Various elections under way to fill Penn State Trustee seats

January 25, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Elections are under way at Penn State for seven members of the University's Board of Trustees for terms beginning July 1. 

Currently, nominations are being sought for three alumni positions, and all alumni are encouraged to participate.  Information about the election was sent to alumni who have email addresses on file and are either members of the Penn State Alumni Association, or have held a membership or contributed to the University within the past two years.  Any alumnus or alumna can participate in the election process and a ballot can be requested by contacting the Board of Trustees Office at or via telephone at 814-865-2521.

The call for nominations for alumni candidates will conclude on Feb. 25 and the names of all candidates will be announced on Feb. 28. Election ballots will be distributed on April 10, and ballots must be submitted by 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 2. 

As announced at the January Board of Trustees' meeting, May 2 also is the date for the election of two trustees by delegates representing organized and registered agricultural organizations in Pennsylvania. In order to register, organizations must be structured at a county level with agriculturally related interests and must be in existence at least 90 days prior to the election. Interested agricultural groups must contact the University by March 1.

Nominations also are being sought for two trustees who are elected to represent business and industry endeavors. Nominations will be accepted until March 1 in the Board of Trustees Office on behalf of the Selection Group on Board Membership for Business and Industry Trustees. The nomination forms are available at by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. The selection group recommends two candidates for membership on the Board of Trustees from the pool of nominations received.
"The composition of Penn State's Board of Trustees is highly unique within higher education and reflects our land-grant mission," according to Paula Ammerman, director of the Office of the Board of Trustees. "The boards of most public universities are either totally appointed by the governors of the various states or are elected by the general populous. Private institution boards are largely self-perpetuating."  
Ammerman explained that the composition of Penn State's Board of Trustees is reflective of the structure and functioning of the University, including both public and private selection processes.
"We appreciate the time and talents that all of our members bring with them as they come together for the best interests of the University. The method of appointment or election to our board ensures that diverse backgrounds, experience and perspectives are around the table."
Ammerman said the interests of alumni and various agricultural organizations in electing a portion of the board are well-represented. Trustees who represent business and industry endeavors and are recommended by the selection group provide the board with the opportunity to elect members with special skill sets and expertise that may not otherwise be available.
"The experience and expertise they bring are valuable additions to the oversight of the University," Ammerman said. "For instance, best practices for audit committees suggest that the majority of individuals serving be financial experts. Similarly, the selection process for business and industry provides an opportunity to affect geographic distribution and the global character of our institution. Again, diverse perspectives are being brought to the table."
All 32 members of the Penn State Board of Trustees, with the exception of the University president, are volunteers and lay leaders. In total, five trustees serve in an ex officio capacity by virtue of their position within the University or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Six trustees are appointed by the governor; nine trustees are elected by the alumni; six are elected by organized agricultural societies within the Commonwealth; and six are elected by the Board of Trustees representing business and industry endeavors.
"These individuals devote an extraordinary amount of time and energy on our University’s behalf. They are deeply committed to the betterment of the University and to stewardship of Penn State for generations to come," Ammerman said.
For more information on the Board of Trustees, visit online.


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Last Updated February 19, 2013