Board of Trustees actions: Jan. 20, 2006

January 26, 2006

Penn State's Board of Trustees met on Friday, Jan. 20, 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 Jan. 20 at Penn State's University Park campus. In his opening remarks to the board, President Graham B. Spanier reported that applications to Penn State are growing at a record pace -- up by about 6,300, or 10.6 percent, over last year. Applications to the Dickinson School of Law have skyrocketed by 31 percent over last year, as the University continues implementation of its dual-campus plan for the law school. He also cited Penn State's emergence as a fashion 'hot spot,' based on the University being featured in a 46-page photo essay in the January issue of W magazine an a two-page photo of the Blue Band in the December issue of Vogue. Spanier also reviewed the progress of the new forensic science program at the University, and the creation of a new academic program in security and information analysis that will integrate studies in the emerging realms of information security, intelligence analysis and cyber forensics -- vital components of today's global digital economy.
Read the full text of the president's remarks at

Applications, diversity surge at law school as dual-campus plan moves forward
In a sharp reversal from just four years ago, The Dickinson School of Law is quickly becoming one of the most desirable destinations for legal education in the United States as the University moves forward with a $100 million capital investment in Penn State's law school at Carlisle and University Park. This turnaround was the theme of an informational report to Penn State's Board of Trustees today (Jan. 20), which included an update on the law school's establishment of a second campus at University Park – a plan approved by the board last year. While national applications to law schools are down more than 10 percent nationally this year, The Dickinson School of Law conversely has seen applications surge by nearly 30 percent over last year alone. In excess of 1,000 more students will apply for admission to the law school this year than had applied in 2002 – a more than 60 percent increase over a four-year period. In addition, while the law school was among the least diverse in the nation in 2002, today it is one of the most diverse, with minority enrollments tripling over the past four years from below 8 percent to nearly 25 percent.
Read the full story at

Information Sciences and Technology transitions from school to college
The latest step in Penn State's commitment to 21st century information technologies education was taken today (Jan. 20) when the University's Board of Trustees approved the transformation of the School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) into a college. The decision recognizes IST's growth, research development and mature stature as it joins 11 other colleges within the Penn State system. "The trustees' approval is further recognition of the important role that the College of Information Sciences and Technology has in preparing the next generation for the challenges of the digital economy," said James Thomas, dean of IST since 1999 and professor of information, technology and management. "In their courses and research, our students and faculty members are engaged in understanding the relationships among people, information and technology in order to address global inequities, create new opportunities and foster collaboration and innovation."
Read the full story at

Student engagement enhances Penn State policies, leadership experience
Penn State's student leaders are impacting the University and the surrounding community in ways that will leave meaningful and lasting contributions. High levels of student participation in clubs and organizations are resulting in stronger leadership skills and improved University events, services and town-gown relations, and Penn State administrators are taking active steps to foster those skills. Such was the message shared by Vicky L. Triponey, vice president for Student Affairs, and a panel of student leaders and student affairs administrators at the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday (Jan. 20) at Penn State's University Park campus. Triponey reported that undergraduate involvement is high -- at 75 percent -- according to a recent student satisfaction survey, and among that engaged student population, 64 percent believe their club participation has "strongly" improved their leadership effectiveness. "I continue to be grateful that so many of our students have discovered ways to give back to Dear Old State by enhancing the experience for their fellow students and by making Penn State a more vibrant and caring community," said Triponey.
Read the full story at

Penn State Harrisburg positioned as a leader in public affairs education
Penn State Harrisburg's proximity to the state capital and extensive working relationships with state government have been major contributors to its longstanding role as a leader in public affairs education, Penn State Harrisburg Chancellor Madlyn L. Hanes told the University's Board of Trustees Friday (Jan. 20) in an informational report on the campus' School of Public Affairs. "On behalf of the University, Penn State Harrisburg provides focused, formal education in public policy and public administration," she said. "The School of Public Affairs, one of five academic schools within the college, uses its resources to benefit the larger community by offering classes and opportunities relevant to those in public service." The campus, soon to celebrate its 40th anniversary, has remained true to its founding principles, Hanes said, as an educational institution offering curriculum that mirrors the needs of the region's economy. "We designed our programs to attract working adults, including part-time study and evening classes," Hanes said. "As a result, we are the region's lead institution in professional study at the master's level."
Read the full story at

