Read the press release: David Adamany to retire June 30 as Temple University President
STATEMENT TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
January 19, 2006
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Two years ago, in January 2004, Howard Gittis asked me to meet with him in New York to review, as we periodically do, issues and progress at Temple. At that meeting, Howard asked me to prepare a brief statement of major goals that would significantly advance Temple as a major American university and that could be accomplished in the next five years. Soon afterward I submitted to Howard a memo laying out in broad strokes what needed to be done, suggesting a five-year time-line beginning in the fall semester of 2004 and concluding in the summer of 2009, spelling out our capacity to accomplish what needed to be done, and sketching the budget expenditures and capital investments that would need to be made.
Without ever entirely formalizing this plan, Howard told me to begin work on these initiatives with a five-year time line for completion. At many steps along the way, he took an active hand in leading or helping to advance these goals. The various initiatives were submitted over time to the committees of this Board and to the Board itself for action. We have made very good progress on most of them, and Temple could well accomplish virtually all of these initiatives by the end of the 2008 – 2009 academic year -five years from the date of our first discussion.
With Howard’s surprise announcement in October that other commitments would cause him to step aside as Chairman of the Board of Trustees in October of this year, our five-year time horizon fundamentally changed. A new Board chairman, when named, might wish to have the opportunity to take the lead in selecting the president with whom the chairman will work. I know from the close and collaborative relationship that I have had with Howard Gittis that at Temple the chairman and president must work closely together to lead the University.
While I am disappointed that I will not be able to carry though the present plan for the University that we had hoped to complete in 2009, I have advised Howard that I am prepared to step aside as president on June 30 or as soon after that as a new president may be able to assume the responsibilities of working with a new chairman.
My disappointment at not seeing Temple through its current plan may be tempered a bit at age 70 by the opportunity to have a slower pace after serving more than 21 years as a University president, five years as academic vice president, another year as chief executive of a big city school district, and a total of 40 years as a faculty member.
As most of you know, this is wonderful time at Temple and a very challenging one. If the University stays on track, by 2009 we will have completed all nine critical elements of the present plan for Temple: (1) expanding enrollment and increasing the academic credentials of the student body, (2) wholly revising the program of general education for all undergraduates and expanding our honors programs for our strongest students, (3) recruiting 300 new junior and senior faculty members to address enrollment expansion as well as retirements within the present faculty ranks, (4) revitalizing Temple’s libraries, which are a core element in every fine university, (5) completing the most comprehensive program of new construction and building renewal in the University’s history, (6) investing in a limited number of academic programs to strengthen and expand the national centers of excellence at Temple, (7) rebuilding Temple’s research program, (8) concluding the critical stages of Temple’s first university-wide capital campaign since the 1970s, and (9) solidifying and enriching the strong relationships that we are building with the community around Temple.
But staying on track will be the key to success of these initiatives. The faculty and staff of the University have largely and on most occasions supported these steps. The students are enthusiastic about the direction of the University. As in all institutions, there is a desire to do even more and appetites for resources reach far beyond our means. And there are always some who resist change because it unsettles longstanding and very comfortable routines. So single-minded focus, prudent budgeting, and intense discipline in the use and allocation of resources will be necessary to bring Temple to the successful conclusion of this stage in its history.
Since you will soon be selecting a new Board chairman and president who must lead the Board and the University in these critical initiatives, I am taking this opportunity to briefly comment on each. Perhaps these comments will be helpful to you in the selection process and to the new chairman and president in thinking about Temple’s future.
Students and Enrollment. First, at a time when there are more high school graduates than ever before in the Commonwealth’s history and a higher percentage of them are seeking a college education, Temple can be very proud of its commitment to extend educational opportunities. We have grown from 29,094 students in 2000 to 34,097 this year. The SAT scores of entering freshmen have increased from 1036 in 2000 to 1098 today, far above the national average of 1028 and the Pennsylvania average 1004; and the average entering freshman has a high school grade point average of a high B. At the same time, we have continued to admit transfer students from community colleges who show academic talent—about 2600 such students each year.
