Barry J Fenchak
Penn State University
Chemical Engineering ’84, MBA ’91
I left the small mining community of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania to attend Penn State in 1980. After completing my BS in Chemical Engineering in 1984, I worked in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry as a Process Engineer and Production Manager. In 1991 I completed the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Smeal College of Business and opened an investment management and financial advisory practice in State College.
I am a licensed Registered Investment Advisor and Securities Principal, and work with individuals, families, and businesses to develop, implement, and manage investment and financial strategies. From 1996-2016, I served as an Adjunct Instructor at Penn State teaching undergraduate courses in personal and corporate finance (FIN 108 and 100), as well as accounting principles (ACCT 211).
I am the son, husband, brother, brother-in-law, and father of Penn State alumni. My wife and I have raised our family in Happy Valley and are active in the community. My family is a case study in how Penn State can change lives for the better.
To us, the ability – and the responsibility – of Penn State to be “transformative” is more than a trendy buzzword.
Since 2005, I have attended over 300 Penn State Board of Trustee public events and meetings as a close observer. I have dedicated thousands of hours to following, analyzing, and commenting on those proceedings. Frequently, I was the only ‘public’ party at the public meetings. I understand the history behind the issues and challenges facing Penn State.
In May, 2022 I was elected by my fellow alumni to be a trustee. If you read some of my updates posted here on my website, you’ll see that I’ve hit the ground running.
Penn State University is a complex and dynamic institution that operates in a challenging environment. I am dedicated to furthering the University’s core missions of providing a quality, affordable education and sponsoring meaningful and beneficial research.
As a trustee of the university, I will be an engaged and active advocate for all stakeholders. Trustees are the only people who are solely responsible for the oversight of Penn State’s assets and resources. We had better know what we are doing.
Among Penn State’s greatest current challenges are:
- The highest in-state tuition, by far, of any of the Big Ten’s 13 public universities.
- The plummeting of Penn State’s academic standing in the Big Ten – from 4th place to 10th place, and still dropping.
- The suffocating costs of administrative waste and largess which, along with Penn State’s exponential growth in long-term debt, is loaded onto the backs of our students and their families.
These issues, and others, are all related, and are symptomatic of a lack of responsible governance and a lack of focus on Penn State’s core missions. They must be addressed, sooner rather than later.
I care deeply for our alma mater and there is no one who understands these issues and is more qualified to address them than me. I am committed to taking on that responsibility on behalf of alumni everywhere.