Penn State Governance Analysis

Published on April 2017 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 28 | Comments: 0 | Views: 157
of 16
Download PDF   Embed   Report

Comments

Content

Governance Analysis of
The Pennsylvania State University
Liza Anderson
Hassan Ansari
David Beltz
Melanie Rivera
Christopher Tanzer
Wesley Thompson
April 18, 2013

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Table of Contents
I. Description of Penn State’s Governing Structure ................................................................. 2
Board of Trustees ............................................................................................................................. 2
Faculty Senate .................................................................................................................................. 3
Old Main Administration ................................................................................................................. 3
Prominent University Officials in Old Main ..................................................................................... 4
Administrative Offices in Old Main .................................................................................................. 5

II. Analysis of Penn State Governing Structure ....................................................................... 8
President of Pennsylvania State University ..................................................................................... 8
Governor of Pennsylvania: A Voting Trustee ................................................................................... 8
Board of Trustees ............................................................................................................................. 8
Quorum ............................................................................................................................................ 9
Faculty Senate .................................................................................................................................. 9
Student Government ..................................................................................................................... 10

III. Recommendations for Improvement .............................................................................. 11
The President ................................................................................................................................. 11
Board of Trustees ........................................................................................................................... 11
Stakeholders .................................................................................................................................. 12
Faculty Senate ................................................................................................................................ 12
Athletic Department ...................................................................................................................... 12
Student Government ..................................................................................................................... 13

References .......................................................................................................................... 15

1

Team 06

Governance Analysis

I. Description of Penn State’s Governing Structure
Board of Trustees
The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees is responsible for the government
and welfare of the University and the interests of all people within its bounds such as the
students, faculty, staff, and alumni (“Role of the Board”, 2013). The Board is comprised of 32
members, six of which are automatic members based on their position within the University
and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the President of the University, the
Governor of the Commonwealth, and the State Secretaries of Agriculture, Education,
Conservation, and Natural Resources. In addition, the Governor appoints six trustees; Penn
State alumni elect nine; state agricultural societies elect six; and the Board of Trustees
representing business and industry endeavors elects six (“Membership Selection”, 2013).
Following the charter, bylaws, and standing orders, the Board may enact bylaws, ordinances,
and rules when required.
According to the Board of Trustees website (2013), their actions are guided by four
general policies:
1. The Board relies on the President to disclose information regarding the University and is
obligated to require such information in order to maintain its awareness of University
operations. Additionally, the Board advises the President on any all University matters, if
requested.
2. The Board is responsible for selecting the President of the Pennsylvania State University;
determining major University goals and approve of policies and procedures for
implementing such goals; reviewing and approving the operating and capital budget;
and various responsibilities concerning law and governmental directives.
3. The Board must inform citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of the
University’s performance regarding educating the youth of Pennsylvania.
4. The Board shall assist the President in developing relationships with various agencies
throughout the U.S and Pennsylvania that provide assistance and direction to the
University.
2

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Faculty Senate
The Pennsylvania State University Faculty Senate represents all faculties, including
administration, as well as undergraduate and graduate students spanning every Penn State
campus (see figure 2). The Senate’s main focus is educational matters and interests including
curriculum, admissions, student policies, and retention/graduation requirements. Additionally,
it serves as an advisory council to the President concerning the fulfillment of educational
objectives (see figure 1) (“University Faculty Senate”, 2012). Each Penn State college and
campus elects faculty members to serve as senators with a maximum seat size of 200. Through
shared governance the faculty senate “seeks ways to improve communication and collaborative
decision making across the University” (“About the Senate”, 2012). Elected senators visit Penn
State campuses every three years to promote communication via faculty forums (“Fact Sheet”,
2012).