Penn State board again re-elects Baldwin as chair, Broadhurst as vice-chair
Cynthia A. Baldwin, judge in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, and James S. Broadhurst, chairman and chief executive officer of Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, Inc., were again re-elected chair and vice chair, respectively, of Penn State's Board of Trustees today (Jan. 20). Baldwin, the first African American female judge elected to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, broke ground at Penn State last year in becoming the first African American woman to preside over the University's governing body. She recently was appointed by the governor to fill an unexpired term on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A gubernatorial appointee to the Board of Trustees, Baldwin was elected vice chair of the board in 2001, and was re-elected in 2002 and 2003. She assumed her current role as board chair in 2004. Broadhurst was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1998 to fill an unexpired term as a business and industry trustee, and was elected for successive terms. He was elected vice chair of the board in 2004.
Read the full story at

Dates set for election of trustees, six meetings of board in 2007
The Penn State Board of Trustees today (Jan. 20) approved Thursday, May 11, 2006 as the date for the delegate election of agricultural trustees and for the counting of ballots in the alumni election of board members. The board also designated Friday, May 12, 2006 as the date of the election of business and industry trustees. Of the board's 32 members, six trustees are elected by delegates from organized agricultural societies within the commonwealth. Six additional trustees representing business and industry endeavors are elected by the Board of Trustees following a review of nominations by the selection group on board membership for business and industry trustees. The term of service for these trustees is three years, and two terms from each category expire each year. Nine trustees are elected by alumni for three-year terms, with three terms expiring each year. The remaining board members are ex officio or appointed by the governor of Pennsylvania.
Read the full story at

Board recognizes renowned paleontologist as honorary degree recipient
John R. Horner, regents' professor and curator of paleontology for the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont., and famed consultant for Hollywood's "Jurassic Park" films, will receive an honorary doctoral degree at one of the University's future commencement ceremonies. Penn State's Board of Trustees approved Horner as an honorary-degree recipient today (Jan. 20). In the 1970's Horner and fellow paleontologist Bob Makela were the first to find evidence of parental care by dinosaurs. The team discovered a large number of dinosaur nests containing fossils of a duckbilled dinosaur in Montana. After examining how the nests were organized and determining there would have been a lack of vegetation in the area of the nests, Horner was able to surmise that the mother dinosaurs must have provided for and protected their young until they were old enough to leave the nests and be independent foragers. Based on this evidence, Horner and Makela named the new dinosaur Maiasaura, meaning "good mother lizards." Horner is likely best known for supporting the contested theory that Tyrannosaurus rex was an obligate scavenger, rather than a predatory killer.
Read the full story at

Board approves Pangborn as vice president and dean for undergraduate education
Penn State's Board of Trustees today (Jan. 20) approved the appointment of Robert N. Pangborn as vice president and dean for undergraduate education at the University. In his new position effective Monday, Pangborn will be responsible for providing leadership in undergraduate education, including support for general education, active and collaborative learning, student research experiences, internships, service learning, cross-campus curricular integration, and the development of facilities for technology-enhanced learning. He also will administer the University's enrollment management and administration across Penn State's 20 baccalaureate degree-granting campuses. "Rob Pangborn is an extremely well-qualified individual to lead our efforts in undergraduate education and enrollment management. He is a distinguished scholar, award-winning teacher, a proven administrator, and a faculty leader who has contributed greatly to the University through his leadership on the Faculty Senate, the Administrative Committee on Undergraduate Education, and numerous task forces on such issues as general education and curricular integrity," said Rodney A. Erickson, executive vice president and provost.
Read the full story at

Trustees approve Hershey land lease to expand outpatient facilities
Penn State will lease land at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to a Chicago healthcare real estate developer in order to construct a new medical and healthcare building that will expand outpatient facilities, following approval from the University's Board of Trustees Friday (Jan. 20). Lillibridge Health Care Real Estate Trust will lease 22.65 acres of land on the east campus of the Hershey Medical Center, an area that currently includes the center's University Physician Group Practice at Cherry Drive and Outpatient Surgery Center. The development of the land by Lillibridge will increase outpatient facilities with a 156,000 square foot medical and healthcare building to complement the existing outpatient buildings on the east campus. The trustees also approved the purchase of 10.4 acres of undeveloped property adjacent to Penn State DuBois' north campus. DuBois Educational Foundation offered the Monument Hill property, located on Fourth Street in DuBois, to the University at a cost of $239,215.
Read the full story at

Trustees approve architect for parking garage at Penn State Erie
The Penn State Board of Trustees Friday (Jan. 20) authorized the employment of an architectural firm to design a new parking garage at Penn State Erie, which will be located adjacent to the new Research and Economic Development Center (REDC) currently under construction. In July, the trustees approved the employment of Weber Murphy Fox of Erie, Pa. -- which originally designed the new REDC with NBBJ of Columbus, Ohio -- to design an addition to the REDC to include a lecture hall and support spaces. Given the proximity of the proposed parking garage and REDC project, as well as benefits of economies of scale and opportunities for project acceleration, the trustees authorized the employment of Weber Murphy Fox to design the parking garage as well.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009