PSU-ReBOT Shares Concerns Over Voting Guidelines
With the alumni trustee election kicking off on March 10th, we want to let the Board of Trustees know that having only one month to evaluate an unprecedented 86 candidates, is too short a period of time. Not allowing website addresses in candidate position statements does not make use of 21st century technologies. Voters need more, accessible information to evaluate which candidates will best serve Penn State. Voting decisions based solely on a single 250-word essay, for these important stewardship and leadership roles, simply does not provide enough information upon which to base an informed vote.
Open Letter to the PSU Board of Trustees
The Pennsylvania State University
Board of Trustees
205 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802-1571
We are writing to share our concerns about the 2012 alumni trustee election guidelines. Our group, “Penn Staters Reforming the Board of Trustees,” is composed of concerned students, faculty, alumni and friends of the Pennsylvania State University.
Our three main concerns regarding election guidelines are: voting based on a 250-word essay; the inability to include website URLs in position statements; and the limited time allotted to evaluate 86 candidates.
Penn State is a world-class institution with a yearly operating budget of over four billion dollars. Such an institution requires world-class leaders. It is unrealistic to expect candidates to summarize their qualifications and campaign positions in 250 words. Likewise, it is unrealistic to expect voters to make an informed decision based solely on 250 words, without access to additional information.
With an unprecedented number of candidates stepping forward to fill important positions of leadership within the University, we believe it is imperative that alumni voters have as much information about these candidates as possible. Additional information could easily be accessed if the Board allowed candidates to include a website address in their essay. This simple addition would allow voters to properly educate themselves and make more informed voting decisions.
The ballots are scheduled to open in less than a month. This is too soon. It is unreasonable to expect voters to adequately evaluate all 86 candidates within this time period. A candidate field which is six times larger than the historical maximum will require a longer than normal time to evaluate. We recommend that the Board change the ballot opening to May 10th, allowing another full month for evaluation.
Penn State deserves outstanding leaders and voters deserve access to 21st century tools and adequate time in order to evaluate, choose and vote for these leaders.
The Executive Committee,
Penn Staters Reforming the Board of Trustees