Friday, October 19, 2007

Old Main Foulkes the Students One Last Time

It's time once more to select a student trustee at Penn State. Here is how the current student trustee was selected.
Two-term Undergraduate Student Government President Galen Foulke was very quietly appointed this summer to the Penn State Board of Trustees, a body that, by definition, works in the interest of the university and its administration.
Basically, he was elevate to the job in the dead of night by Spanier. I've previously compared this to how things were done before Spanier took control of the situation, but let me remind you have how things were done in the oldn' daze.

...[T]he search for the next student trustee begins today. This position is open to any Penn State student at any campus.

Also, applicants can be from any level of semester standing -- from freshmen to graduate students -- but they must be able to serve in the position for at least one full year. Ideally, a student would be able to serve for two or more years in the position, but this is not required.

Applications are available at the HUB information desk beginning today, and they must be turned in to the HUB information desk by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12. After that, a committee of five students will review the applications to determine which students will be interviewed for the position. Interviews will be conducted during the week of April 17 in order to determine the three to five finalists whose names will be sent to Harrisburg for final review. I encourage any student who has a great love for Penn State and a desire to see it continue to improve to apply for the student trustee position.
Those just weren't any old students. No sir, they were student leaders. Now, however, things are changing once again. The whole dead of night thing is gone. A new day is dawning at Penn State.
Student applications are being accepted through Nov. 12 for a voting seat on Penn State University's 32-member Board of Trustees, replacing outgoing student trustee Galen Foulke.
Well, that sound promising. Who will review these applications?

Foulke, who ends his three-year term July 1, 2008, will appoint an eight-student committee representing "a broad cross-section of the university" to review applications and pinpoint top candidates.

"I invite these people to the committee," he said. "I identify what people I think should be on it and invite them."


This committee will also feature two non-voting advisers -- Paula Ammerman, director of the Office of the Board of Trustees, and a representative from Student Affairs, who has yet to accept the invitation.
Oh, that casts a bit of the shadow on the things. That's right Spanier's lackie gets to pick his own flunkies to serve on the review committee. And yet, Spanier doesn't quite trust these people. He wants a couple of people that he pays to keep an eye on things.

It is likely that Spanier is using the departure of Vickey Triponey as an opportunity to loosen his grip ever so slightly. People are then left to infer that Triponey was responsible for the heavy handed control imposed by Old Main over the student body, thereby getting Spanier off the hook. Me, I'm not buying that. Spanier is a control freak.

Anyway, this is what passes for progress here at Penn State.

Here's a crazy idea: let the students select their trustee by direct election.

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