PSU alumni oust 2 trustees
Former state Senate Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer is disappointed he lost in the Penn State Board of Trustees election, but he said he is proud of his campaign running mates who won two of the three seats.
University alumni have been steadily electing new members to the board who share their disfavor with the board’s leadership since the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal began to unfold in November 2011.
Alumni elected Edward “Ted” B. Brown III, Barbara L. Doran and William F. Oldsey from a field of 39 candidates. Doran and Oldsey were Jubelirer’s running mates.
With 3,030 votes, Jubelirer was 100 votes behind the fifth place finisher in the alumni election.
Incumbents Paul Suhey and board vice chairwoman Stephanie Deviney lost their seats. The third seat belonged to Steve Garban, who resigned last summer.
“Bill Oldsey and Barbara Doran are two of the finest people I ever met,” Jubelirer said. “They will be superb members of the board. It gives me great satisfaction that the two of them won. I know they will bring some order out of what I consider almost chaos.”
Jubelirer said he thinks it’s a signal that both incumbents lost. “Had they won, it would have been business as usual,” he said.
“Now when three more incumbents come up, they have to recognize that if they don’t reform and open up their meetings and actions to the public and be far more transparent and deal with why the Penn State community can’t move on – the lack of due process, the Freeh report – every year three trustees will be voted out.”
With that prospect in mind, he said he didn’t want to talk about possibly running again. Oldsey and Doran ran and lost election to the board last year.
“I don’t want to talk about next year,” he said. “I worked as hard as I ever did in any Senate race. I don’t know how I could have done more.”
Jubelirer was endorsed by last year’s alumni-selected trustee Anthony Lubrano, but he did not have the backing of alumni group PS4S which spent $20,000 on endorsing candidates.
Jubelirer said he ran for a seat on the board because he was so disgusted with way the board had handled the university’s crisis a year ago. He found a consistent mood among the Penn State nation that there had to be change, “Success with honor,” he said.
“When Paul Suhey said Joe Paterno wasn’t fired, that he retired three weeks early – that was one if the most outrageous statements I ever heard.”
The crimes of Jerry Sandusky were “disgusting, revolting, one of the worst things that could happen not on a college campus but anywhere,” he said. “That doesn’t mean the trustees handled it right.”
“At least we made enough noise that we will begin to see change,” he said.
In addition to the three alumni-elected trustees, delegates of the state agricultural societies elected incumbent Keith W. Eckel and newcomer M. Abraham Harpster to the board.
Harpster is co-owner of Evergreen Farms Inc. in Spruce Creek. Evergreen Farms is the largest dairy farm operation of its type in the Northeast, producing enough milk weekly for 90,000 families. Harpster partners with his two brothers, managing 5,500 acres and more than 2,800 dairy cows. Harpster received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management from Penn State.
Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.