The Board of Trustees approved sweeping changes to academic programs and departments at Temple, and an uptick in housing costs in its meeting on March 14. The Board also approved two separate student housing contracts with Beech International and The Edge.
The Board unanimously appointed former provost Hai Lung-Dai to a new role as the vice president of international affairs, which he will assume on July 1. Dai was fired in June by former president Neil Theobald, whom he later sued for defamation and slander.
The Board also approved the moving of Tuttleman Counseling Services and Student Health Services to larger spaces in 1700 N. Broad Street. Student Health Services will use almost $1 million for the relocation, which is set to be complete by January 2018. Tuttleman will move in August, which will cost about $250,000.
The Board approved a master lease contract with Beech International to keep Beech International Village an on-campus housing option for students through 2021. The contract is for 201 beds in the building and the rental costs will rise 3 percent every year.
A leasing contract with the owners of The Edge was also approved, for 764 beds on the 2nd through 8th floors of the building to be used by University Housing and Residential Life for 2017-18.
By adding these housing options, the university will fill the needs for on-campus housing left by the closure of Peabody Residence Hall, said Associate Vice President of Finance and Administration Bill Wilkinson last week at a Facilities Committee meeting.
The School of Media and Communication was approved a name change to the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication in honor of Lew Klein, who taught at Temple for more than 60 years and is the namesake of the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media awards. The renaming comes after a multi-million dollar donation from Klein and his wife Janet, as well as donations from trustees Steve Charles and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest and his wife.
“Lewis Klein is an outstanding friend of Temple University and to have a college named after him is well deserved,” Board Chairman Patrick O’Connor said. “I think it’s well overdue.”
The school will also rename several of its departments.
The Board’s approved changes to school programs included a restructuring of all Bachelor of Science programs in the College of Engineering. It also approved the creation of master’s programs in the College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology and College of Education. The Board approved a restructuring of the Master of Music Education in the Boyer College of Music and Dance.
Some curricula in the College of Public Health and Fox School of Business and Management were restructured or terminated. Fox and CPH added seven and four programs, respectively.
Joseph Marshall, trustee and chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, said the changes were to better satisfy accreditation requirements.
Founder’s Garden and Polett Walk were approved $2.9 million for improvements. Dozie Ibeh, the associate vice president of Temple’s Project Delivery Group, told The Temple News the area of Founder’s Garden will be redesigned to become more “open,” with more outdoor seating areas for students and a waterfall feature.
The Board also approved an increase in funding of $568,000 for the under-construction Student Health and Wellness Center set to open in Fall 2017. The SHWC was originally budgeted at more than $28 million to build, but CPH, which will have classrooms in the new facility, needs more advanced technology that was not reported to Temple’s Project Delivery Group, Ibeh said during last week’s facilities meeting.
Student Body President Aron Cowen emphasized to the Board the importance of academic freedom and civil discourse. He condemned the banning of speech on college campuses.
“I want to take a minute to reiterate the importance of academic freedom and discourse,” Cowen said. “Universities are sacred places where, more than any other place, the market of ideas should flourish.”
Cowen told The Temple News after the meeting that he has been working with the provost’s office and others in the hopes of getting the university to “formally reiterate that [free speech] is what we stand for.”
He said other colleges around the country have signed promises to protect on-campus free speech like the Chicago Free Speech Statement, which is a formal commitment from the University of Chicago.
Last week’s meeting was held via a conference call due to a snowstorm that hit the Northeast. President Richard Englert and Faculty Senate President Michael Sachs deferred their reports until the next board meeting to be held in May.
All of the items approved on the conference call will be reapproved in-person at the next Board meeting.
Julie Christie and Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.
This story has been updated.