of State College or a Commissioner of State College as a non-voting member.
The committee will meet again. It will seek a national perspective on university governance and the experience of the state's other state-related universities. It also plans to discuss the state's right to know law apply to Penn State.