Old Main Administration
Old Main is the main administration building the Penn State University Park campus. It
houses the offices of the President as well as other prominent faculty members (see table 1).
The building also hosts the President’s Council members’ offices as well as the offices of all the
administrative entities at the University (see table 2).
All of the fundamental authoritative figures at Penn State have offices located within
Old Main. Hence, the role of the administration in Old Main is the overall management of the
University system. These tasks include managing admissions, finances, student records, career
services, human resources, athletics, academic affairs, and other broad issues at the University.
Administration at the Old Main focuses on the comprehensive management of the University's
operational affairs.

3

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Table 1 Prominent University officials based out of Old Main

Prominent University Officials in Old Main
Rodney A. Erickson

University President

Paula R. Ammerman,

Director, Office of the Board of Trustees

Susan M. Basso

Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Blannie E. Bowen

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Michael J. DiRaimo

Special Assistant to the President for Governmental Affairs

Stephen S. Dunham

Vice President and General Counsel

Henry C. Foley

Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School

Yvonne M. Gaudelius

Assistant Vice President and Associate Dean for Undergraduate
Education

David J. Gray

Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer

Cynthia B. Hall

Interim Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Madlyn L. Hanes

Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses

W. Terrell Jones

Vice Provost for Educational Equity

David M. Joyner

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

Rodney P. Kirsch

Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

Robert N. Pangborn

Interim Executive Vice President and Provost
Chief Executive Officer, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center;

Harold L. Paz

Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, and
Dean, Penn State College of Medicine

Thomas G. Poole

Vice President for Administration

Damon Sims

Vice President for Student Affairs

Craig D. Weidemann

Vice President for Outreach

4

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Table 2 Administrative offices in Old Main

Administrative Offices in Old Main
Office of the President

Affirmative Action

Commonwealth Campuses

Educational Equity

Finance and Business

Government Affairs

Human Resources

Research and Graduate School

Undergraduate Education

Physical Plant

Vice President for
Administration

Alumni Relations

Athletics

Development

Executive Vice President

General Counsel

Health Affairs and Medicine

Outreach and Extension

Student Affairs

University Relations

Planning and Assessment

5

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Figure 1 Executive Vice President and Provost. 2012. Chart. Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, University Park.
Web. 21 Apr 2013. <http://www.psu.edu/provost/assets/Provost_chart.pdf>.

6

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Figure 2 Penn State organizational chart

7

Team 06

Governance Analysis

II. Analysis of Penn State Governing Structure
President of Pennsylvania State University
Unlike the presidents of most universities in the United States, the President of
Pennsylvania State University does not serve within a single all-encompassing role. Instead, the
President holds the roles of President of the University, member of the Board of Trustees, an
executive office, and Secretary of the Board of Trustees (Wagner, 2012). These roles
complicate the governing process because the President serves on almost every board
committee, subcommittee, and special committee. The President has the power to influence
and impact capability to influence on the work of these groups (Wagner, 2012). Wagner points
out that this the President’s vote counts more than once, since he is given a vote in his other
board and committee chairs (Wagner, 2012).

Governor of Pennsylvania: A Voting Trustee
The Governor of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania makes decision on capital
expenditures, approves grants and recommends annual appropriations to the General
Assembly (Wagner, 2012). Critical decisions that affect the operations of public institutions are
made by the Governor and this becomes very significant as it applies to Penn State (Wagner,
2012).
Since the Governor is a trustee, as well as the Governor of Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, he or she can cast votes on expenditures that he or she approves as governor and
not necessarily as a trustee of the University. This predicament gives very credible concerns
pertaining to conflict-of-interests between the two positions (Wagner, 2012).

Board of Trustees
Penn State’s Board consists of 32 voting members; 11-12 voting members is the average
number of voting members at the other Big Ten Conference Universities (Early, 2012). The
Board is responsible for making key decisions regarding university affairs.

8

Team 06

Governance Analysis

The Board conducts meetings in rooms with little seating, making affairs less accessible
to the public. Communication among members is also kept confidential. The large size of the
Board makes processes slower. The Board is heavily influenced by the President.
The Board also consist of additional alumni members that have been granted all of the
privileges of the Board for life (Novak, 2013). However, these members cannot vote.
Some Board members have been part of the Board for several years. There are currently
no limitations on how long members can stay or get re-elected. Although this keeps the Board
fairly stable, it also reduces diverse influences on decision-making. Board members with
seniority are highly influential (Novak, 2013).

