And so it begins.
On Monday, Penn State alumni started receiving something in their inboxes, the ballot that lets them cast a vote for representation on the university’s board of trustees.
There are nine alumni-elected trustees. Three of those seats are up for election each year.
The winners join the board along with: six trustees from business and industry; six elected by agricultural organizations; six gubernatorial appointees; the governor; the state secretaries of agriculture, education and conservation of natural resources; the university president; three at-large trustees; a student; a faculty member; and the immediate past president of the Penn State Alumni Association.
The ballot starts off a little differently this year. “Candidate withdrew,” the first position reads.
That is because Al Lord, the former CEO of Sallie Mae, announced last week that he was stepping aside from the election after an uproar over comments he made to the Chronicle of Higher Education that he was “running out of sympathy” for “so-called” victims of convicted child sex offender and retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
That announcement led to board leadership’s request that Lord resign immediately. Lord refused.
The second spot on the ballot goes to Jay Paterno, the former Nittany Lions quarterbacks coach whose father was Joe Paterno, the longtime head of the Penn State football program.
The third slot is filled by Robert Bowsher, a writer and accountant from California who is running as the first openly gay candidate for trustee.
In the fourth position is incumbent Alice Pope, a psychology professor at St. John’s University in New York.
The final candidate is Bob Jubelirer, whose former jobs have include state senate president pro tempore and Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor.
Alumni who have not received a ballot can request one by visiting https://trustees.psu.edu/2017election/index.html. Ballot requests take about 24 hours to process, and are processed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Voting is open through 9 a.m. May 4.