First let me thank PS4RS for your endorsement, three years ago. It led to success together. In 2016, I am running for re-election to the Penn State Board of Trustees and am seeking your support and the PS4RS endorsement. I believe that I’ve served well. I’m proud of what we have accomplished in the last two and a half years and look forward to continuing the fight with your help. Below is a list put together by me, friends and fellow Penn Staters. I’d appreciate your feedback and endorsement.
Ted Brown Penn State Trustee Accomplishments and Future Plans
Seeking the Truth:
I have reviewed the Freeh Report, The Thornburgh Report, and the Faculty Senate Report. I am one of four Alumni-elected Trustees who followed the procedures to the letter to be put on the ballot for Alumni Council. I even offered to my peers that I would seek 50 nominations for each of us. I was told that it was unnecessary. I even confirmed this with Mr. Barron (no relation to the PSU President) in the Alumni Office. But we were denied, so we unsuccessfully sued the PSAA. I testified in Court. PSAA’s attorney did not question the veracity of my conversation with Mr. Barron. I paid more than my share of legal fees. I and other Alumni elected Trustees called a special meeting of the BOT to seek repudiation of the Freeh report. Most Alumni elected Trustees attended in person, including me. I spoke publicly against Mr. Masser’s comments about all we cared about was one thing. I was chastised by Counsel for mentioning depositions. The meeting was never official because of a boycott sponsored by Chairman Masser, but it did win in the court of public opinion. Subsequently, seven of us Alumni elected Trustees requested then demanded access to the Freeh source documents. We were denied and thus forced to sue the University. (This was a very painful thing to do for a member of an eleven member, three generation, Penn State family). We won! Now we will have unfettered access to those documents. During this effort, I met with US Congressman GT Thompson who agreed that Trustees should have access to the Freeh Source Documents and agreed that I could publicly quote him.
At the event in the Fall of 2013, publicizing the Dublin Game, I convinced AD Joyner to restore “Sweet Caroline” to the football games. It happened at the next game.
In my first face to face meeting with newly elected President Barron, I got Dr. Barron to agree to expeditiously replace AD Joyner.
I met with State Senator Jake Corman, in his office, just before his settlement with the NCAA, to understand Jake’s plans.
I’ve discussed with Chief Counsel Dunham and successfully requested that Mr. Dunham and Dr. Barron, examine the status of Dr. Spanier’s settlement agreement which has been largely ignored by the University.
I was an Executive Producer (i.e. funds provider) and film participant in the “People’s Joe” a documentary representing how wonderful a person was Joe Paterno in his everyday interaction with people. I was an on-site host for most of the two days of signing the huge 409 sign in front of the Student Book Store. I shook the hands of hundreds of our supporters.
I have received and reviewed a number of documents and depositions relating to various litigation.
One of the many errors made by the old BOT was lack of openness. I am always available to the media and have written Letters to the Editor and OpEd’s.
Many people subscribe to the view that the best way to show displeasure with the University and its actions is to boycott events. I believe that this does the opposite of what it’s supposed to. I’ve commented that boycotting events is like being the NCAA, punishing innocents for the crimes of the guilty. In fact, at every event, Alumni, students, towns people, and fans express their thanks for what the Alumni Elected Trustees are doing, including supporting events. No Trustee has been to more important events than I have. I attended Bert Goerder’s funeral service (along with the Curleys, who thanked me), was on the floor for Thon, at the legislative friend luncheons for Congressman Thompson and Senator Casey, the Renaissance Dinners for Kay Kustenbauter, Steve Sheetz (in Altoona), Steve Brown, the Navy League dinner for Sue Paterno, the Eagle Scout dinner for Ryan McCombie, Scheyers Honors Medal Ceremonies, the Distinguished Alumni dinners, in court for Gov. Corbett’s suit and the Paterno family suit, etc. I have officiated at four Commencements (Three in Altoona and one Eberly) and have mentioned JoePa at each. I was criticized by the Board Vice Chair for publicly commenting that I couldn’t find any of “the silent majority who oppose us.” I have visited many Commonwealth campuses and have provided constructive feedback to UP. I visited the World Campus’s facility in San Diego (even Dr. Barron hasn’t been there, yet), and discussed the view of the local community regarding Penn State and our pursuit of the truth. Incidentally, at this year’s President’s Club Dinner, Chairman Masser attacked me wagging his finger and saying “One of YOUR people threatened me and my wife with a Bomb.” My response was “Keith, you and I frequently disagree, but I wish you no physical harm. If this has you so upset, perhaps you should retire.”