Quorum
Out of the 32 members who make up the full Board of Trustees, only 13 members are
required in order to establish a quorum (Wagner, 2012). This means that only about 40 percent
of the members are required in order to transact but not vote on official business. The 32member board was brought about by decrees from the courts of Centre County that derived
from Penn State’s requests (Wagner, 2012). The 13-member quorum was created by bylaws of
the Board.
When it was established in 1855, seven of the thirteen members votes were needed
establish a quorum, representing a majority of the Board. In its current state the quorum does
not reflect this same majority requirement. Penn State is the only university in the Big Ten
Conference and top 20 highest enrollment public university that does have a less-than-majority
quorum.

Faculty Senate
The faculty senate is made up of 200 bodies which are elected from the nearly 5,600
faculty members who make up each college and campus at Penn State. This organization
primarily focuses on educational matters such as curriculum, admissions, and retention and

9

Team 06

Governance Analysis

graduation requirements. However, it also has influences over other portions of governance at
the University; such as its current position as an advisory council to the University President.

Student Government
The student government organizational hierarchy is extremely complex and diluted.
Current student governmental bodies include the Graduate Student Association, University
Park Undergraduate Association, Association of Residence Hall Students, Council of
Commonwealth Student Governments, as well as a separate student government body for each
college within the University. With so many different governing bodies, and a lack of oversight
and hierarchical structure for the entire student body, resolutions and recommendations
passed at each are unable to make significant change at the highest levels.

10

Team 06

Governance Analysis

III. Recommendations for Improvement
The President
The Pennsylvania State University can improve its governance through reorganization of
structure and formation of new policies. First, the President of the university must be removed
as a member of the Board of Trustees. The current structure deems the role of the Board
useless as the President is able to heavily influence the Board and therefore, bypass a system of
checks and balances. Ultimately, the Board should be the governing body, rather than the CEO
or President; the current structure yields far too much power to the President by allowing him
to be a voting member of the Board, the Board secretary, and a part of every committee.

Board of Trustees
The Board currently not only consists of the 32 official members, but also 12 retired
trustees with emeritus status. The University’s Board is already one of the largest in the nation,
and this doesn’t include these 12 additional members. The granting of such a status must be
eliminated in order to have a leaner board with less influence from longstanding members.
The general consensus is that in order to have a good committee structure that a board
should be kept between 12 and 15 members. Boards larger than this ideal size many times are
less involved in important issues that are brought before the board and have a tendency to
defer to their executive committees. The size of a board should be so that meaningful dialogue
can be had among the trustees. A board that is the size of the one at Penn State does not allow
for trustees to handle key issues in an efficient and intense manner (Early, 2012). It is also
thought that a large board suffers from the lack of preparation as well as a lack of overall
attendance.
Currently, certain Board members are given different term limits than others, under the
new term limits proposed in 2003. All members of the Board should be treated equally, and
have three-year terms. Board members must also have a limitation on serving a maximum of
two consecutive terms, and no more than three terms. This will allow the university to gain
fresh perspective and prevent overwhelming influence from senior Board members.
11

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Stakeholders
Penn State prevents stakeholders from reviewing the communication among Board
members. As the local taxpayers ultimately help fund the university, the university must show
transparency in its operations by providing public records of all issues being discussed by the
Board. We recommend that all meeting schedules be posted publicly online with agendas for
those meetings. After a meeting is conducted, meeting minutes should be posted online to
show what conclusions were made about the topics on the agenda. Everything should be dated
accurately so that such documents can provide historical records of the Board’s discussions and
decisions for the public to review. Due to the size of the state, Board meetings should be aired
online, so that anyone can join the conversation without having to travel to the physical site of
the meeting. At least 30 minutes must be allocated after a meeting to allow the public to ask
questions and give input, via the web and in person.

