39 in running to become Penn State trustees in 2013

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For the second straight year, a larger-than-normal field of candidates will compete for three open alumni seats on Penn State University's board of trustees.

The list of 39 candidates announced Thursday is less than half the 86 individuals who ran last year in the immediate aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, which led to the ouster of top university leaders.

But the field is far larger than the six who ran in 2010, a figure closer to the typical field for the normally obscure election.

Having met qualifications that included securing 50 nominations, this year's candidates will face online balloting from April 10 through 9 a.m. May 2, officials announced Thursday.

The candidates, including former Republican state senator and lieutenant governor Robert Jubelirer, carry a wide array of credentials including positions in higher education, business, law, medicine and the military. Their names can be found on Penn State's website at http://news.psu.edu/story/266882/2013/02/28/administration/penn-state-trustee-election-ballot-positions-announced.

Sandusky, a former assistant football coach for Penn State, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting 10 boys over a decade, including some on Penn State's campus.

Alumni anger over the board's response to the scandal -- in particular its firing of football head coach Joe Paterno -- fueled calls for the board's removal and a surge in interest in running for spots on the 32-member panel, which includes nine trustee seats.

Paula R. Ammerman, director of the board office, said ballots for the trustee election will be available online to alumni April 10. Penn State said it plans to post biographical information and position statements for the contenders by March 18 on a meet-the-candidates page.

The Penn State Alumni Association plans to invite candidates to take part in a voluntary "Three Questions for the Candidates" session. The answers will be posted beginning April 4, Penn State officials said.

Each year, three alumni seats become open for election.

Two incumbents -- Stephanie Nolan Deviney, an attorney, and Paul Suhey, an orthopedic surgeon -- are running, according to the trustees office. The third seat has been vacant since July's departure of former board chair Steve Garban.

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, or PS4RS, an alumni group that has sought board resignations, said 31 of the 39 candidates are seeking the organization's endorsement. The group will winnow the list to six, hold an online primary among its 15,000 members and then endorse three individuals.

"Naturally, the two incumbents know better than to ask for our endorsement, unless it comes with a full apology and complete plan to redress their actions and inactions of the past 16 months," said PS4RS spokeswoman Maribeth Roman Schmidt.

Also Thursday, Gov. Tom Corbett re-nominated Kathleen Casey as a trustee. The choice requires state Senate confirmation.

A former commissioner with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Casey, 46, of Arlington, Va., currently is a senior adviser for Patomak Global Partners.

education - mobilehome - state - psusports

Bill Schackner: bschackner@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1977.


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