UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Students at any Penn State campus with an interest in being a member of the University's Board of Trustees are being asked to submit an application for the post by March 20. In addition, students who would like to be part of the selection committee to interview the student trustee candidates should also submit an application. Both documents can be found via links from the home pages of the Graduate Student Association (http://www.pennstategsa.com/), University Park Undergraduate Association (http://pennstateupua.com/), and the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (http://ccsg.psu.edu/).
"The student trustee position on the board is significant because it provides a direct link to the student voice and perspective that is needed in discussing University matters, particularly those that impact students," said Katelyn Mullen, president of the University Park Undergraduate Association. "The person in this role will bring a student’s perspective to bear on important issues, with the ultimate responsibility of doing what is in the best interests of Penn State."
For the past four decades, Penn State students have been represented on the University's Board of Trustees by a student chosen from an identified pool of interested and eligible candidates. In the past, the name of the student who is selected from this pool has been forwarded by the governor to the Pennsylvania Senate for confirmation. This process, while longstanding, is at the discretion of the governor. Historically, the governor has opted to designate one of the six governor-appointed seats on the 32-member board as a student Trustee, but this tradition has not been codified.
In its March 6 meeting, the Board of Trustees Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning will consider a proposal to amend the board's bylaws and charter to ensure that a student presence is specified in the board's governance documents.
The proposed change, which would require a vote of the full board in May to be enacted, is being supported by UPUA; the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG); and the Graduate Student Association (GSA).
"We would really like to see a large pool of qualified candidates seek this position," said Molly Droelle, president of CCSG. "This is an opportunity for students to play a significant role in the operation of our University."