In its ongoing efforts to provide stronger university oversight and governance, the Penn State board of trustees voted to create an executive compensation committee on Nov. 23.
A day later, the Post-Gazette ran a story with a headline indicating the committee is “couched in secrecy” (“Penn State Compensation Panel Couched in Secrecy,” Nov. 23). A later story also indicated that Penn State was planning to award pay packages to top campus leaders “in secret” (“Penn State Criticized for Keeping Pay Secret,” Nov. 26).
All of this is news to us because the executive compensation committee, just named, has yet to even hold a meeting or name all of its members, let alone set policies for compensation and public disclosure.
Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know law requires Penn State to annually file a report disclosing the total compensation of all officers and the five highest-paid nonofficers as well as the top 25 highest-salaried employees. These reports can be found at www.controller.psu.edu/Divisions/ControllersOffice/reports.html.
Among its initial duties, this committee will conduct a thorough review of how similar compensation committees work at other universities. This will be important guidance as this committee takes shape. I would encourage your readers to allow for the committee to actually meet and establish policies before drawing conclusions.
This is the sixth committee created in the past year by the board to enhance oversight. All committee meetings are open to the public, and we invite anyone interested in the university’s governance to attend. A meeting calendar and agendas can be found here: www.psu.edu/trustees/meetings.html.
Penn State Board of Trustees
University Park, Pa.