As all of you know, Pennsylvania has a poor record of state support for public higher education—we rank 46th in the nation in per capita tax support for our public colleges and universities. Consequently public university tuition in Pennsylvania is very high—with Penn State having the highest tuition of any public research university in the country, the University of Pittsburgh standing second, and Temple standing fifth. In a constrained state budget environment, we can take some pride in our record however. We have
worked very hard to control tuition in order to make education accessible to students from all economic circumstances. Our undergraduate tuition was within $100 per year of the tuitions at Pitt and Penn State in fall 2000. In the ensuing years, we have worked hard to become efficient in order to control tuition, and our tuition today is $1600 lower than Penn State’s and $1800 lower that the University of Pittsburgh’s.
Even as we have controlled tuition, we have made a major effort to provide financial aid to students. The University’s financial aid budget has increased from $273.7 million in 2001-2002 to $353.8 million this year. The Temple-funded scholarship portion of the financial aid budget, which frees students from post-graduation debt, has risen from $32.3 million to $50.4 million.
Both controlling tuition and increasing financial aid are part of Temple’s historic commitment to provide educational opportunities for able young men and women of all backgrounds.
And Temple remains one of the most diverse universities in the nation. More than a third of our students are from minority communities; and 46 percent are from outside our traditional home base in metropolitan Philadelphia, including about 25 percent from other American states and about 80 nations around the world. In its rating of top colleges and universities in the United States, the Princeton Review this year ranked Temple second in diversity.
Despite these extraordinary gains, enrollment will continue to be a challenge for Temple. We have almost reached our capacity to take new students until such time as construction of additional classroom facilities is completed in 2008 and other classrooms are significantly renovated in 2009 and 2010. As the credentials of entering students have risen, the increase in the pool of applicants has begun to slow and we will need to intensify our recruiting efforts. And, as we plan for the future, we need to always remember that in just eight years the total number of high school graduates in the Commonwealth will begin a decade-long decline that must be taken into account as Temple lays future plans for enrollment, academic programs, and facilities. As always, we are challenged each year to identify and then recruit students from minority communities.
Curriculum and Academic Programs. Second, we know that our undergraduate curriculum is not as challenging as it should be for the student body we serve. Upon recommendation of the Faculty Senate, the Board of Trustees has approved a new program of general education for all students. The Provost’s Office is now receiving proposals for courses that will meet the more stringent standards that have been set for the revised general education curriculum. Early reports are that many of the proposals being developed by faculty are educationally exceptional and intellectually exciting. Our great challenge will be to assure that general education in math and science attains high levels of excellence as well as stimulating student interest in these fields, where the United States has begun to lag.
We have barely begun the revitalization of our honors program. New policies are in place for both the honors program for underclassmen and the honors programs for majors. The opportunity for our very best students to undertake accelerated course work and engage in individual projects under the supervision of faculty members must be greatly strengthened. It will take us several more years to fully implement the honors programs for upperclassmen. It has been my hope that we could renovate the abandoned mansion the University owns at 1500 N. Broad Street as a center for the Honors College and that we could build student apartments around it for honors students engaged in intensive projects of research and creative work with faculty. We have good plans in place for this facility, and we are now seeking a major donor to support the program. I hope the Board will not lose sight of this opportunity to promote academic excellence.
Faculty. Third, as you know, the faculty are central to the University; and Temple’s faculty is in a time of sea change. We are an older faculty, with 29 percent of us 61 years of age or older. The number of retirements is growing, and the number of faculty needed to teach our expanding student body is rising. It has been our goal to recruit 300 first-rate tenure-track and tenured faculty, both junior and senior, by the end of 2009. To date we have appointed 151 new faculty; and during the present year, we expect to complete the recruitment of at least fifty more. It speaks well about Temple that we have been able to recruit outstanding new faculty, both junior and senior, from across the nation and the world.
