What Kind of President is Likely to be Chosen by Temple’s Trustees?
—By Kime Lawson, Assistant Editor
Last Fall Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart unexpectedly announced she would step down, effective June 30, 2012. The Chairman of Temple's Board of Trustees, Patrick J. O'Connor, announced the formation of a new Presidential search committee on October 30, 2011 "to seek and evaluate candidates for President of Temple University pursuant to policies and procedures adopted by the Board." The members of the new presidential search committee will consist of twelve Trustees, two faculty and one stu-dent, assisted by the professional search firm Witt/Kieffer. The Committee members are: Trustees Patrick J. O'Connor, Theodore Z. Davis, Ronald R. Donatucci, Richard J. Fox, Louis F. Gould, Jr., Lewis Katz, Susannah E. Lachs, Theodore A. McKee, Mitchell L. Morgan, Brett S. Perkins, Daniel H. Polett and Jane Scaccetti; Faculty Paul S. LaFollette, Jr. (CST, President of Faculty Senate) and Luis T. Gonzalez del Valle (Professor and Chair of Spanish and Portuguese); and President of Student Government Colin P. Saltry. The Board of Trustees is maintaining an official website to track the search where one may email questions to the committee, offer nominations or apply for the position.
The quest for a new president raises perennial questions about that office's appropriate role in fulfilling the mission of Temple University, in balancing an internal commitment to higher education with marketing the University's brand, in personally representing Temple's trademark diversity, and in raising funds or political influence to boost an increasingly beleaguered annual budgetary outlook. But with no current prospective candidates and no public discussion of the search process until March, however, we have little else but vague questions, a website, a resolution for search policies and procedures, and a list of search committee members as tools for prognosticating the character of likely candidates. Given that twelve of the fifteen search committees are Trustees, and that the official website is also controlled by the Board, taking a closer look at the profiles of the most powerful members of the committee may shed light on the direction of the search. In points of fact where more background information or clarity may be warranted, the author has provided hyperlinked items.
The Search Committee is chaired by Patrick J. O'Connor, who is the current chairman of Temple University's Board of Trustees, a member of the Board of Consultors at Villanova Law School, and co-founder of the multinational law firm Cozen O'Connor. O'Connor earned his Bachelor's degree in History and Government at King's College in 1964 and his Juris Doctorate from Villanova Law School in 1967. He was a Temple Trustee between 1971 and 1984, before being appointed to the Board again in 2001 and elected chair in 2009. O'Connor is a specialist in contract litigation and has been recognized for a number of years as one of Philadelphia's "Super Lawyers." He is currently the secretary of the Penn-sylvania Society, which has sponsored an annual New York City retreat for influential Pennsylvania politicos every December since 1899. O'Connor is also the chairman and only "interested" member of the board of BNY Mellon Funds Trusts, a board member of Crowley Chemical Company, chairman of Franklin Security Bank and on the advisory board of the Litigation Counsel of America. O'Connor's firm Cozen O'Connor has recently started a Public Strategies outfit, and O'Connor is currently on Mitt Romney's Pennsylvania Finance Committee.
Theodore Z. Davis was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1991 and also sits on the Board of Temple University Health Services and the General Alumni Association of Temple. Davis has had a relationship with Temple University for over fifty years. He earned his Bachelor's in Business/Accounting from Temple in 1958 and his Bachelor's in Law from Temple University School of Law in 1963. He also worked seven years as an adjunct in Temple Law. In 1974 he was appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court Board of Bar Examiners and was chair until 1981, when he became a Superior Court judge. Davis was named chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court Task Force on Minority Concerns in 1986, the first task force of its kind in the nation. In 1991, Davis was appointed Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division – General Equity in Camden County and he retired from the bench in 2003. Davis has had over forty years of experience in Camden municipal politics as an assistant city attorney and assistant county prosecutor. Since his retirement, Davis has been a member of Cozen O'Connor and was appointed Interim Chief Operating Officer of Camden, NJ by Governor Jon Corzine in 2007 until he stepped down in 2009.
Ronald R. Donatucci was appointed to the Board of Trustees and to the Board of Temple University Health Services by Governor Ed Rendell in 2006. He also serves on the Board of City Trusts for Philadelphia and is the Chairman of the Board of Wills Eye Hospital Health System. He earned his Bachelor's in Political Science from Temple University in 1970 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1974. During that time span he also worked as a state auditor, a clerk in the Solicitor's Office under Mayor Frank Rizzo, the chief enforcer of Philadelphia License and Inspections, and counsel to Philadelphia Parking Authority. Donatucci followed in his father's footsteps and became leader of the Democratic 26th Ward in 1974. In 1976, he was elected Pennsylvania State Representative of the 185th district. He held the seat until 1980, when his brother Robert was elected and held the seat until 2000. In 1979, Ronald Donatucci was elected Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphan's Court for the city of Philadelphia, and he has remained in that office for eight consecutive terms. In the 2008 Presidential Election, Donatucci was a Democratic Party Super Delegate.
