Board of Trustees actions: March 20-21, 2008

Penn State's Board of Trustees met March 20-21, 2008, at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The following items were presented to the board for action or informational purposes.

Trustees have busy schedule in D.C.

Even lunchtimes are packed with information for Penn State's Board of Trustees meeting this week in Washington, D.C. On Thursday, the trustees will have lunch at the National Press Club, where author and journalist Ron Suskind will be speaking. On Friday, they will hear from Robert Berdahl, president of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Berdahl will discuss "Current Legislative Issues Affecting Research Universities" during his noon presentation to the board.

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Penn State Board of Trustees meets; President Spanier's remarks

Penn State's Board of Trustees meet Thursday (March 20) and Friday (March 21) at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. In his opening remarks to the Board on Thursday, Penn State President Graham B. Spanier updated the trustees on impact of recent turmoil in financial markets on the University and its students. He also gave an update on applications to the University, construction at Penn State Wilkes-Barre and a significant gift to the University's new capital campaign.

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Peter and Ann Tombros make $10 million leadership gift

Less than a year into his position as volunteer chair of Penn State's new capital campaign, Peter Tombros and his wife, Ann Tombros, have announced they've made a $10 million commitment to the campaign. For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students began January 1, 2007, and is now in its early leadership gifts phase. A dollar goal will be determined at a later date. "Ann and I are making this initial commitment because we want other Penn State alumni and friends to consider their own participation in the campaign," said Peter Tombros. "We haven't yet made any final decisions about what types of programs we wish to support, but intend to give that careful consideration as the campaign emphasizes areas where private support is most critically needed."

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Snider appointed chancellor of Penn State New Kensington

Kevin J.G. Snider, chief of staff and executive assistant to the president for strategic planning, institutional research and effectiveness at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Ind., has been named chancellor at Penn State New Kensington. Snider succeeds Larry Pollock who is retiring in 2008, after 35 years of administrative service to the University. Snider's appointment is effective July 1. "We are fortunate to have the experience and leadership, as well as the strong background in strategic planning and administrative assessment that Dr. Snider brings to Penn State," said John Romano, Penn State vice president for Commonwealth Campuses. "We are pleased to welcome his leadership to Penn State New Kensington." 

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Career Services readies Penn Staters for interview, employment success

A short drive from her former co-op site at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Penn State senior Jennifer Miller told the University's Board of Trustees today (March 20) how her co-op research experience better prepared her as a life sciences major and future medical school student. Joining Miller were three additional panelists who spoke about Penn State's role in helping students with career planning and employment preparation: Jack Rayman, senior director of Penn State Career Services and affiliate professor of education; Martin Rafael Cepeda Jr., university relations recruiter for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; and Betsy Lau, recruiter manager for Accenture, a global management consulting and technology services company. Cepeda and Lau, who also are Penn State alumni, recruit Penn State students regularly for their employers.

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Trustees hear of Frear Building addition

The Board of Trustees was informed today (March 21) that a one-story, 2,500-square-feet addition to Frear Building on Penn State's University Park campus will house support space for plant growth chambers and add program space for the Eberly College of Science. The addition will be constructed in the existing courtyard between North and South Frear, which are used for instruction and research by the Departments of Biology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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New master's program tackles international policy, public service

In today's global society, successful college graduates know that understanding global systems and cultivating an international perspective are critical skills for their future careers. Penn State now offers a new master's degree in international affairs that will prepare students to assume leadership roles in public service, government, trade and nonprofit agencies to help find solutions to global problems. "Tremendous forces of change are creating a growing need for professionals who can function effectively in the realm of international affairs," said Tiyanjana Maluwa, the inaugural director of Penn State's School of International Affairs and the H. Laddie Montague Chair in Law at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. "Our students will undertake in-depth analyses of international economic, political, and scientific issues and the cultural, historical and legal factors that shape them."

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Arboretum's Overlook Pavilion construction set to begin

Penn State's Board of Trustees approved the start of construction of the Overlook Pavilion in The Arboretum at Penn State at its meeting today (March 21) in Washington, D.C. The one-story masonry structure is the architectural anchor in phase one of the Arboretum, the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. The 800-square-foot structure will include public restrooms, office space and a tool-storage area. Between April and November, the pavilion's event terrace will accommodate approximately 190 guests under a tent structure integrated with the pavilion design.

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Trustees approve sale of Mellon parcels for park, other public use

Penn State's Board of Trustees today (March 21) approved the sale of two parcels of undeveloped land near the University Park campus, and granted a 10-year option for the sale of a third parcel, variously to Ferguson Township in Centre County and the Centre Region Council of Governments (COG), and to the State College Borough Water Authority. The portions of land proposed for sale, formerly held by the Mellon Family Trust and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, were acquired by the University in July 1999 as part of a 1,110-acre purchase. The parcels have since been determined to be of no strategic value to the University.

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Penn State trustee ballot position announced

Ballot positions for the 2008 election of trustees by alumni have been determined by a drawing, a procedure established by Penn State's Board of Trustees. Paula R. Ammerman, associate secretary, conducted the drawing and said ballots for the trustee election will be mailed to Penn State Alumni by April 10.  All ballots must be returned by the close of the election at 9 a.m. EDT, Thursday, May 15, 2008.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009