I have an exemplary voting record over the last 2.5 years. I have voted along with my fellow Alumni Elected Trustees on every vote including voting against expanding the size of the BOT, voting against the settlement for Victim 9, against the proposed slate of at large candidates, voting against Emeriti Trustees, voting for Bill Oldsey as Vice Chair, Anthony Lubrano as Board Chair, Alice Pope as Vice Chair, voting to add Oldsey to the Presidential Search Committee, voting against the Abington and Brandywine proposals. The latter were difficult because I have supported building dorms at those two campuses since my visits there in 2013. But it was imperative to show solidarity with Governor Wolf’s team. I negotiated with Secretary Hanger to support the Altoona proposal because it was important to me and Bob Jubelirer. In addition, I have not voted with the rest of the Board on Tuition increases in 2013 and 2014. Making me the only Trustee to do so. Tuition is the number two issue that I hear about from people after honoring Joe Paterno. I also introduced, voted for and got unanimous support for a Resolution in the Outreach Committee in May of 2015, advocating no in-state tuition increase. It passed, without dissent. I led the fight successfully in 2015, to freeze tuition, for the first time in over 40 years. And I have a plan to freeze it again this year. The CDT has credited me for this leadership.
Although, I have never been a member of the Governance Committee, I have a better in-person attendance record at Committee meetings than some members including the Chair, having been at every single meeting since becoming a Trustee. I am the only non-committee member to put forward a Governance reform proposal, and the only one to counter Rick Dandrea’s plan to reduce the number of Alumni elected seats from nine to six with a proposal to increase that number to 12. I am also the author of the same proposal of 12 Alumni Elected Trustees that Senator Yudichak included in his new Penn State Governance reform bill. In the public meeting, I called out Chairman Masser on Senators Yudichak’s and Corman’s letters asking for a delay in Governance vote. Chairman Masser lied and said that he had recently talked with the Senators. In a subsequent conversation, I had with Senator Corman, the Senator stated that conversation had happened months earlier.
I commissioned, paid for, and distributed 100’s of buttons asking to “Respect Dr. Atherton and General Beaver and Don’t let them take our Alumni elected seats.”
Since part of the strategy to reduce the number of Alumni Elected seats was to replace one of them with the Alumni Association Past President, I went to Roger Williams and Kay Salvino on SIX different occasions asking them to publically speak out against taking away any Alumni Elected seats which would have disenfranchised over 400,000 Alumni. Roger and Kay refused on every occasion. Incidentally, I have established an excellent relationship with the new PSAA CEO, Paul Clifford. I’m sure that he will work with us.
Crisis Management, Risk Assessment and Business Continuity:
I am the only Penn State Alumni who is a member of the Crisis Management Hall of Fame. Other members include Rudy Giuliani, James Lee Witt (Clinton’s FEMA Director) and Joe Bruno (Mayor Bloomberg’s Director of the NYC Office of Emergency Management).
This is what my Consulting firm does. I am the only Crisis Management expert on the entire BOT. I have brought this expertise to Penn State from the moment I was elected to the Board. I’ve had many unpublished meetings with campus Security, Police, Evacuation, Strategic Communications and Risk management. I have a working relationship with all these organizations. I was pictured on the front page of the CDT, discussing Risk Management with Karen Peetz before becoming a Trustee. I called special meetings with the Leadership of Hershey Medical Center because I was aware that they had no Business Continuity Plan. I assisted with a Consulting RFP, pro bono, and was assured at the last Risk Subcommittee that they’d have a plan in place by year end 2016. This would not have happened without my Leadership. I successfully fought for a year and a half, to create a Risk Committee (or sub-committee). It finally happened in May of 2015, with me appointed as Chair. I called several meetings of this committee. Various Risks were reviewed and discussed including a 45 minute review of the risks at Hershey. (Having a Medical School and Medical Center is by definition, Penn State’s highest risk). Previously, the Audit and Risk Committee had spent as little as 10 – 15 minutes per year on Hershey’s risks. I have spent days addressing these and Penn State Hershey’s risks have been reduced.
Before I became a Trustee there was no documented Crisis Management or Crisis Communications plan. Ryan McCombie and I were asked to review what was being developed. With our input and leadership, such documents exist today. They are incomplete and untested. This will be addressed going forward.
The Penn State Alumni Associations “books” had never had an external audit. I worked with David Gray to insist that this be addressed. It has been.
I continue to investigate and evaluate security and other risks on all campuses, for example improved evacuation and security for Beaver stadium.
