On Dick Englert's White Paper
By Marina Angel, Professor of Law
1. The Provost
The Provost is supposed to be the Chief Academic Officer of Temple University. But Dick Englert's "White Paper" does not describe a plan to enhance the Academic and Research missions and reputation of Temple. Academic reputation draws excellent undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty, especially research faculty. The "White Paper" proposes minor cost cutting by restruc-turing, streamlining, and centralizing in ways that will destroy academic excellence. The 'White Paper" seems to reflect the thinking of the "businessmen" and lawyers who dominate Temple's Board of Trustees (see section 4).
Our peer state universities in Pennsylvania are Penn State and U. Pitt. Penn State has 15 separate schools and colleges; U. Pitt has 14. We have 14. Why is there a need to cut schools and colleges?
Penn State and U. Pitt are ranked 13th and 14th on the list of the top 100 research universities. Temple isn't even on the list. Research grants can bring in big money. The Provost refuses to spend more than $60,000 a year for Faculty Senate Research Programs and Policy Committee (RPPC) Research Seed Money Grants, the only such grants available to all Full-Time Faculty throughout the University. The money given out by the Provost, Dick Englert, the Senior Vice Provost for Research, Ken Blank, and the Deans has not brought substantial grants to Temple. There is no transparency as to where this money goes or why it is given to only certain individuals and projects.
Only 6% of Temple's revenue comes from grants and donations. This is a disgrace compared to the amounts that our peer state universities in Pennsylvania generate. The rest of Temple's money comes from current student tuition and state funding, both of which are to be dedicated to current academic needs. Professor Phil Yannella, using Temple's own documents, has shown that Temple, a non-profit institution, is making massive "profits." Temple is spending money not on academic excellence but on construction of luxurious dorms, extra-curricular facilities, and shops and restaurants. The "White Paper" seems to envision Temple as an appealing environment (playground) to attract and keep high-income-paying students. These students will graduate "On Time," because Temple will provide dumbed-down courses taught by insecure, low paid, contingent, non-tenure track (NTT) faculty, adjunct faculty, and graduate students, and computers. Some schools and colleges at Temple have already introduced computerized courses, which students can't fail because they receive several chances to get the "right" answer.
2. The President
The job of the President is to develop and implement an academic vision for Temple. The last President to do so was Peter Liacouras, who was selected by a Presidential Search Committee with a substantial number of faculty members. The last two Board-dominated Committees brought us David Adamany and Ann Hart.
The only member of the Board with academic experience is Jim White, former Executive Vice President of Temple, who is dedicated to Temple's academic mission. He is not on either the Board's Executive Committee or the Presidential Search Committee. Trustee Scott Mazo is a partner in University Place Associates.
Penn State's ex-President expanded Penn State to 28 campuses in Pennsylvania, enhanced its academic reputation, attracted excellent students and faculty, and oversaw the development of massive research grants and donations. I, who teach abuse, can almost forgive what seems to have been his one moral failure to act. He was paid only slightly more than our President Hart ($7M range). For her great leadership and advice, Temple's Board of Trustees awarded Hart a $7M "consultant fee" for the 2012-13 academic year − after she's gone.
3. The Upper Level Administration
Temple has a massively bloated Upper Level Administration. Temple is not enhancing its academic programs and has slowed down and limited the hiring of new tenure track or tenured faculty who actually teach and research. At the same time, Temple is adding more and more Senior, Associate, and Assistant Vice Presidents and Provosts, even a University Architect (the second high level person hired within six months to oversee construction). Each new high level Administrator needs a high salary, fringe benefits, a new and redecorated office, staff, an expense account, and a travel account.
Almost all the tenured and tenure track lines available last academic year, 2010-11, went to new high-level Administrators, like the new head of the Health Science Center/Dean of the Medical School. Very few tenure track or tenured Faculty who will actually teach and research at the same time were hired (see the list in the brochure for the President's/Provost's Fall-2011 Reception for new faculty). Almost all the new "real" Faculty were hired on contract.