New faculty join an institution where our present faculty have established a very strong commitment to teaching, which is a Temple tradition that we must nurture and continue. Of all the joint educational efforts we have made with our faculty in the years I have been president, none has been more reassuring to me about the quality of the Temple faculty than the care and high standards with which they have gone about recruiting new faculty members. The faculty, department chairs, and deans have established very high standards for faculty appointments and, in doing so, have set Temple’s future on a promising course. In addition to the culture of strong teaching that has prevailed at Temple for decades, we have greatly strengthened the Center for Teaching and Learning, where all faculty, new and old, can find support for improving teaching, for adapting teaching to changing times and changing students, and for introducing new technology into their courses.
Both new and old faculty are now citizens of a Temple whose standards for performance are akin to those of the strongest universities in the nation. The recent round of collective bargaining over standards for faculty performance was sometimes controversial, but negotiations concluded with standards for promotion, tenure, and an enlarged program of merit salary increases that place Temple among its national research university peers in expectations for faculty performance. I am very proud that at every stage in negotiations the University administration forcefully advocated full participation by faculty committees in the tenure, promotion, and merit salary decisions.
I hope the Trustees will continue to support the program of recruiting 300 new faculty by 2009 and will continue to give attention to the quality of faculty hired and the standards of performance for all faculty at Temple.
Libraries. Fourth, Temple is making good progress toward revitalizing our libraries, which were once highly ranked but which lost ground dramatically during hard economic times. Some have a mistaken belief that libraries are obsolete. In fact, our libraries are full—often beyond their physical capacity. Not only are most books and monographs still in hard copy, but decades and even centuries of human knowledge and creativity remain in paper form. As more and more information is available in electronic formats, libraries have become even more important because vast amounts of on-line information are copyrighted and are therefore available only at selective locations or under licensing arrangements, usually through libraries, that allow authors and publishers to receive compensation for use of the materials that they publish.
In the past two years, the Board of Trustees has voted substantial increments to the library budget. I will present the third increment to you in the budget I will prepare for your consideration this spring. But two more years of investment—in fiscal 08 and fiscal 09—will be necessary simply to put us at the average among our urban research university peer institutions.
We have been very fortunate to recruit Larry Alford, a nationally known library leader, to help us revitalize Temple’s libraries. He has already made great progress in filling in serious gaps in our collections, both of hard copy and electronic materials. The faculty and library staff have cooperated fully, and their renewed enthusiasm about the future of Temple’s libraries has been an important factor in recruiting strong faculty and graduate students.
We continue to face a great challenge in library facilities, and we have plans underway to address that issue. When the new Medical School building is complete, it will include a comprehensive health sciences library for all students in our health sciences center, including not only medical students but those in dentistry, pharmacy, podiatry, and the broad array of related health science professions, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing and others.
The Paley Library on main campus is three decades old; it is too small for the very large University that has grown up around it over the past 30 years; it is often crowded; its stack configurations do not meet ADA requirements; it does not have proper space for the many valuable archives of Philadelphia papers that have been given to Temple over the years; and it lacks space for the collections of books and journals that we are rebuilding. We have underway, with approval of the Board of Trustees, the renovation of space in the Kardon Building that will give us, over two decades, the capacity to store two million volumes of older books, materials, and archives. Newer and heavily used older materials will remain in Paley. But storage facilities will not address the dramatic shortage of space for library users or the space needed for library instruction in how to use both hard-copy and electronic materials. Shipley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott, the nation’s
leading library consultants, have been commissioned to study the potential for expansion of Paley Library, which is located on a small site in the center of campus and is therefore difficult to expand. Unfortunately, libraries, while heavily used across the campus, tend to be taken for granted and do not have clamorous constituencies. The past few years, the administration and Board of Trustees have been their stalwarts. I hope that will continue in the years ahead.
Facilities – New and Old. Fifth, we are within three years of completing the most comprehensive program of building expansion and revitalization in the University’s history. We have already completed the Community Education and Entertainment Center, which houses WRTI, our partnership schools program, some commercial enterprises, and meeting rooms for community groups.
Just months ago we opened the new Student Activities Center to provide recreation, entertainment, meeting and office space for the vibrant student life that has developed at Temple in the past eight years. President Liacouras’s vision of a “residential community of scholars” in north Philadelphia has come to pass, even well beyond his hopes and dreams. With more than 8,000 students resident on campus or in the neighborhood and another thousand beds scheduled to open next fall, both residential students and commuting students are making a vital and energetic community on the Temple campus. The new SAC provides space for them to do just that.
