A state senate bill aimed at reforming the Penn State Board of Trustees passed unanimously in a committee on Tuesday.
It now moves on to the Senate where it will be taken up for debate.
The bill was drafted to create more accountability at the school in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal.
Essentially the bill cuts down the Board of Trustees from 30 members to 23.
The bill’s sponsor – Senator John Yudichak says it’s necessary because public trust in the board is gone after the Sandusky scandal.
Senate bill 1240 is referred to as the Penn State Board reorganization act.
And it would not only cut down members but also remove the governor and the president of the university as board members… something the bill’s sponsor calls normal.
“With so many members on the board, over 32 members on the board and 30 voting members – it’s clear that they’re out of step with other major universities, other public universities across the nation,” says Sen. John Yudichak, of the 14th district.
The University hired a consultant and formed a new board of governance committee to address issues where they feel there are deficiencies in how the board operates.
“The mistakes that have been made at Penn State over the last few years, clearly there was a chain of command, a chain of information that failed to get to the entire board. When you have large boards, you look at whether they’re corporate boards or boards in higher education, smaller boards are proven to be more effective,” says Sen. Yudichak.
The bill has received bipartisan support since its introduction in January.
If passed – it would take effect immediately.
The governor and president of PSU would be removed as members but the other trustees would serve out their terms, leaving a small board in charge of a university that Senator Yudichak says needs to regain trust.