Penn State alumni have spoken emphatically about their dissatisfaction with the board of trustees' ham-handed reaction to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. All nine alumni-elected trustees who were on the board when the scandal broke in 2011 have been voted out or have not sought re-election.
The infusion of the new alumni members has created significant tension with trustees representing other interests.
After the badly divided board voted last week to maintain the ill-considered consent decree the university entered with the NCAA after Mr. Sandusky's arrests, some board leaders proposed reducing the number of alumni-elected board members from nine to six.
At a time when the board and the institution desperately need greater transparency, that is a bad idea. The board now comprises the nine alumni seats, and six each representing far narrower interests -the agricultural and general business communities - along with three state Cabinet secretaries.
The board recently added a student trustee, and other proposals are to add the immediate past president of the alumni association and a member of the faculty senate, while eliminating the Cabinet seats.
Those reforms make sense. But the performance of the newly elected alumni members in demanding accountability from their colleagues and the administration is an argument for, rather than against, retaining the alumni seats.