We are in the process of opening a new building at 1800 Liacouras Walk that will house advising for undeclared majors, advising for the College of Liberal Arts, the Math and Science Resource Center, the advising program for students intending to enter the health professions, enlarged student health clinic facilities, and other service and support services. This structure is also remarkable for its unique preservation of historical facades.
Last week we opened the new TECH Center whose formal dedication will follow the Board of Trustees’ meeting in March. With 600 computers and more than a hundred additional places for computer connection, with group study rooms, editing facilities, programming rooms, special instructional spaces, a new teaching and learning center to help faculty improve their instructional methods, and even with a new Starbucks coffee shop, the 24-hour TECH Center will become a hub of student learning, creative work, and socializing. There a student will have access to each and every piece of software and to all electronic databases that are required by all departments and colleges, thus facilitating study in all fields.
The Ambler Learning Center, which includes new classrooms, computer labs, an art studio, student study spaces, and lounges is now under construction. When it opens in the summer of 2006 it will significantly improve instructional and study opportunities at Ambler College.
The University has momentous additional projects ahead of it. Alter Hall will add new, attractive, high tech space to the Business School and will also provide much needed
large classrooms for general university teaching. With a $75 million price tag, the state’s commitment of $25 million and the University’s commitment of an equal amount are in place. The Fox School has raised approximately $12 million of its $25 million goal. We must greatly accelerate fund raising before we undertake construction in the spring, because it becomes exceedingly difficult to persuade donors to give money once a project is underway and a belief sets in that funding must already be in hand.
Similarly, we have made very good progress on the new 72,000 square foot facility for the Tyler School of Art. State and University funding of $68 million is in place. But $6.5 million of private funds remain to be raised before construction can begin sometime this summer or fall. A new dean has barely settled in at Tyler, and the University officers, our development team, and key trustees must help us reach out to supporters of the arts if this critical project is to stay on schedule.
The largest project in the University’s history, a new $150 million medical school, is now moving from the conceptual stage to architectural drawings. We have in hand the state’s commitment of $50 million, the University’s commitment of a like sum, and $22 million raised by the Medical School. John Daly, the Medical School Dean, has been one of our two most active deans, along with Bob Reinstein at the Law School, in crisscrossing the country and visiting widely in our home area to tell our story to alumni and friends. More than any other major project on our agenda, I feel confident that funding will be in hand in a timely way to undertake this project.
I hope sight will not be lost of the Baptist Temple. A preliminary concept study has been done for this remarkable historical landmark where the University was born. It should be restored and retained—but not merely as a relic of the past. Temple has no campus space where the Boyer College’s renowned orchestra and choral groups can perform. It troubles me that we must dispatch one of the finest groups of student musicians in the nation to performance spaces elsewhere, rather than having them perform on campus and also to be a magnet—as our sports and other events have been at the Liacouras Center—to bring people to Temple to see the revitalization of our area. The Baptist Temple can also be a site for major presentations by leading thinkers and performers from across the nation and the world as well as for significant university events, such as the diploma ceremonies of our largest schools and colleges. We are presently building a small model of the building to gain an understanding of the unique acoustical challenges that will go with historic preservation there. But with some determination, plans for renovation and restoration could be ready in the next academic year and we could begin to assemble a package of state, University, and private money for this landmark project.
We are making outstanding progress on the huge backlog of deferred maintenance that necessarily accumulated during hard economic times. Temple has been blessed with a superb staff of tradesmen, maintenance workers, and custodians who have kept many facilities in good operating condition far beyond their normal operating life. But there is a limit to the miracles that can be worked even by this dedicated group of Temple people.
As many of you know, our accrediting association raised serious concerns about the burdensome backlog of deferred maintenance when it visited in 2000, and has renewed those concerns in its mid-decade review of Temple this past fall.
