Board of Trustees actions: Sept. 15, 2006

September 21, 2006

Penn State's Board of Trustees met on Friday, Sept. 15, 2006, on Penn State's University Park campus. The following items were presented to the board for action or informational purposes:

Penn State Board of Trustees meets; President Spanier's remarks
Penn State's Board of Trustees held its regular, bi-monthly meeting Sept. 15 on Penn State's University Park campus. In his opening remarks to the board, President Graham B. Spanier reported that the University is expecting that this fall's freshman class will be of record size. Freshman enrollment at University Park is anticipated to end up at around 8,000, with total enrollment at University Park probably somewhat over 42,000. At present, the size of the student body is up about 6.5 percent over this time last year, and total University-wide enrollment is predicted to be around 84,000. Spanier also noted the different college rankings that have been issued by various media this fall, developments with leadership of the Big Ten Channel, and the appointment of a Penn State administrator to a national Deemed Export Advisory Committee.
Read the full text of the president's remarks at

Spanier delivers State of the University Address in new format
Penn State President Graham B. Spanier's State of the University video was shown at the University's Board of Trustees meeting Friday, Sept. 15. The video, which replaces the speech Spanier has given in previous years, also will be broadcast on WPSU as part of the "To the Best of My Knowledge" program, and has been made available on Penn State Live at and at online. A transcript is also available. Reaching a broader audience through these various venues is a way to share the dynamic nature of the University and to make it more accessible to the public.
To view the State of the University address, visit

College of Communications sees significant growth
With more than 3,400 undergraduate majors and graduate students, Penn State's College of Communications is the largest nationally accredited program of its kind. In fall 1995, it enrolled 1,658 undergraduate majors and graduate students. In fall 2005, it enrolled 3,413 -- a 106 percent increase. "Our growth has been explosive," said Dean Doug Anderson in a report to Penn State's Board of Trustees Sept. 15. "Fortunately, because of strong support from the University, our professional constituents and our friends and alumni, we've been able to capitalize on our enrollment increases." Anderson said the college seeks to become and be recognized as the most comprehensive and best-balanced accredited communications program in the country.
Read the full story at

College of Engineering pushes boundaries of sustainability, green design
Finding sustainable solutions that provide energy while preserving the environment is the focus of major initiatives by students and faculty in the College of Engineering. David Riley, director of the Center for Sustainability and professor of architectural engineering, and students from the Solar Decathlon team outlined some of the University's sustainability efforts at the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 15. "As an institution, Penn State has set aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse emissions, to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings and to purchase green power," Riley said. In addition to research efforts into solar energy and biofuels, Riley discussed the Center for Sustainability, a research laboratory established by students and faculty in 1996.
Read the full story at

Bike trail extension furthers environmentally friendly campus access and recreation
The Board of Trustees on Sept. 15 approved a right-of-way for College Township to construct and maintain an extension to a bike path that crosses University-owned land along Puddintown Road in the Houserville area. The existing College Township Bikeway, one of several bike trails and lanes across University land that are part of the larger Centre Region Parks and Recreation bikeway system, will be extended from its current terminus near the Mount Nittany Expressway to Orchard Road. This right-of-way will not interfere with any planned or existing University operations.
Read the full story at

Trustees renew appointments of members to Penn State Investment Council
Penn State's Board of Trustees has renewed the appointments of five non-University representatives to the Penn State Investment Council. The board established the council in September 2000 to provide direct oversight of the University's endowment and long-term investment program in response to Penn State's increasing asset base and complex marketing strategies. The non-University council members who had their appointments renewed for another one-year term by the board on Sept. 15 are: Timothy J. Crowe, managing director of Anchor Point Capital LLC in Coral Gables, Fla.; Edward Hintz, president of Hintz, Holman & Robillard Inc. in Chatham, N.J.; Arthur D. Miltenberger, vice president and chief financial officer (retired) of R.K.Mellon & Sons in Ligonier; David Rogers, chief executive officer of J.D. Capital Management in Greenwich, Conn.; and Linda B. Strumpf, vice president and chief investment officer of The Ford Foundation in New York, N.Y.
Read the full story at

Trustees approve 2007-08 appropriation request
The need to assure continued access and affordability, while also maintaining Penn State's preeminence as Pennsylvania's strongest economic engine, is the motivation behind the University's 2007-08 state appropriation request, approved on Sept. 15 by its Board of Trustees. The request seeks a funding increase of 6.8 percent, or $23.3 million, from the Commonwealth. If the Commonwealth is able to support the current request, the University could keep its 2007-08 tuition increase well below the average increase seen throughout higher education.
Read the full story at

