You are currently viewing Penn State Alumni Trustee Voting Record

Penn State Alumni Trustee Voting Record

  • Post last modified:March 30, 2024

In time for the annual Alumni Trustee elections, beginning April 10th

Spring is here, which means it is Alumni Trustee election season. As a reminder, nine of the thirty-six members of the Penn State Board of Trustees are elected to serve three-year terms by the alumni, in a three-year rotation. Voting begins April 10th and runs until May 2nd. All Penn State alumni are eligible to vote for their trustee representatives on the Penn State Board of Trustees. 

If you are a Penn State alumni who has voted before, you should receive an email e-Ballot. If you do not receive one by April 11th, contact YesElections at PennStateVotes@yeselections.com or call (855) 703-0942. As always, if you have questions or issues you can contact me at barry@barryfenchak.com and I’ll be happy to help.

Candidates this year are incumbents Brandon Short (‘98, ‘99 Marketing, joined the Board 2018), Alan DeLevie (‘73, Political Science, joined the Board 2021), and Steven Wagman (‘82, Health Planning & Policy Administration, joined the Board in 2019 as Alumni Association past-president, then elected as an Alumni Trustee in 2021). New candidates are Carl Nassib (‘15 Biology) and Matt McGloin (‘12, Journalism). Click here for their candidate biographies and position statements.

As a member of the Board and an alumni-elected trustee myself, I have an interest in seeing the best possible candidates earn a spot on the Board.  Not only do I want to see excellent leadership for my alma mater, but I know that the ability to make a positive impact is affected by the commitment and abilities of your cohorts. 

I also believe that trustees should be judged by their votes. Our votes are the only legal and clear direction the Board can give to the administration about the core values and priorities of Penn State, so it is essential that we critically evaluate and then publicly deliberate how a proposed action will benefit, or harm, the University. Some votes are routine, while others are difficult and involve a grasp of the big picture and balancing inherent trade-offs.  To put it bluntly, a trustee’s vote is where the buck stops.

barry fenchak all trustee votes on tuition increase

I have been attending Board meetings both as an observer and as a Trustee since the early 2000s.  I have seen first-hand how hundreds of unanimous ‘Yes’ votes have landed Penn State in the precarious position it’s in today; financial troubles, declining academic standing, high levels of tuition, and rapidly expanding long-term debt to name a few.  I spend a great deal of time listening and educating myself about issues, and enjoy discussing them with stakeholders.  I expect the same of my cohorts, and I judge others by their voting record as I expect to be judged myself.

Many alumni are concerned about Penn State’s unending tuition increases and have asked me for the voting records of the incumbent alumni trustees (and since I have it, I’m including of all the current trustees) on this issue. To my knowledge this information is not published by Penn State but the votes were public so I can share them here. (Please note: I only have my own detailed notes to go by, please notify me of corrections).

Link to my tracking spreadsheet, last updated February, 2024
As a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, I will from time to time be made aware of certain confidential information.  I will also engage with Trustees and administrators in private, off-the-record conversations, with the expectation of privacy on both parties. I take these expectations seriously, as they are required in order to catalyze important discussions.As a fiduciary, it is also important that I engage in conversations with all stakeholders of the University. Stakeholders like you.  Discussions will involve publicly available information and issues before the Board, as well as my personal thoughts, concerns, and ideas. I also will continue to solicit your thoughts, concerns, and ideas, and plan to engage in meaningful conversations with you on those topics. I hope that you will continue to share your concerns and ideas with me.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.