Our full review of all of our facilities on all campuses in 2003 reported deferred maintenance of $352.8 million in a plant currently valued at $2.38 billion. Since that time, including the current year, we have committed $66.4 million to clear that backlog. The demolition of Curtis Hall to make way for Alter Hall; the closing of the obsolete facilities in Elkins Park when Tyler moves to main campus; a renovation of Paley Library; the upgrading of the Johnson & Hardwick dormitory complex which will be before you for action in February; the replacement of Temple Towers which is hugely deteriorated and out of date; the floor-by-floor renovation of Beury Hall, our main chemistry building now well beyond its depreciated life; a planned overhaul of Barton Hall, which houses other sciences and is equally outdated; and continuing our annual budget commitment into future years should greatly improve our situation and at least assure that we will meet our basic fiduciary responsibility to preserve institutional assets in good order. But these steps will not fully address our deficits in this area, and I see no avenue in the short or mid-term to completely address the University’s entire backlog of deferred maintenance.
We have been enormously helped in our overall facilities program by an enlightened program of reliable annual state capital appropriations initiated by Governor Tom Ridge and continued by Governor Ed Rendell, who has made additional commitments to Temple. Governor Rendell has also helped us to accelerate construction and save money by delegating to the University important roles in selecting architects, bidding contracts, and overseeing construction.
Academic Centers of Excellence. Sixth, we have been engaged for the past two years in an effort to strengthen areas of academic excellence without penalizing students or instruction in our many schools, colleges and departments.
Under our current budgeting system, all of our undergraduate schools and colleges have been allocated faculty lines that assure that they have at least as large a faculty, in relation to student enrollment, as the average faculty strength found in the nation’s other large public research universities. In addition, we have developed a systematic program of providing funding for supplies, equipment, and technology based on enrollment, inflation, and on the intensity of supplies and equipment needed in various academic programs. Wherever possible, as in business, law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and podiatry, we have allowed and encouraged colleges to engage in special clinical and academic programs that generate some net income to supplement their budgets. We return a generous share of indirect costs revenues from grants to colleges, departments, and principal investigators. In short, we have given our first budget priority year-after-year to supporting our colleges and schools, where the front-line work of the University is done.
Temple is also fortunate to have centers of significant academic strength that have national standing and the potential for even greater eminence. We simply do not have the resources to further build all of them. In addition to our regular commitment in the budget to emphasize academic programs, we have—after consulting the Chairman—tried to make modest additional allocations to support some key academic activities at Temple. I have already mentioned the strengthening of libraries, the development of departmental honors programs, and the revision of general education for freshmen and sophomores. In addition, we have made supplementary allocations, beyond those related to enrollment, for faculty hiring in critical academic areas where Temple can strengthen programs of national quality and visibility. Such allocations have been made in law, business, medicine, allied health, art, music, chemistry, history, political science, psychology, and philosophy. While these allocations have been modest, they further build existing areas of excellence at Temple without compromising or diminishing the general academic programs of the University.
It has been my plan, in consultation with the Chairman, to continue making modest supplemental allocations to this limited number of academic programs through 2009—mimicking in a small way Stanford’s well known plan, early in its history, of building spires of excellence to elevate the University’s visibility and eventually to strengthen the entire institution. I hope that such a plan—carefully considered and based on hard facts, not on campus politics or clamor—will continue.
Research. Seventh, the Provost and I have worked steadily to stimulate Temple’s research program. But no initiative has been more difficult than this one.
In the 1970s and into the mid-1980s, Temple was an important national research university—ranking among the top one hundred among more than 1800 four year institutions in the United States. The top one hundred is an important category, often examined by foundations and other philanthropic institutions, sometimes looked at by corporations deciding where to invest resources or develop partnerships, and certainly scrutinized by research funding agencies. After being a strong research institution earlier in its history, in the difficult years of the 1990s, Temple’s research program declined sharply and we now have a third or less of the research funding found at most of our peer urban universities in the northeastern United States, including the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Wayne State University, the University of Cincinnati, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Temple’s weakness as a research institution has many causes. Only about half as many of its faculty hold grants or contracts with foundations, companies, or government as do the faculties at counterpart institutions. Our research facilities in medicine and in science on the main campus are obsolete and therefore not competitive. Most discouraging is the development of a culture in some quarters at Temple that is indifferent to scholarship. It is a budget burden, some say. It is antipathetic to good teaching, others say. These are myths long ago dispelled elsewhere.