As a frequent speaker at Crisis Management Conferences, I have the opportunity to shine the light of a national spotlight on the truth at Penn State. In November of 2014, Jim Satterfield, President of Firestorm, a National Crisis Communications Consulting firm spoke at a conference in Rochester, NY. He had three Penn state examples, all incorrect e.g. Penn State “has spent $1 Billion on their scandal.” As a speaker following Jim, I “bided my time, ” then took the opportunity to correct Jim privately and then in my opening remarks. I convinced Jim to join me in March, 2015, at the Disaster Recovery journal Conference (largest in the industry) where we presented “Penn State… And now you know the rest of the story’’ I recounted a number of mistakes made by the Penn State BOT and closed with a glowing story of what the real Penn State is: Highest Academic Standards, world leading research, best on-line campus, success in fund raising and success with honor in athletic excellence. I will be teaching a one day class on crisis management at both March’s Disaster Recovery Journal Conference and April’s Continuity Insights Conference. In both cases, the errors of the BOT and the accomplishments of Penn State will be featured on a National Crisis Management stage.
On November 12, 2015 I was an invited panelist for a webinar on Risk Management for Boards of Directors.
Giving Penn State additional credibility and visibility in the crisis management world, I am on the USA Board of the Business Continuity Institute, serving as education Chair and I have been nominated by the President of the Disaster Recovery Institute, International for a Lifetime Achievement Award. I am a Finalist. I am Vice Chair of the PSU BOT Audit and Risk Committee.
My firm, KETCHConsulting has conducted exercises with client’s on Work Place Violence, bombings, Pandemic, major power outage, flood, etc.
How different things might have been had I been a Trustee in November 2011. Probably, no one would have been fired, due process would have been followed and the media would have been dealt with differently.
Plans and Goals for 2016 and my second term, as a PSU BOT member, if re-elected
Number One – Honor Joe: My number one goal for both is to honor Joe Paterno for his 61 years of service in 2016, which is the 50th Anniversary of Joe becoming Head Football Coach and the 30th Anniversary of our Joe Paterno led 1986 National Championship team.
It should start with a BOT apology to the Paterno Family. These honors can include naming it Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium, returning the Statue and creating a shrine in the all sports museum or library recreating Joe’s office. I will work on the latter with my good friend and Fraternity Brother Lou Prato. Incidentally, I have protected the furniture from Joe’s office from being sold or destroyed. This also includes strong opposition to building a new football stadium. I have had multiple meetings with Civil Engineering PhD, Harry West, author of the soon to be published book Lair of the Lion – A History of Beaver Stadium. Yes, the press box needs to be upgraded as do rest rooms and food service. But, we must also honor tradition.
Number Two – Seek the Truth: I will continue to demand access to appropriate documentation including the Freeh Source Documents, depositions, etc. I will refute Freeh. I will seek fair treatment of the fired Administrators
Number Three – No Tuition Increase: I intend to again take the lead on insuring no in-state tuition increase. On two occasions, I’ve asked Dr. Barron to include in his budget scenarios, charging International Students an extra $1000 to $2000 per year. With over 8000 foreign students the first would add $8 million to the bottom line and the second should cover any short fall based on previous budgets.
Number Four – Legislative Reform– Trustee/Senator Jubelirer and I are working on a strategy to engage the legislature and Governor’s office on a plan to pass Senator Yudichak’s reform legislation which would give us 12 Alumni Elected Trustees. I am also working with Leaders of the Republican party to attend events that could help with this legislation.
Number Five – Team Player – I’ll continue to work in collaboration with other Alumni Elected Trustees and engage new board members to vote with us.
Number Six Crisis Management– I’ll continue to use my Crisis Management expertise to make Penn State a safer place (There is much to be done). I’ll push for a BOT Exercise.
Number Seven Commonwealth Campuses – I’ll visit the few remaining Commonwealth campuses that I haven’t been to.
Number Eight – Leadership – I’ll seek additional Leadership positions including restoration of Chairmanship of the Risk Sub-Committee taken away as punishment for my vote against the victim nine settlement.
Number Nine – Work with the Penn State Alumni Association, to accomplish the above objectives. I have established a relationship with our new PSAA, CEO, Paul Clifford and as a result of recent and upcoming elections, I have a lot of friends on Council.
Number Ten – Transparency – I will continue to communicate with the Alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, fans, and media.
Number Eleven – Hard Work – I have made changes in my company to give me even more time to devote to the Penn State Board of Trustees.
Edward (Ted) B. Brown III, PSU BS 1968
Alumni Elected PSU BOT Member