From the University President
—Ann Weaver Hart
Ann Weaver Hart,
Temple University President
Welcome back to the spring semester and congratulations to the editorial team for the Faculty Herald’s innovative new look. The design and other improvements are, I believe, indicative of the many changes we will see this year and in the years ahead as Temple University crosses the threshold into an unprecedented period of momentum and recognition that will accentuate the University’s standing as a major public research institution and an important urban intellectual, cultural, and economic anchor.
Since my arrival, I have greatly enjoyed the many informal meetings that have allowed me to get to know so many of you and to understand the issues that are meaningful to you. The small gatherings in my home with representatives of all the schools and colleges are enlightening for me as well as for the members of the Board of Trustees who have been able to join us. I am deeply appreciative of the collegial spirit that has prevailed throughout my transition into my new home at Temple.
I am pleased to report that our multi-year hiring effort continues in earnest. We have already hired 150 new faculty since the fall of 2004 and over 120 searches for tenured and tenure track faculty positions are ongoing. I hope that the ability to bring forward candidates throughout the academic year will allow our search committees to recruit the best faculty colleagues from the world’s leading institutions. Many of our new faculty members have brought interdisciplinary centers for research and scholarship to Temple, offering wonderful opportunities for collaboration and stimulation. I look forward to more.
The searches for a provost, Chief Financial Officer, and a new dean for the College of Liberal Arts are proceeding on schedule. I look forward to having the new provost as a partner and a leader in shaping and executing an academic vision for Temple’s future.
Many other changes are underway that affect faculty life. Interim Provost Richard Englert and Faculty Senate President Jane Evans continue to review the faculty handbook. Our new tenure and promotion guidelines are now in the hands of the individual schools and colleges, which are best equipped to finalize the guidelines in accordance with their discipline-specific needs. Seven schools and colleges have submitted and approved new tenure and promotion guidelines.
Many challenges face us if we are to succeed. I have been working with Provost Englert, Dr. Evans, and Dr. Terry Halbert of the General Education Executive Committee (GEEC) in the implementation of the new general education program that was approved by the Board of Trustees. I urge you not only to be personally involved in the program, but also to do whatever you can to encourage your colleagues to join you. You will positively influence the education of generations of future Temple students.
Another critical challenge in which the University needs your dedication and commitment is our major new fundraising initiative, focusing on private funding and endowment. In the past, Temple’s endowment and annual donations from private donors have lagged in comparison to our peer institutions. That is about to change.
We will soon embark with vigor on the public phase of the University’s first comprehensive campaign. Our goal is to increase private support, build endowment, and create a culture of philanthropy. Please take an active role when you can as our Office of Institutional Advancement and your schools’ and colleges’ directors of development engage Temple’s loyal and committed alumni and friends. There are 240,000 living Temple alumni. Almost one-half of them live in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Talk to them about what’s happening at Temple. Reach out to alumni around the nation by participating in one of our “Temple on the Road” programs.
Temple is a remarkable urban research institution and a bastion of academic excellence. The University—through your collective, outstanding efforts—is already a leader in discovering, communicating, applying, and preserving knowledge. I know how great all of you are. Now we want everyone to know. I look forward to your continuing involvement as we spread the word.