To begin, research enormously strengthens an institution’s finances. The overhead allowance that funding agencies add to grants includes support for libraries, facilities, and equipment—all of which are also used for teaching. Faculty salaries can be paid, at least in part, from research grants. Graduate students and often undergraduates can draw salaries or stipends for studying and working in research labs.
But it is in teaching that research has its most profound impact. Only about 300 of America’s 1800 four-year colleges and universities have the libraries, laboratories, and faculty specialization that support research. The knowledge that supports teaching in all of our colleges and universities comes disproportionately—indeed, overwhelmingly—from this small number of institutions. Temple has been and must again be among that special group of institutions.
Within institutions themselves, an active research program creates opportunities for students to be directly engaged with faculty on academic projects. Concern has recently been expressed in the higher education press that students from high-income families have a growing advantage in gaining admission to graduate and professional schools because their families can support them in the summer to participate in unpaid internships in their chosen fields. Increasingly admissions committees in medical schools and in graduate schools give weight to research experiences of undergraduates who apply to their programs. Having an active research faculty creates opportunities for undergraduates, regardless of family circumstance, to get gain experience in identifying and independently pursuing avenues of knowledge and discovery.
But at its core, research activity is important because it stimulates and refreshes faculty members. Those who are working at the frontiers of their field, who are making new discoveries or creating works of art or music, who are writing books and articles rather than being totally reliant on the research of others, are likely to know more, to be more engaged in their subject, and to be more enthusiastic about transmitting knowledge to students. The myth of the distant scholar who shuns undergraduate teaching is just that—largely a myth. At great universities that I personally know, such as Berkeley and Madison, most of the leading research faculty teach introductory courses because they are enthusiastic about their fields and want students to know about their subjects.
I am concerned about Temple’s weakness in research for another reason: the future of the Philadelphia area economy. Research, especially in science and technology, and creative work in the arts are economic drivers. Philadelphia will never again be a manufacturing center and is unlikely to be a banking or finance center. But it has great prospects in pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and telecommunications. These fields need highly talented workers with direct experience in laboratory work. They also need large communities of local experts with whom private sector enterprises can collaborate.
Adam Michaels on my staff conducted a study of the university research volume in the nation’s six largest metropolitan areas. Philadelphia ranked at the bottom—a weak sixth, among them. The difference was not in the area’s leading university: the University of Pennsylvania is a powerhouse that competes well with leading universities in Boston,
New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and the District of Columbia. Philadelphia’s weakness is in the supporting universities: other metropolitan areas have more research institutions and those other research universities have higher research volumes than do the three supporting institutions in Philadelphia. And of the three supporting universities here, only Temple is comprehensive in nature. Both the others have very strong and deep research largely in a single area.
So to strengthen our teaching programs, to develop a very strong faculty, to provide intensive special educational experiences for students, and to make a full contribution to Philadelphia’s future, Temple must rebuild its research program. The construction of a new medical school and the planned renovation of two main campus science buildings will be important steps. And recruiting first-rate teacher-scholars in all fields will be another. Then recognizing, supporting and rewarding research and creative activity across the University—in business, communications, social sciences, and arts as well as in science, medicine, and engineering—will be essential.
We have laid some building blocks. But in terms of difficulty, I would say that rebuilding research at Temple is the most difficult challenge and the one where we have made only a modest start. The greatest challenges here still lie ahead.
Alumni Relations and the University-wide Capital Campaign. Eighth, Temple stands at a cross-roads that many other large public universities passed through years ago: building a strong alumni and development program.
Temple waged a university-wide fund-raising campaign in the 1970s under President Wachman, and a national and regional network of alumni clubs was established. But in the recession of the early 1980s, when Temple faced a funding crisis, the alumni clubs were dismantled and the development and alumni offices sharply reduced. The University conducted a focused campaign in the late 1990s—the Commonwealth plus campaign—which was largely devoted to funding the Liacouras Center. It was not necessary to build a network of alumni clubs, mobilize alumni across the nation, or seek support for all of our academic programs to complete that campaign successfully.