Board approves capital budget request of $89.5 million
Penn State's Board of Trustees on Sept. 15 authorized the University to request $89.5 million from the Pennsylvania Legislature to provide additional funding for University capital budget projects beginning next fiscal year. Penn State's capital budget funds new construction and renovation projects at all 24 Penn State locations. "Limited funding for maintenance has only allowed for component replacement of already antiquated systems and piecemeal improvements," said Gary C. Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business/treasurer. "Funding for our Capital Renewal Plans will allow the University to replace, install or upgrade building systems as appropriate." Despite being one of the nation's largest universities and among the top 10 institutions in research expenditures, reaching $700 million this year, Penn State lags behind its peers in terms of adequate instructional and research facilities.
Read the full story at

Final plans approved for law school building at University Park
Further developing the Penn State Dickinson School of Law as a dual-campus law school with a single identity, the Penn State Board of Trustees on Sept. 15 approved final plans for a new Dickinson School of Law Building at University Park. The new building, to be located north of Park Avenue on Bigler Road, will be aligned with the University's environmental initiatives through a green roof that will reduce stormwater run-off while enhancing energy and prolonging the life of the roof. The University plans to seek LEED certification for the building.
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Construction projects at Wilkes-Barre, Erie receive final plan approval
Final plans to create a new academic commons building at Penn State Wilkes-Barre and a parking garage at Penn State Erie moved forward with approval from the University's Board of Trustees on Sept. 15. The new building at Wilkes-Barre, to be called the Abram Nesbitt, III Academic Commons, will house a new library, lecture hall and classrooms while freeing up space for student services. A new 182-space parking deck at Penn State Erie, adjacent to the new Research and Economic Development (REDC) Building, will address the parking needs of faculty, staff and students.
Read the full story at

Trustees authorize purchase of North Atherton Street properties
With an eye toward future expansion of Penn State's University Park campus, the University's Board of Trustees on Sept. 15 approved the purchase of 1.46 acres of property on North Atherton Street adjacent to Penn State's west campus. The trustees' action authorizes the purchase of five parcels of land currently owned by Smith Partnerships and H.O. Smith & Sons Inc.
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Board approves property sales, purchase
Penn State will sell two properties in Cumberland County and purchase another adjacent to Penn State Abington, following approval by the University's Board of Trustees on on Sept. 15. In Carlisle, Pa., the University will sell a property at 310 Allen Road, which has been rendered an unnecessary property due to planned improvements to the Dickinson School of Law. The University also will sell an undeveloped .73-acre property in The Peninsula Development just north of Mechanicsburg, Pa., that was donated to the University in January. At the request of the donor, the net sale proceeds will be designated to fund the Joseph D. Snyder Family Athletics Scholarship. Additionally, the University will purchase a .55-acre property at 1718 Cloverly Lane, adjacent to the north campus at Penn State Abington.
Read the full story at

McKeesport campus to get new name: Penn State Allegheny
Penn State's presence in the Pittsburgh suburb of McKeesport will be taking on a new name: Penn State Allegheny. Approved on Sept. 15 by the University's Board of Trustees, the name change is intended to support the campus' regional presence, facilitate an expanded vision and evolving mission for the campus and raise general awareness of the campus. The new moniker also is expected to give a sense of ownership to campus alumni and Penn Staters living in Allegheny County, and reinforce the campus' position as the only Penn State location in the county.
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Penn State endowment's market value nears $1.4 billion
The market value of Penn State's endowment and similar funds stood at $1.39 billion as of June 30, 2006, a $258 million net increase over the previous year, according to a report to the Board of Trustees on Sept. 15 by David E. Branigan, executive director of the University's Office of Investment Management. The endowment provided $57 million in support during the year for scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty chairs and professorships, research initiatives, and other purposes specified by the donors of endowed gifts.
Read the full story at

Brosius awarded rank of trustee emeritus
Charles Brosius, retired president of Marlboro Mushrooms and former Secretary of Agriculture of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on Sept. 15 was awarded the rank of trustee emeritus in recognition of his meritorious service as a 14-year member of the Board of Trustees. Although retired from voting and serving as officers, Penn State's trustee emeriti continue to serve on the board as their schedules permit.
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Last Updated March 19, 2009