Richard J. Fox was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1967, is chair of the Alumni Relations and Development committee, and a member of the Executive, Investment and Student Affairs committees. Fox earned his Bachelor's in Engineering from Georgia Tech just after World War II, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Temple in 1996. After serving active duty in the Korean War, Fox returned to Philadelphia and co-founded Fox Companies with his brother Bob. Fox Companies became one of the major real estate development and management corporations in the Greater Philadelphia region, constructing thousands of homes and apartments, shopping centers, and the Wells Fargo Center. Fox is chairman of Planalytics, Inc., a forecasting and consulting company he founded in 1990 that specializes in "business weather intelligence." The Richard J. Fox School of Business and Management was renamed in honor of Fox in 1999. Fox also endowed Temple's Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, the Fox Center for Biomedical Physics, the Center for Frontier Science, and the Fox-Gittis Room of the Liacouras Center. Fox has also been active in national and state Republican politics. In 1980 he was the chairman of the Reagan/Bush campaign in Pennsylvania and in 1988 he was Jack Kemp's national finance chairman. Fox also co-founded the Republican Jewish Coalition, and is currently Chair of the Jewish Policy Center. In 2007 Fox backed "Freedom's Watch," a lobbying group that promoted the Iraq War "surge."
Louis F. Gould, Jr. was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1985 and has served four terms. He has also been on the Board of Temple University Health System since 2007, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Harriton House. Gould has also been a member of the Board of Directors Delaware Regional Planning Committee and was the Chairman of the Board of SEPTA from 1983-1988. Gould earned his Bachelor's from Temple's University School of Pharmacy in 1962 and his Juris Doctorate from Penn State's Dickinson School of Law in 1966. Gould is currently at partner at Duane Morris, LLP and has been chair of their Intellectual Property Department since 1999. Gould has over forty years of experience in intellectual property and patent law (international and domestic) with a total of five firms, and is recognized as one of Philadelphia's "Super Lawyers." Two of his cases have resulted in United States Supreme Court decisions. Gould has been elected to five consecutive terms as the Republican leader of Lower Merion's 11th Ward, including the areas of Bryn Mawr, Rosemont and Gladwyne, and has served as Commissioner of Lower Merion Township since 1995.
Lewis Katz was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1998 and serves as the chairman of the Athletic Committee. He has also served on the Board of Governors at Dickinson University and is currently a member of the Board of Visitors for Columbia Medical School, where he has endowed the annual Katz Prize in Cardiovascular Research. Katz earned his Bachelor's in Business from Temple University in 1963 and his Juris Doctorate from Penn State's Dickinson School of Law in 1966. In 1968, he co-founded the law firm Katz, Ettin and Levine in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. During the 1970's and 1980's, Katz was the principal shareholder in Fellowship Bank, First Peoples Bank of New Jersey and Cherry Hill National Bank. After those banks were sold to Wachovia in 1990, Katz bought Kinney System Holding Corp., a the largest parking company in New York and was Chairman of Interstate Outdoor Advertising from 1984-2000. During the late 1990's Katz was a principal owner of two professional sports teams, the New Jersey Devils hockey team and the New Jersey Nets basketball team, until 2004. He is currently a part-owner of the New York Yankees with a stake in their television network. Katz has received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award for his great financial contributions to Temple University and is well known in Camden for his philanthropic activity. Katz also generously donated 15 million dollars toward the construction of the state-of-the-art Lewis Katz Building and Lewis Katz Hall at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law, completed in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Susannah E. Lachs was appointed to Temple's Board of Trustees in 2004 and serves on the committees of Academic Affairs, Budget and Finance. She is also vice chair of the Alumni Relations and Development Committee and sits on the Board of Visitors for the Beasley School of Law and the Trustee's Council of Penn Women. Lachs earned her Bachelor's in English at the University of Pennsylvania in 1974, her Master's in Communication from Temple's Annenberg School in 1976 and her Juris Doctorate from Temple's School of Law in 1978. Lachs had 22 years of experience as a civil litigation attorney before retiring from practice, but has been so active in higher education as a philanthropist and fund-raiser that she was profiled in a June 2007 Chronicle of Higher Education article entitled "Courting Female Donors." While directing the fundraising mission of Temple's Conwell Society, Lachs and her husband Dean Adler have also endowed an acquisitions fund for the University of Pennsylvania Library Collections to use for any academic discipline. They have also been active donors to the Penn Law School, the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, the Wharton School's Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, and the Teacher's Institute of Philadelphia.
