You roared, we listened: July 2015 survey results

By July 31, 2015news, Surveys

July 2015 Opinion Survey

In order to better understand the concerns and views of the Penn State Alumni Association constituents, PSAAforAll.org conducted a survey asking them to give weights to several statements. Results are below.

Methodology:

The survey was conducted using SurveyMonkey.com from July 1, 2015 to July 31, 2015.

  • Only one survey completion per IP address was permitted. Anyone could take the survey, there was no password required, and there was no information required beyond the option to self-identify.
  • Suggested agenda items came from preliminary focus group interviews.
  • The choices presented in question one were randomized for each respondent. Respondents had the ability to change their answers until they finished the survey.

A total of 384 surveys were completed.

Question 1. On a scale of 1 (very low) – 5 (very high), what priority should Alumni Council give to the following agenda items?

Work to address the disenfranchisement of the membership by the Penn State Alumni Association, starting with repealing the bylaw changes and reinstating the ballot by petition candidacy option. (Total: 377 responses, weighted avg: 4.46)

Very Low

3.71%

Low

2.12%

Medium

6.9%

High

18.57%

Very High

68.7%

Propose a plan for alumni to recognize the Grand Experiment, honoring the tremendous accomplishments of all the people, across decades, who helped embody ‘Success With Honor’. (Total: 379 responses, weighted average: 4.27)

Very Low

3.69%

Low

4.22%

Medium

12.66%

High

19.79%

Very High

59.63%

Grow the Alumni Association membership at the local chapter level, which offers genuine social and networking opportunities. (Total: 374 responses, weighted average: 3.63)

Very Low

2.41%

Low

7.75%

Medium

36.63%

High

30.75%

Very High

22.46%

Present a motion that Alumni Council meetings should be open to all members, and that meetings should be run according to Roberts Rules of Order. (Total: 376, weighted average: 4.44)

Very Low

1.33%

Low

3.46%

Medium

8.24%

High

23.94%

Very High

63.03%

Explore ways to increase Penn State Alumni Association benefits to its members. (Total: 375, weighted average: 3.54)

Very Low

2.93%

Low

10.93%

Medium

35.47%

High

30.13%

Very High

20.53%

Find out what can be done to help make a Penn State education more affordable. (Total: 376 responses, weighted average: 4.08)

Very Low

2.93%

Low

7.71%

Medium

15.43%

High

26.33%

Very High

47.61%

2. Did we miss a priority? Please list it here.

(Total: 101 responses)

Note: some responses below were edited to comply with the family-friendly editorial policy of this site. Those edits appear in [square brackets]