When Stuart Sullivan was appointed in 2001, he took the lead in building the structure for a comprehensive alumni and development program. We have added more than 30,000 names and addresses of alumni to our database, and we have brought up to date the information for many thousands more. The development staff has been expanded to include a strong research office, to strengthen receipts and acknowledgement activity, to assure that all colleges have development officers, to launch a vigorous program of communications with alumni, and to conduct alumni events—small and large—throughout this area and across the country. As some of you know, last year our schools and colleges, the alumni association, and the development office held more than 220 events, large and small. We also began making regular appeals for funds to all of our alumni, and we have undertaken extensive research to identify alumni who have the interest and means to help Temple. Hundreds of alumni have become involved with our
academic programs and the University at large through new boards of visitors in the schools and colleges and through the President’s Advisory Council.
The percentage of alumni making gifts to Temple has increased from about 9.5 percent to about 13.5 percent, which puts us just within the ballpark of participation rates at other urban universities. The number of additional alumni givers has been increasing by about one thousand a year.
As all of you know, we are preparing to undertake the first University-wide campaign in almost thirty years. Our goal will be modest by the standards of many other public universities. But for Temple, this first campaign in the modern period will lay a foundation for the future by telling Temple’s story locally and nationally to alumni and others who have an interest in this University or Philadelphia, by building a network of alumni leaders, identifying donors, and instilling a development-oriented culture in our schools and colleges, which only law and medicine have at this time. We have received a number of substantial gifts in the prelude to the campaign for Temple, but we are still working with a small number of donors to achieve the truly large commitments that are the essential foundation for a successful campaign. Our plan has been to formally announce the campaign in the fall of this year and complete it at the end of 2009.
The importance of this campaign cannot be overstated; we can see that by looking at the University of Pittsburgh, once a small private university like Temple that became a state-related university in the same era as we did and has the same size student body and same state appropriation as we do. But Pitt began developing its alumni program in the early 1980s and now has an endowment of more than one billion dollars compared to our endowment of about $150 million. We must now begin to travel the path long ago traversed by many other leading public universities.
Temple and our Community. Ninth, Temple is in the midst of a profound change in its relationship to its community. One of the pleasures of serving as president here has been the cordial relationship that has developed with Mayor John Street, Councilman Darrell Clarke, and Senator Shirley Kitchen as well as with neighborhood leaders and community organizations.
These good friends of Temple have helped us to secure land for expansion of the campus and have supported our efforts to encourage private developers to construct housing for students in the neighborhood. I am especially proud that I have kept a pledge made to community leaders in the first months that I was here: Temple’s expansion would not come at the price of displacing any of our neighbors from their homes. All of our expansion in recent years has adhered to that pledge. Through collaboration there has been extensive investment in this neighborhood. When the Avenue North project at Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue is completed in the fall, we will have stimulated $168 million in private development in the area, all of it without Temple guarantees or subsidies and with very little tax subsidy from the City.
We have closely consulted the community leaders on every step we have taken. And we have tried to be fully responsive to their concerns about the inconveniences and burdens that Temple’s growth has imposed on them. We now consult community councils in the neighborhoods east and west of Broad Street about issues of mutual concern.
For Temple’s part, we have made meeting space available for community organizations in the new Community Education and Entertainment Center on Cecil B. Moore Avenue. And we hope soon to put leadership in place there that can obtain grants for services and development in the neighborhood. Working with the School District of Philadelphia, we now manage the educational programs in four partnership elementary schools in this neighborhood, where we are providing teacher training, curricular development, student tutors, and a limited array of other services. Temple’s police patrol neighborhood streets to increase safety for our neighbors. And we have extended the campus program of high intensity lighting to those blocks in the surrounding community where neighbors request it. That makes streets safer for them and for our students who live throughout the area. Hundreds of Temple students tutor children in area schools, work on clean-up campaigns in empty lots and side streets, and shovel snow for elderly residents during the winter. Step-by-step, little-by-little we are learning to become a better neighbor; and the people in the surrounding community have been generous in their support of the University and its students.
