With the 2000-2001 school year already in progress, it’s the first since 1982 in which Peter J. Liacouras is no longer presiding over the university.
Stepping into the president’s office is Dr. David Adamany. He succeeds Liacouras, who retired after 18 years serving as Temple’s chief executive. Adamany is the former president of Wayne State University in Detroit.
Temple’s Board of Trustees elected Adamany as the eighth president in the school’s history. Although his tenure began on August 2 he is still learning how to address issues facing the school.
He credits Liacouras with Temple’s growth and said he felt comfortable following in his footsteps.
“I don’t feel any pressure,” Adamany said, “so I’ll just take the approach that Temple is on the right track and that my job is to stay on that track and continue to build Temple,”
He says the transition has been a smooth one and everybody at the university has been very helpful. Adamany is impressed with the commitment the faculty and students have towards the school.
“I’ve met with the heads of several organizations like the student government and they’re very passionate about making Temple a better place,” Adamany said.
One pressing issue that Adamany has to deal with is whether or not the Tyler School of Art should be moved to the main campus. He pointed out that Tyler has inadequate facilities and says they either need to be renovated or just move Tyler into the main campus.
At the Ambler campus there is a plan to design and build a learning center since some of the classrooms and faculty offices are getting old.
Adamany thinks that one of Temple’s strengths is its faculty research and that the university will look into its research program to determine if it is competitive with other universities in the country.
He supports online classes because they provide opportunities for students who are unable to participate directly in class. Still, he believes that the teacher-student relationship is a vital part of the education process.
Adamany served as Vice-President for Academic Affairs and taught political science at the University of Maryland before coming to Wayne State. For 15 years he was recognized for making Wayne State a model urban university for its growth in size and reputation. He pushed for more diversity in Wayne State’s staff, faculty and student body. During his tenure the school took on a $300 million expansion program.
He retired from Wayne State in 1997 and two years later he was asked by Detroit’s mayor and Michigan’s governor to take over the city’s public schools for a year. Among other tasks, he was responsible for building new schools, hiring new teachers and negotiating contracts with the school unions.
In March, as he was completing his work in the public school system, Adamany was approached by a search firm helping Temple’s Board of Trustees recruit a new president. He became the unanimous recommendation of the search committee.
When asked what he would like to see accomplished, Adamany said he would give himself a few months to talk with students and faculty to get a better scope of the challenges facing Temple.
Adamany said he would like to expand the student body and have more people live on campus. He’d also continue to reach out and strengthen ties with the alumni.
Ultimately, Adamany sees Temple as an institution that will continue to provide students from all backgrounds a quality education.
“With high academic credentials in our student body improving each year, there is an opportunity at Temple to prepare students to be future leaders in their profession and also in their community,” Adamany said.
Temple’s new president is from Janesville, Wis. He got his bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard. Adamany also received his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Wisconsin. Adamany has written books and articles on politics, constitutional law and the judicial process.