Slate of Candidates Emerges for Penn State Alumni Election

After Sandusky, Penn State’s board elections increasingly politicized.

A phenomenon of the post-Jerry Sandusky era at Penn State has gained new strength: Slates of candidates—resembling political parties—joining together for seats on the university’s board of trustees. The Patriot-News reports on the latest entry, Upward State:

The fledgling movement – with strong ties to three past leaders of the Penn State Alumni Association – will be represented on the 2014 ballot by Dan Cocco, a former chairman of THON, Penn State’s student-led dance marathon; Julie Harris McHugh, a retired pharmaceutical executive; and Matt Schuyler, the human resources chief for Hilton Worldwide.

But hoping to steal a page from Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship,which helped angry voters coalesce around designated “reform” candidates in each of the last two years, the leaders of Upward State believe throwing their weight behind its own identifiable slate will give a fresh choice to alumni who are not united first and foremost by a fight back against Penn State’s NCAA sanctions or the university-commissioned Freeh Report that preceeded them.




"The reality is that for today's students… issues like the NCAA sanctions and lawsuits are not top of mind," said Harris, in promising to work toward keeping Penn State affordable and continuing to make the trustees more open and accessible.

The group says it does want to honor Joe Paterno's legacy—but unlike a faction that is supporting a Paterno family suit against the NCAA, wouldn't challenge sanctions or sue the university.