A former trustee takes a look at how the Penn State Board of Trustees really works:
The simple truth is that it is not simply one bad apple that has brought about the humiliating situation we face. Rather, it is the way the Board of Trustees has structured the whole governance of the University that has made this scandal not only possible but almost inevitable.
To understand how the Board works, one must understand how one set of Trustees runs it. The thirty-two-member Board (actually forty-eight members when one includes the sixteen Emeritus Trustees) consists of four separate groups, which I call the Power Group, the Praetorian Guard, the Emeritus Trustees, and the Sheep — with the latter divided into two subgroups.
The Power Group
The Power Group is a self-selected group of the wealthiest and most powerful members of the Board consisting of from three to five Trustees who consider themselves the real Board. They hire and fire the president; set the salaries of the top administrators (and their retirement packages and benefits); meet or talk with the president frequently; fly around in the president’s plane; attend meetings around the country on behalf of the University; and approve of all the policies the president sets. They do this with little or no input from the majority of Trustees.
While the president of the University is a member of this group, he remains president only so long as this group considers him one of them. Indeed, there is almost no distinction between this first group and the administration itself.
You’ll probably want to click here to read the rest. Because you know it sounds freakishly familiar.