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Sen. George Mitchell Addresses Board of Trustees at Morning Seminar

by on January 18, 2013 11:10 AM

Penn State's Integrity Monitor Sen. George Mitchell fielded only four questions regarding his report and ongoing work with the university from members of the Board of Trustees during a seminar Friday morning. 

The board held a special meeting starting around 11 a.m. at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel where Mitchell was a special guest and talked about his first quarterly report, a 57-pager released in November, and Penn State's compliance with the Athletic Integrity Agreement Penn State. 

Mitchell's next quarterly report will be available on Feb. 28.

As stated in his report, Mitchell said he believes the university is off to a good start in terms of rebuilding after the tragedy and subsequent fallout caused by the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and while he can't compare his findings to that of other and similar universities in terms of their compliance, Mitchell said he believes Penn State's progress will continue to be positive. 

An integrity monitor's term lasts five years but can be altered as it's requested by either Mitchell or the university.

Despite conducting more than 150 interviews and reading through thousands of documents, Mitchell said he's still focused on his work and isn't fazed by what's surfaced. 

"I've trained myself not to be surprised by what I see," he said. 

The morning's seminar began with short statements by the only candidate for each board chairman and board vice-chair. Keith Masser, current vice chair, touted his experience, philanthropy and history as a Penn Stater – a legacy he passed on to his children – as some of the reasons why his commitment to the board, if elected chairman, will not waver. 

"These perspectives have helped me to understand the scope of our institution, its 24 campuses and its affiliated operations. I'm deeply committed to our students and keeping Penn State affordable and accessible for generations to come. I wish to help lead our board to advocate for affordable educational opportunities, excellence in research and continued outreach and service," Masser said. 

Stephanie Deviney, running unopposed, said she had to seriously consider running for the board so that when she had an answer, it would be the right one. 

The board will vote for the candidates at this afternoon's meeting, which begins at 1:30 p.m. 

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Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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