Allentown
73° F
Overcast
Overcast

Pa. auditor general wants PSU to make changes to its board

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 14 2012 10:26:53 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 15 2012 05:10:45 AM CST

The Pennsylvania auditor general said Wednesday that the structure of Penn State University needs to change to make the school more accountable.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

The Pennsylvania auditor general said the status quo has to go at Penn State. 

Jack Wagner said he's ready to take new steps to push the school to change its ways after the scandal involving former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

"It's pretty much the same operation that existed November 4, 2011, the day before Jerry Sandusky was arrested," Wagner said in a news conference Wednesday.

In a new report, based off of a year-long investigation, Wagner said he found Penn State's board of trustees continued to operate in what he called a culture of secrecy.

"More we looked at how the board functioned, we found incomplete minutes. When my staff attended meetings, found how complicated it is to testify," Wagner explained.

Wagner said his team compared Penn State to every other Big Ten school, plus the top 20 largest institutions and found the school's governance to be antiquated and out of step with most other universities. That was especially true, Wagner said, regarding the power wielded by Penn State's president.

"President is secretary of the board, executive committee of the board and more powerful than every other member except the chairman. Simply should not exist in a public institution," Wagner said.

Wagner is recommending 30 changes for reform, including removing the president from the board of trustees, making the governor a non-voting member, setting term limits, needing majority of members to be present for a quorum, shrinking the number of trustees from 32 to 21 and better access to speak at board meetings, among others.

Ten of the 30 recommendations can be voted on by the legislature; the rest would be by the school.

Wagner said considering what happened, the board should be behind every one; however, he said he's already received push-back by the school over removing the president from the board.

69 News' calls to the board were not returned.

"A conspiracy of silence is not what we want in our flagship public university," Wagner said.