Faculty Senate
Our recommendation to absolve the President of the University from his responsibilities
on the Board of Trustees will take away the current influences the faculty senate has over the
board. The faculty senate should be given more influence over the University’s policy making
decisions, not have it taken away. To better provide a system of checks and balances, which are
currently almost non-existent, any decisions made by the board of trustees must also pass
through a majority vote at the faculty senate before they are made official University policy.

Athletic Department
The university’s athletics and arts programs must keep records of all underage kids
attending them. These records must include the names of the kids, the time they came to the
university premises, the time they left, and the reason for their visit. It must also include the
names of the supervisors on duty that are in charge of safety. In addition, all complaints must
be made to university police using an official form in order to prevent an agency problem.

12

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Currently, if an issue is reported directly to the Board, a conflict of interest arises as the Board
does not benefit from publicly announcing infractions that occur within the organization.
Instead, crime prevention shall be headed by the university police.
The university’s football program has proven to be extremely lucrative, but does nothing
to improve the academics of the school. In 2011, the program turned a profit of $43.8 million
(2011, NCAA). We propose that 10% of all profits from the football program, the most
profitable athletic program at Penn State, be used for academic purposes. This would amount
to $4.38 million towards academia from Penn State football’s 2011 profits. This will help Penn
State move up in academic rankings and become a more prestigious institution. In turn, more
applicants will apply to Penn State, increasing revenue.

Student Government
There are too many student government organizations within the University with no
real power to influence actual policy at the University. We propose a hierarchical structure
which encompasses all these governing bodies and gives them a single voice to pass
recommendations and resolutions onto the faculty senate and Board of Trustees. A member
from each of these student government will be elected by the others to represent them on a
formal regulatory council whose responsibility it is to meet and formulate plans of action and
policies to pass on to the senate and board. This organization will be widespread throughout
the University’s diverse geological structure and as such will meet through technological means
on at least a per semester basis.

Conclusion
The governance structure of The Pennsylvania State University is complex and serves a
large set of responsibilities. Therefore, in order to improve the structure, many aspects of
governance must be targeted. Please refer to figure 3 for a visual representation of our
proposed structural changes.

13

Team 06

Governance Analysis

Figure 3 Proposed administrative organizational chart

14

Team 06

Governance Analysis

References
About the senate. (2012). Retrieved March 19, 2013, from
http://www.senate.psu.edu/senate.html
Fact sheet. (2012). Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.senate.psu.edu/factsheet.pdf
Membership selection. (2013). Retrieved March 28, 2013, from
http://www.psu.edu/trustees/selection.html
Novak, B. (2013, April 3). What’s Up with the Board? Understanding Today’s Penn State Board
of Trustees. Ben Novak. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from
http://www.bennovak.net/2013/04/whats-up-with-the-board/
Role of the board of trustees in university governance. (2013). Retrieved March 19, 2013, from
http://www.psu.edu/trustees/governance.html
University faculty senate. (2012). Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.senate.psu.edu/
Wagner, J. (2012). Recommendations for governance reform at the Pennsylvania
university after the child sex abuse scandal. Retrieved from
http://www.auditorgen.state.pa.us/reports/PennStateSpecialReport.pdf

state

Early, W. (2012, March 21). Penn state board of trustees needs reform starting with a small
size. Retrieved from
http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2012/03/penn_state_board
_of_trustees_n.htm l
Freeh, L. (2012, July 12). Report of the Special Investigative Counsel Regarding the
Actions of The Pennsylvania State University Related to the Child Sexual Abuse
Committed by Gerald A. Sandusky. Retrieved from
http://progress.psu.edu/assets/content/REPORT_FINAL_071212.pdf

15

Sponsor Documents

Or use your account on DocShare.tips

Hide

Forgot your password?

Or register your new account on DocShare.tips

Hide

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Back to log-in

Close