By Jim Melwert

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) – Penn State’s board of trustees meets today and tomorrow, and one of the items on the agenda is filling a vacant leadership position. Critics say this election will show where the power lies on the board.

A new core of trustees have been voted in by alumni in recent years, replacing those who many say bungled everything from the firing of Joe Patrerno to accepting the NCAA sanctions.

The election by board members to fill the vice chair position will show who holds the power in the newly aligned board.

Of the three candidates, one is an alumni-elected board member, former Navy SEAL Ryan McCombie. He was backed by the group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, and spokeswoman for the group, Maribeth Schmidt says their group feels the board continues to ignore alumni:

“So electing someone like Ryan McCombie to vice chair would be a decision that alumni would certainly applaud,” Schmidt said.

The vice chair position opened up when Stephanie Deviney lost her bid for re-election.

In addition to McCombie, the two other candidates, are Linda Strumpf, a business and industry delegate on the board, and Paul Silvis who was named to the board in 2010 by Gov. Ed Rendell.


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