Jubelirer seeks PSU board seat

Robert Jubelirer said he thought his 2006 bid for re-election to Pennsylvania Senate would be his last campaign.

Now the former senator is running for a seat on the 32-member Penn State Board of Trustees.

Jubelirer said the trustees have displayed a lack of leadership since the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal broke in 2011 and he “got frustrated sitting on the sidelines.”

Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys, some of them on Penn State’s campus. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence but insists he’s innocent.

“The trustees need to open information to the public. I don’t know that they violated the Sunshine Act, but they should open up private meetings.”

Three alumni seats on the board are up for election this year. Jubelirer, a Penn State alumnus, has gained more than the 50 required alumni signatures for his name to appear on the ballot. Jubelirer said his desire for board change aligns with a few members including Anthony Lubrano, who won a seat last year.

“He reached out to me to get my thinking on his running for the board,” Lubrano said. “I’m excited. Somebody with his experience in governance and legislative affairs can’t do anything but help the university,” he said.

Jubelirer said the report funded by the Paterno family and compiled by experts including former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh should spur the board to take a second look at the report released in July by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who accused Paterno of participating in a cover-up of Sandusky’s abuse of children on Penn State property.

“I think the trustees should read the Freeh report in light of Thornburgh’s investigation and once again weigh how many errors were made.”

Jubelirer, 74, served in the state Senate from 1975 to 2006, representing Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon and Fulton counties.

“I didn’t run last year because I wanted to see if the trustees would turn it around,” he said. “But I continue to be disappointed regarding their representation of the university through the entire Sandusky situation.”

He criticized the $27 million the board has paid for lawyers, fees, consultants and public relations firms.

“All that money, and for what?” he said.

Jubelirer is a supporter of Gov. Tom Corbett’s antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and its sanctions against Penn State including a $60 million fine resulting from the Sandusky scandal.

“The sanctions are over the top,” he said.

While in the Legislature, Jubelirer helped secure up to $60 million to build Penn State’s $225 million Millennium Science Center, which opened in 2011, but has yet to be dedicated.

“It’s a job-creating machine,” he said. “It’s going to attract high-tech companies from around the world to set up along Interstate 99.”

A November 2011 dedication was scratched because of the Sandusky scandal, he said.

“The center is too much of a secret because the trustees haven’t done a dedication of it,” he said.

Graham Spanier, former university president; Tim Curley, former athletic director; and Gary Schultz, retired university vice president, are awaiting trial on charges of perjury, endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction and failure to report suspected child abuse.