apologize to the Paternos
get rid of corruption on BOT
PSAA should determine what the members want and voice that to the BOT
fire useless midl level staff like [xxx]
Review the cost of Alumni Life Time Memberships – seems very expensive for recent graduates who carry high loan debt
Public Apology to Sue Paterno
Renounce freak report
get old BOT to resign
Honor JoePa as soon as possible.
Work with BOT on BOT governance reform to make BOT more accountable and BOT actions more transparent
Honor Joseph Vincent Paterno.
Create a better opportunity for alumni to express their feelings to BOT
Disassemble & reform BOT
“I sat with Kevin Steele the other week & regaled him with how the Freeh press conference went down. There was no one from the University there that day, to my knowledge. Mr. Steele is also very aware of how Freeh’s report (and Ken Frazier’s statements) has labeled all Penn Staters as “[bad people]”. As an Assistant District Attorney, Mr. Steele should be outraged and embarrassed about the utter lack of due process, the torching of reputations on allegations, the smearing of an entire community and the manufactured hit job done by Freeh. Enough information has come out for the PSU Alumni community to demand that key members of the Board/SITF and Erickson answer for their actions. It is truly despicable what these people have done. I am tired of being called [names]. In my dreams I see Ken Frazier issuing a public statement about his egregious misdeeds, apologizing to the Paterno Family, the Lettermen, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and the larger PSU Community and placing a full page ad in the New York Times to that effect. ”
“Begin to “”repair”” the reputation and approach the BOT as the aSSOCIATION”
Push for BOT reforms and work with BOT to have transparency not just talk about it.
Represent the membership of the Alumni Association not the PSU admins
Lobby to bring back the Paterno sculpture!
COMMUNICATION !
Understand that we Alumni love Penn State and have felt betrayed by the AA.
Publically support transparency at the Board of Trustees and University Leadership level.
need more help with local chapters on recruiting members
Get Joepa’s statue back where it eas.
Be transparent about governance at all times.
“Work to get the truth of the Sandusky, TSM, BOT, OAG, Freeh, NCAAscandal out in the mainstream. Make iso blatant that ESPN has to take as much time reporting that Joe was a hero, not a villain ”
“reform the BOT, specifically the country club members; let them know the alumni will not side with them to destroy the university”
Work to give the students a greater role in the governance of the student population and the running of the University.
“Set specific goals, both short term (annual) and long term. Be transparent on how you plan to achieve those goals and any progress towards those goals.”
“The 2016 football season marks 50 years sine Joe Paterno became head coach. This would be an ideal time to recognize the Grand Experiment, Success with Honor, and all of Joe’s accomplishments and contributions.”
Regain trust of current members. I have lost trust in this organization due to their actions during the recent election.
“Restore Joe’s statue, his players, and bronze plaques where they were before…”
Lobby for reforms of governance at PSU
Put pressure on university to return JoePa statue.
Find more ways to engage young alumni to stay connected.
“Unfortunately we have another PS4RS. I hope that issues such as access and affordability, diversity and inclusion, and student health will always supersede the inconsequential topics listed above. Let’s actually focus on bettering Penn State. ”
An Alumni Associstipn audit by an outside agency
GET RID OF NON ELECTED NEW MEMBERS
“Not just affordability, quality … after all, the typical community college is pretty inexpensive”
No – reverse the recent governance changes which disenfranchise current alumni
Make a commitment to honesty & transparency in all business conduct
MOU bt AA and PSU (per strategic plan)
Fight on
Put the Joe Paterno statue back up!!!!!!!!!
Addressing the Freeh Report ranks at or above the 5 level
Make Alumni Council accountable to its members not Old Main
Not really a prority but Penn State should not sacrifice the quality of a Penn State education in favor of making it more affordable.
I hope that recognizing the Grand Experiment includes a prominent place for Joe.
Defend the reputation of the University
Return of joe’s Statue
Do what we can to move on from the past and provide an excellent experience for future students.
Replacing the Paterno Statue
“Rules need to be structured to prevent a repeat of the subversion of the PSAA by nefarious university benefactors, politicians and other cutthroats, thieves and scoundrels.”
Restore the JoePa Statue
“Quit infighting. Paterno is dead, let it go.”
Coach Joe Paterno said to get to the truth. Do it.
Work to progress an Investigation of the BOT in place in Nov. 2011 for not fufilling their fiduciary duties and gross errors in judgement (in the best case).
No
No. Good job.
“revise the “”emeritus”” guidelines. eliminate them”
“My wife and I used to attend the Arts Festival Reunion on an annual basis. That stopped about 5 years ago when we got tired of the loud, all-night partying in the West Halls dorms and drunk alums/guests vomiting in the bath rooms. We suggested that they make alternative dorms with private baths available for those of us who aren’t there to party. AA staff said that most people liked the current arrangements. That’s interesting, because I know a number of other alums who no longer attend for the same reasons. This event needs to be reinvigorated.”
Work with the Governance Committee of the BOT to remove the immediate past president of the Alumni Association as a BOT member.
“Get the AA out of bed with the BOT and make totally independent of Penn State. No more employees of Penn State. Charity to stand on its own 2 feet. And, how about an independent audit?”
Repeal last bylaw changes
I don’t think you missed a priority. But I wanted to note that I tried to prioritize the options above based on which ones were most directly tied to the PSUAA. I felt ALL of the issues were worthy causes.
Honor Joe Paterno
encourage more alumni to participate in elections as candidates and voters
none
“Agendas should be set and decisions made with the purpose of helping current and future students first, alumni second and should not be made to financially benefit any individual or empowered group of alums, trustees, politicians and special business persons.”
Erase Ed Hintz’s name from the Alumni Center
“Honor. Joe. Paterno. And get off the Board of Trustees. If a trustee can’t sit on the AA, the AA should have no place on the BoT.”
Get past president out as member of BoT; we already have 9 representatives.
“Reduce the size of the AA staff itself. It is ridiculously large. They have their own IT department, for example, when they could simply use University IT support. ”
Take a very public position on the Freeh report and Penn State’s culture
Become a more vocal and visible voice for the alumni.
It’s the PSU administration’s job to make tuition more affordable
Denounce the Freeh report
Naming Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium
“Conduct their own review of the Freeh Report and publish the findings, since this one document has done more to damage the reputation of PSU (students, faculty and alumni) than anything.”
Ask the alumni BoT members to file suit to remove the exec. comm. of the BoT
Determine why costs have far outpaced inflation. What can be done to minimize expenditures.
Stop following the bots on their path of lies and deception
What about making the Alumni Association an independent voice to advocate for the values of Penn State?
Outreach to out of state alumni associations. This has recently started but it would be nice to see more of it.
The open to all meetings and Roberts Rules of Order are two different questions and should be asked separately. I would give a 5 to running by Roberts Rules and a 3 to open meetings.
Learn the PSAA functions without assuming everything is a conspiracy
“Why are their 600k living alumni and only 170k in the alumni association. Don’t assume the alumni council elected members were given a mandate, only a very small fractions of alumni even voted. Be relevant to young alumni and build a plan to be relevant to today’s student in the future.”
refute the Freeh Report
Let’s do this…..
Improve communication with alumni who do not have email accounts. There are many who do not use computers.
The Freeh Report MUST be kicked to the curb.
Bring back the statue by applying pressure on the Office of the President and the Board
“Create a positive, accurate narrative regarding Penn State and all of its’ accomplishments and achievements to the General Public.”
Improve communication so that chapters can speak for themsleves and not just the PSU PR machine.
Honoring Joe Paterno!!!!!!!
Change the way the agriculture representatives are selected
I never have reviewed earlier emailing about the incredible expenses that PSU present to our recent President & Football coach!!!
“Return the statue, Honor Joe Paterno”
Make the BOT signoff if they have or have not read the whole notso-free report – apendices and all. I don’t see how anyone w/ a high school degree could consider the conclusions at all supported by the data report / apendices
Work to remove damage Freeh did with his unsubstantiated conclusions.
“In particular – the disenfranchisement of the Alumni, the lack of support for the Alumni voice about how the Board panicked, refuses to address the Freeh Report and the damage it did, refuses to address the vile and ugly comments made about Penn State & the alumni in print media and on social media. Our new PSAA President Kevin Steele is a District Attorney. He is no slouch when it comes to the US Attorney’s Office and our PA Office of Attorney General. I would personally like to see him make a statement about Linda Kelly’s inflammatory GJP – how Tom Corbett used that to “”Nifong”” Spanier and McQueary, shifted the blame & burden of Second Mile and the OAG lack of oversight onto Penn State and in particular, call out Ken Frazier as the one Trustee who, as a lawyer, SHOULD have demanded due process for Curley & Schultz, and by association Spanier. I can honestly say that any Trustees meeting or a venue where Admin are at – I completely come away totally disgusted, disenfranchised and feel that I have zero connection with these people. My kids are grown – but I’d have have a hard time justifying sending them to Penn State at this juncture. Sorry for the rant, but I’m still so angry. Thanks. “

