From the Editor
—Lewis R. Gordon
Lewis Gordon, Editor
Congratulations, President Hart, on a memorable inauguration ceremony!
I was among those in the audience who experienced a near overwhelming sense of pride as President Hart spoke of the humble beginnings of Temple. She spoke of the six men who beseeched Russell Conwell to teach them and of his efforts that led to the founding of Temple as an institution dedicated to teaching the poor and disadvantaged.
She also spoke of the founding charter, which included the admission of women students.
President Hart did not have to speak of what has been accomplished since then. I simply looked around the Liacouras Center and experienced a powerful sense of the difference between then and now in a concrete way.
A poignant moment embodying Temple’s ideals was when Peter J. Liacouras, former President (1982–2000) and now chancellor, handed the staff, symbolizing the passing of the torch, to Dr. Hart, the first female president of the university.
Former President Peter J. Liacouras
and President Hart
There is much to be excited about at Temple these days. President Hart spoke of many things, which are recounted in the Temple Times (March 28, 2008). A message I received from that speech is that President Hart is committed to expanding the international dimensions of the university, and she would like us to tap into the giving potential of our alumni.
President Hart also proposes initiatives for cultivating a positive relationship between Temple and the Northern Philadelphia area.
There is much continuity in the new leadership at Temple. This issue of The Temple Faculty Herald offers a statement from our new Provost, Dr. Lisa Staino-Coico. She joins us from Cornell University, where she has taught and served in an administrative capacity for 30 years.
Provost Staino-Coico is a dynamic, energetic, and creative administrator and scholar. The enthusiastic responses to her candidacy—at one meeting President Hart encountered faculty chanting, “We want Lisa! We want Lisa!”—make her acceptance of the position a tremendous boost for Temple.
We also have a statement from Professor Eleanor W. Myers, the new Faculty Representative of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. She brings to the position her experience in professional ethics and law and her understanding and devotion to athletics at the university.
I am very proud that there is a growing female leadership at Temple. We should take this opportunity to extend this movement to concrete employment equity for women at the university. The salary differentials between men and women faculty, where men in comparable positions earn significantly more than women, should not continue to blemish Temple’s reputation.
We should also think through the gender dynamics of service at Temple, where female and racial minority faculty often take on, or are expected to take on, an unfair number of tasks. This is not unique to Temple. I have observed this at many universities. Its consequence is a negative one.
It is remarkable that many women scholars and scholars of color of all genders are able to research and teach with excessive loads of service. Even the best of us, however, cannot endure such additional labor over time, and where there are few systems of reward, the effect is demoralizing.
A related discussion is about the rights afforded non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty. Faculty Senate President Jane Evans discusses the recent vote in this issue of the Herald. Think also of the numbers of such faculty who are from historically underrepresented groups in the academy such as women and racial minorities. Temple now has a golden opportunity to take the lead and make a positive change on this issue.
It was our intent to devote this issue to the question of enrollment budgeting at Temple. President Hart has already begun a series of initiatives to make Temple’s accounting process more efficient. We have thus decided to defer that discussion until faculty and administrators could determine the relevant considerations after these new changes have been implemented.
We also thank Marc Getty and Phil Fizur for their valuable assistance in transforming the The Temple Faculty Herald to an online publication. These gentlemen are true Temple diamonds. We also extend much thanks to Dean Carolyn Adams for facilitating their service.
Finally, this issue offers a profile of Al Vara, a reference librarian who is about to complete his fourth decade at Temple. His thoughts offer some considerations of how Temple has continued its mission in the face of several important changes as we move forward, as our new leadership suggests, in significant directions at home and abroad.