Like other initiatives, this one is still taking root. It has been among the most gratifying of our activities. The community around Temple is filled with people of good will who, if respected and consulted, want Temple to succeed. I am grateful to have come to a University with such good neighbors.
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Looking to the Future: Resources for Action. It will be critical to the success of this ambitious agenda for Temple that we have a strong and stable resource base. The comprehensive campaign must provide many of the resources for these initiatives. But we have also been putting in place the other resources that will be necessary.
People are at the center of the University. The commitment, talent, and hard work of Temple’s people is the most University’s most important resource as it undertakes an ambitious agenda.
We are fortunate to have a vigorous and talented executive team. They have worked effectively and collaboratively to advance Temple’s academic programs, administrative services, finances, and community relations.
We have worked cooperatively and successfully with faculty committees to recruit ten new deans, all with impressive credentials and strong reputations in their professions, in Medicine, Engineering, Education, Social Administration, Health Professions, the Tyler School of Art, the Boyer College of Music and Dance, the Graduate School, Temple Japan, and the College of Liberal Arts. We now have decanal vacancies in the College of
Science and Technology and, once again, in the College of Liberal Arts. Our search process for the former is nearing its end, and I hope we will be able to make an appointment soon. The academic leadership of the University’s schools and colleges is in very capable hands.
Temple is also blessed with a dedicated faculty and staff. We have recently initiated a new classification system for our managers and professional staff that sets compensation goals at regional market rates so that we can recruit and retain these important Temple citizens. We have begun a step-by-step process to bring the compensation of these non-represented professionals and staff into line with market rates for those whose salaries have lagged behind.
In collective bargaining we have had the cooperation of Temple’s unions to set reasonable salary increases that at least keep up with the rate of inflation; and we have largely achieved a program of uniform benefits and performance standards so that all employees are treated fairly and equally. For faculty we have achieved new promotion and tenure standards, a merit salary program, and sabbatical leaves that help provide Temple with the same environment for faculty that is found in the nation’s other leading universities. I am especially pleased that in the recent collective bargaining with the faculty unions we achieved tiered health benefit contributions that obligate those of us with higher incomes to pay a somewhat higher share of premiums than those with lower incomes.
Beyond the efforts we have made to strengthen our critical human resources, we have also significantly improved the University’s financial condition. Not only are our budgets balanced, but we have developed methods for budgeting that closely tie expenditure levels to revenues on a continuing basis. Since 2000 our net assets have increased from $429 million to $691 million; and our unrestricted cash and investments, including gift money and indirect cost recovery funds held by academic units, have increased from $261 million to $590 million. While a substantial amount of those cash assets are being held to support our major construction program, we can feel quite confident that Temple’s finances are strong enough to sustain the major initiatives I have outlined in this statement. The national rating agencies agree: Moody’s raised our bond rating from A2 in 2000 to A1 in 2004 and Standard and Poor’s from A to A+ in 2005. We have laid a strong financial base to support the initiatives I described earlier to significantly increase Temple’s quality and stature as a leading national university.
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When Howard Gittis asked me three years ago to lay out a five-year plan that we could complete together, I had thought to serve a few more years to complete the program now under way. But an English proverb, usually attributed to Chaucer, warns that time and tides wait for no man; and passing birthdays and the tides of governance have overtaken my plans. It has been a privilege to serve at Temple, and I look with pride at what has been accomplished by the entire Temple community in these short years. I will be on leave next year and then may teach a few years beyond that because my relationships
with undergraduates, and especially the lively relationships I have had with undergraduates at Temple, have been among the most stimulating and enjoyable experiences in a long career.
Until that time comes, I intend to vigorously press forward the initiatives now underway to further strengthen Temple and to prepare the way for a new president. I want to express my appreciation to the Board of Trustees for their support over the past six years and to assure you that for the next few months I will continue to make every effort to strengthen and secure Temple’s future.
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