Theodore A. McKee was appointed to Temple's Board of Trustees in 2002 and is vice chair of the Student Affairs Committee. McKee earned his Bachelor's from SUNY-Cortland in 1969 and his Juris Doctorate from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1975. McKee became friends with Howard Gittis while at private practice in the firm Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, before he served as Assistant United States Attorney in Penn-sylvania's Eastern District between 1977 and 1980. In 1977, McKee investigated police brutality before a special grand jury as part of a nationwide probe initiated by the United States Civil Rights Commission. McKee was Philadelphia's Deputy Solicitor between 1980 and 1983 and became General Counsel for Philadelphia Parking Authority in 1983. During the 1980's, McKee was also a lecturer at Rutgers Law School. Between 1984 and 1994, McKee was elected as Judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. In 1994 Judge McKee was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit, confirmed and commissioned by the Senate. On the Third Circuit, McKee has served on the Task Force on Equal Treatment in the Courts and co-chaired the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Bias. Judge McKee is also a trustee at the Vera Institute of Justice, and has been a member of a number of boards of directors, including the Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mitchell Morgan was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2002 and is chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Alumni Relations & Development, Executive and Investment committees. On the Finance Committee, Morgan has headed many recent Temple building initiatives. He earned his Bachelor's in Accounting at Temple University in 1976 and his Juris Doctorate from Temple University School of Law in 1980. In 1985 Morgan founded Morgan Properties, Inc., a real estate company that is currently worth 1.5 billion dollars and recently bought out AIG's stake in over 15,000 apartment properties after settling a lawsuit. Morgan is the founder of the Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Family Foundation, a trustee for the National Museum of American Jewish History, and has been an active donor to the Beasley School of Law. Morgan has also been an active Republican party fundraiser and is currently on Mitt Romney's Pennsylvania Finance Committee.
Bret S. Perkins was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2010, and is on number of committees, including Academic Affairs, Alumni Relations and Development, Budget and Finance, Campus Life and Diversity, Executive and Government Relations, and External Affairs. Perkins is also President of the Temple University Alumni Association. Perkins earned his Bachelor's in Business Administration from Temple's Fox School of Business in 1991, and is currently Vice President of External and Government Affairs for Comcast. During the 1990's Perkins was Vice President of System Services and Assistant to the President of Mercy Health System. He implemented new hospital management integration, gained legislative and regulatory affairs experience with Keystone Mercy Health Plan, and directed a Department of Defense research and development grant. In 2001 Perkins joined Comcast, bringing his management and regulatory experience to help build bridges between Comcast, state and local governments and grassroots groups. In 2008, Per-kins received the National Cable and Telecommunications Vanguard Award for Young Leadership. In 2011 Perkins spearheaded the launching of Comcast's "Internet Essentials" program, the largest initiative of its kind in the nation, which offers affordable broadband internet services to the families of children who are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program. Perkins also sits on the Board of the "Committee of Seventy," a political watchdog and reform group that has been active in Philadelphia politics for over a cen-tury.
Daniel H. Polett was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1992, served as its Chair between 2006 and 2009, and chaired the search committee that selected President Ann Weaver Hart. Polett is on the Budget and Finance, Executive and Facilities committees, is chair of the Trustee Affairs Commit-tee and has served Temple University Health System for over two decades. He earned his Bachelor's from Fordham University in 1960, but his relation-ship with Temple has spanned over forty years. Polett was the manager and owner of Wilkie Buick dealership across from Conwell Hall on Broad Street for twenty years before selling the property to Temple in 1988. The Liacouras Center was built on that property in 1997. In 1998, Temple University awarded Polett an honorary doctorate in Public Service. Polett was also a recipient of the Diamond Award in 1993, awarded to donors who have contributed more than one million dollars to the University, and the Russell Conwell Award in 1995. Polett is currently the CEO of Lexus of Chester Springs and Wilkie Lexus of Haverford. He has also been on the boards of Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Meridian Bankcorp, CoreStates Bank, First Union Bank, Catholic Social Services, and St. Ignatius' Nursing Home.
Jane Scaccetti was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2007 and serves on the Audit, Budget and Finance, and Investment committees. Scaccetti is also the Chair of the Temple University Health System Board of Directors, a trustee at Salus University, a Director of Pep Boys, a Director of Mathematica Policy Research, Director of Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and a Member of the Board of View for the City of Philadelphia. She earned her Bachelor's in Business Administration from Temple University in 1977 and a Master's of Taxation from Villanova Law School in 1984. Scaccetti became a partner at the accounting firm Laventhol & Horwath in 1987 and co-founded Drucker & Scaccetti, P.C. in 1990 after Laventhol & Horwath folded. During the 1990's Scaccetti was married to Vincent Fumo, a state politician who would later be convicted of 139 counts of corruption in 2009. She also served as a Director for First Penn Bank, DiGiorgio Corporation, and Nutrition Management Services Company. Scaccetti was named a "Woman of Distinction" in 2010 by Philadelphia Business Journal.
The preceding profiles were compiled from information readily available to any curious party. The fact that the search process has very little difference from the last presidential search is also worth mentioning. The members of the search committee are certainly accomplished in their respective fields and will likely select a candidate with certain kinds of business acumen and legal sagacity, but will the candidate possess the other, specifically academic and collegial, tools necessary to making a university presidency work?