3. Which best describes you?

300
Penn State University alumnus and member of the Penn State Alumni Association
52
Penn State University alumnus but NOT a member of the Penn State Alumni Association
6
Associate member of the Penn State Alumni Association (non-alumnus)
19
Friend of Penn State, not alumnus or Penn State Alumni Association member

Additional comments

(Responses: 21)

former big donor to psu.
angry still
major donor
Son currently attending
PSU Alumnus and life member
And father of two PSU students
Having an Alumni Seat on the Board is a big mistake. How can the Alumni Association stay neutral. It will further divide the alumni.
The bylaw changes were only needed temporarily by the BOT. They could work in the Alums favor later.
Was a proud member of the Alumni Association prior to their lack of standing up to the Board of Trustees and their not representing alumni anymore.
I was a member of the Alumni Association — but let membership lapse
I did not renew my membership for the first time in decades because of the election shenanigans and lack of PSAA support for fighting for the school’s reputation, while the BOT and administration succumbs to the worst crisis management.
Father of a Penn State Alumna
I think the AA needs to be more transparent regarding its membership numbers. I am a life member and a PSU alum. My wife, not an alum, was granted free lifetime membership when she turned 60. Does she count as a dues-paying member? Is this for the purpose of inflating the membership numbers?
former long time member. Gave up membership due to PSAA support of corrupt and self serving PSU trustees.
memeber of local PSU chapter
Parent of Penn State alumni who is member of Penn State Alumni Association
Disgusted Member – I cannot even read “The Penn Stater” anymore and I used to look forward to that thing!
Alumnus, PSAA member life member, That would quit if they would allow
Did not join the alumni association this year because of their collusion with dysfunctional “old guard” BOT. I want my alumni dues to benefit students not the PSU power block.
PSU Alumnus. Recently quit the Alumni Association after being a member for over 35 years. They didn’t represent the alums well.
Life time member for 27 years. We need the governance model fixed, its embarrasing.

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