4. The Board of Trustees
The main job of a university's Board of Trustees is to donate substantial sums of money to the institution and to solicit substantial donations from their friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and others. They are also charged with advancing the academic mission of the university. Temple's Trustees have done neither.
I spent a great deal of time last Fall researching the members of Temple's Board of Trustees. To the degree possible with limited time and resources, I looked at their current employment, academic credentials, connections to Temple prior to joining the Board, and donations to Temple. I had an argument last Fall with Provost Dick Englert about his lack of support for the Faculty Senate Research Programs and Policies Committee. I told him Trustees' donations to Temple were peanuts. He strongly disagreed. On November 11, 2011, shortly after that meeting, I sent him a detailed chart of Trustee donations to Temple and asked for corrections. Dick Englert always responds to my e-mails, but I received no corrections.
I counted 34 Trustees. Thirteen are lawyers. The only organizational structure most lawyers know is hierarchical. They seldom understand the collegial structures of academia. A majority of the rest are "businessmen," who operate or are employed by relatively small "for profit" entities located almost exclusively in the Philadelphia area. There are only five women, including Ann Hart, on Temple's Board. None seem to be on the Temple Board's Executive Committee. Two are on the Presidential Search Committee. According to the University of Pennsylvania's Alum magazine, one of them was recently honored as a U. Penn alum, and the magazine claimed she and her whole family went to U. Penn. She holds a Temple law degree. Three of the women seem to be retired or engaged in small charitable foundations. I believe only three persons of color sit on the Board, two Black men and one Latino. Several members of the Board are retired and have been for a long time. Some are political appointees.
Thirteen members of the Board do not seem to have attended Temple and have no Temple degrees. They seem to have had little connection to Temple before they were put on the Board. I could find no prior connection to Temple for the current Chair of the Board, who is the Vice Chair of a Philadelphia based law firm. The Trustees seem to have little to no knowledge of Temple's traditional mission. Temple was founded as an urban populist university, devoted to providing an excellent academic education to all, but especially to Conwell's "Acres of Diamonds," those qualified applicants who would otherwise not have an opportunity to attend a university. The "White Paper" seems to envision a Temple University mainly populated by high-income-paying undergraduate students taking dumbed-down courses in luxurious surroundings. A prior Board Chair with no Temple connection, Howard Gittis, in the same time period, gave Temple $5M and his alma mater, U. Pennsylvania, $25M. I found only four instances of $1M+ donations to Temple by current Temple Board members.
Four members of the Board, Nelson Diaz, Richard Fox, Daniel Polett, and Anthony Scirica, had Temple Honorary Doctorates bestowed on them by Temple's Board. Only Nelson Diaz had attended Temple. Board members I know and respect for their judgment and concern for Temple's academic mission are Jim White, prior Executive Vice President of Temple, Dan Polett, and Nelson Diaz. None are on the Board's Executive Committee or the Presidential Search Committee.
My sources for Trustee donations, largely from 2002 on, were: Board of Trustee Minutes, the website for Temple's 125th Anniversary Campaign, the website for the Temple Owl Club, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics that lists 990 filings for private charitable organizations. Most sources did not give specific amounts, only three wide ranges established by Temple:
$25,000 - $249,000
$250,000 - $999,000
$1 million +
Specific dates were not usually given but only a range, 2002-09. A Trustee would be in one of the three ranges if s/he gave the lowest amount listed. For those Trustees for whom I found donation information, most gave Temple's 125th Anniversary Campaign in the $25,000 to $249,000 range, one was in the $250,000 to $999,000 range, and four were in the $1 M+ range.
I am told that the "powers" on the Board are Richard Fox, a real estate investor and a major long term contributor to and fundraiser for the Republican Party; Mitchell Morgan, another real estate investor and major contributor to Mitt Romney; and Chair Patrick O'Connor, also a major contributor to the Republican Party. Mitchell Morgan is on the Board's Executive Committee and the Presidential Search Committee, and he chairs the Board's "Facilities" Committee. Temple is investing in luxurious real estate construction rather than academics. There are supposedly major cost overruns on Temple's construction projects. Temple is being run on the "Romney model" of taking over an organization and restructuring, streamlining, centralizing, and going to a contingent work force.•