News broke Thursday morning that university President Neil Theobald offered his resignation in advance of a Board of Trustees meeting where they planned on dismissing him from his position.
University spokesman Kevin Feeley said that Theobald’s resignation was a part of a “mutual resolution that serves the best interest of the university, it’s students, faculty and staff.” His resignation is effective August 1, 2016.
Feeley cited the way Theobald handled the dismissal of Provost Hai-Lung Dai as one of the reasons behind the motion to dismiss the university president and blamed him for the $22 million deficit in the school’s financial aid budget.
The Board of Trustees met to unanimously vote in Chancellor Richard Englert as Acting President.
“Having spent so much of my academic career here, I have seen how Temple has become one of the very best public urban research universities in the nation,” said Acting President Englert. “Temple currently is one of the hottest, if not the hottest, in the country.”
Englert cites outstanding professors, researchers and students as the reasons for Temple’s success.
“Dick Englert is going to be an excellent steward of the university, and I have full confidence that we will hit the ground running in the fall, continuing our upward momentum,” said Temple Student-Body President Aron Cowen.
Englert said he was “especially delighted to work so closely with [new provost] JoAnne Epps.”
“I do indeed have big shoes to fill,” said Epps of predecessor Dai. “He led tremendous academic initiatives. I am poised to bring together a huge team of people who are already very successful and I am going to lend my support to continue to support their efforts.”
Outside of the Board of Trustees’ meeting, a small press conference was held by a handful of Stadium Stompers. They hope that the newest acting president will put an end to the exploratory planning of a possible on-campus football stadium.
Englert told the press that he has yet to see research studies about the stadium’s effect on the community so he does not have a opinion on the stadium’s viability. However, he is dedicated to the continued momentum of the university.
The Board of Trustees’ meeting was gaveled into order at 2:02 p.m. and dismissed around 2:15 p.m.