Edinboro University senior Alexander Roberts, a Political Science major from Brookville, Pa., was one of two students in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education unanimously appointed to serve as full voting members of the Board of Governors (BOG).
Roberts, a Dean’s List student since 2019 and executive member of Edinboro’s Student Government Association, joins the 20-member body that oversees the entire State System.
A non-traditional student who started his Edinboro experience at the age of 25, Roberts previously served customers in a retail environment, pressure washed the ceilings of trucking depots, serviced air conditioning units and worked the desk of a truck stop.
Since then, he has taken on leadership roles at Edinboro, such as parliamentarian on the Student Government Association and president of Edinboro’s Model UN and Model NATO organizations.
“These leadership roles have provided me with all the knowledge and experience necessary to serve on the Board of Governors,” Roberts said. “Every new position possesses its own unique challenges and duties, but I am confident that my work ethic and adaptability will quickly close any gaps.”
Edinboro University president Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson touted Roberts and his collaborative efforts with the Western Integration working group and service to Edinboro’s Model UN and Model NATO executive committees – all while balancing a full academic workload.
“He is a top-notch student with a passion for political science and a commitment to furthering the educational mission of Edinboro University and the State System as a whole,” she said in her letter of support to the State System. “Mr. Roberts is an exceptional, hardworking non-traditional student who believes deeply in the transformational power of higher-education.”
Three members of the BOG are to be students selected with the advice and consent of their university presidents. Due to graduations earlier this year, two of those student seats opened, allowing for Wednesday’s appointments.
Also appointed Wednesday with Roberts was Zakariya Scott, an incoming junior from Bloomsburg University, who is studying English with a concentration in creative writing.
Act 50 of 2020 provided the Board of Governors for the first time the ability to make student appointments, making Scott and Roberts the first to serve on the Board under the new provision. Prior to Act 50, appointments were made by the Governor.
The Board of Governors is responsible for planning and coordinating the operation of the State System. The Board establishes broad educational, fiscal and personnel policies and oversees the efficient management of the State System.
As many as 11 members of the Board are appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania with the consent of the state Senate. Six of those 11 are to be residents of the Commonwealth and five shall be selected from the trustees of member universities. No more than one trustee per university may serve on the Board.
The rest of the Board includes the Governor or a designee; the Secretary of Education or a designee; two state Senators and two state Representatives appointed by caucus leaders; and three students.
Scott and Roberts join Stephen Washington from Shippensburg University as the BOG’s student representatives.