Penn State Presidential Search to Begin in November

UNIVERSITY PARK – In a public Board of Trustees meeting, Chairman Karen Peetz announced the search for a new University president will begin in November. The board search council members, process, scope of responsibilities and time table will be announced at that time.

Peetz also reported the search for a Compliance Officer, who will centralize approximately 140 compliance personnel under one organizational umbrella, is in the final stages. Additionally, the search for a new provost is well underway.

The University previously announced the appointment of Steve Dunham, from Johns Hopkins University, as vice president and general counsel in July.

“As is evident, we are totally revamping, upgrading and enhancing our management team and our infrastructure. The investments made to core functions are necessary… and will pay solid dividends for the future,” Peetz explained.

The Blue & White Advisory Council

Peetz also announced the formation of a strategic advisory group, comprised of accomplished individuals from both inside and outside the University. Former University of Illinois president and current senior fellow at Penn State, Stan Ikenberry, will advise the council.

The group will identify key strategic challenges and opportunities facing Penn State over the next decade and assess the implications for the University. Focusing on what the University will be — as well as what the University can and should be — the group will concentrate on Penn State’s major issues, challenges and opportunities. Completion of the strategic review is anticipated by mid-2013.

Alumni Outreach

In her remarks, Peetz announced Board and University initiatives to improve transparency and foster collaboration across the broader Penn State community.

In calling on the Penn State community to work together to enhance and build on the University’s strong reputation, she reported the leadership of the Board of Trustees will meet with leaders of the Penn State Alumni Association Saturday, Sept. 15. She and several Board members also are meeting each month with an Alumni Advisory Group.

Peetz also proposed she and other Board leaders meet with alumni leadership across the University to further open communications and begin collaborative work.

“Our alumni are one of Penn State’s most valuable assets. As such, it is critically important for key members of the Board to meet and interact with alumni leadership,” she said.

Also, the previous three Board committees were replaced with seven action-focused committees to dedicate resources to areas such as audit and risk management, governance and long-range planning. Notably, an Outreach, Development and Community Relations committee was established. Faculty, staff, students and alumni were appointed as non-voting representatives to almost all Board committees.

Update on Compliance Actions

Peetz also reported on continued actions related to the Freeh Report and NCAA Athletic Integrity Agreement.

Virtually all of Freeh’s interim recommendations are implemented, and the final recommendations are assigned to various teams across the University and the Board. Peetz said the Freeh recommendations will be implemented by the end of 2013 or, in instances where implementation is not appropriate, provide explanation.

In relation to the NCAA Athletic Integrity Agreement, Peetz reported she and Penn State President Rodney Erickson, as well as many other University leaders and representatives, have met with Sen. George Mitchell, Penn State’s appointed athletics integrity monitor, and other members of his team, and the University is making progress toward the requirements.


Looking ahead, Peetz said, “What builds heritage over the decades is attention to and dedicated focus on our mission of educating the best our country has to offer … a constant drive to do better than yesterday, to act decisively in the present while we anticipate and prepare for the brightest of futures.”

She concluded her remarks to the Board and members of the Penn State community by relating her personal experience as a businessperson: “I have spent most of my adult life in business, finance to be specific. I can tell you unequivocally that the reputation Penn State graduates carry with them into business — or any other sector for that matter — is one of intelligence, hard work and integrity.”

For more information on efforts and actions of the University’s Progress Campaign, visit

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