With President David Adamany retiring on June 30, the future of some campus committees and organizations formed during his tenure may be in jeopardy after a new president is named.
The Presidential Advisory Board, however, is here to stay. Ray Betzner, the director of communications for Temple, said that the board, which was formed last October, would continue under the new president.
According to Betzner, the Presidential Advisory Board is responsible for giving advice to the president on anything from academics to finances. Although the board is still relatively new, the committee has already worked with the president to give advice on a marketing campaign designed to raise alumni and community opinion of the university, according to Bret Perkins, the vice president of government affairs for Comcast Corp. and a board member.
“This is an incredible time of change for the university,” said Perkins, who also serves on three additional university boards.
Members of the Presidential Advisory Board also say the board will continue to function well after the university names the next president.
“What will happen to the President’s Advisory Board in light of Dr. Adamany’s retirement? In a word, nothing,” said Loretta Duckworth, a member of the President’s Advisory Board as well as president of the General Alumni Association and a university trustee. “They will continue to serve the new president in this capacity, as it was not a hand-picked group of Dr. Adamany’s, but rather a gathering of distinguished alumni who are willing to serve Temple.”
The board comprises Temple alumni and supporters of the university who have demonstrated success in their respective fields. At the inaugural meeting on Oct. 14, 2005, alumni from across the country came to discuss university matters.
“They give advice about anything,” said Stuart Sullivan, vice president for development and alumni affairs, referring to the advisory board’s duties. “We needed something that would represent the entire university and not just a small part.”
The advisory board also serves to raise money for the university and to advocate philanthropy. Unlike the Board of Trustees, however, they have no actual decision-making duties.
In late March, Temple hosted its inaugural Leadership Summit, where the Presidential Advisory Board had the chance to meet with the Board of Trustees and other advising committees. The university has many advising boards – including one for each school in the university – and the summit was an opportunity for these groups to network.
“The goal is to have many diverse people get their heads together and get some great ideas to move Temple forward,” said board member James Beasley, managing partner of the Beasley Firm LLC. “I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The creation of the board is one of the ways Temple has been trying to reach out and make use of its alumni base. According to Perkins, this group will help Temple broaden and diversify its outreach to alumni. During the Leadership Summit, Duckworth said the board discussed how powerful alumni could be in improving and serving the university.
Robert Tarola, the chair of the advisory board, is the senior vice president and chief financial officer of W. R. Grace & Co., a $2.3 billion international chemical company. Tarola is a director of the public mutual funds sponsored by Legg Mason Inc. and has served on the boards of directors of several other organizations.
“I’m a huge fan of Bob Tarola,” Perkins said. “If you talk to anybody they will tell you what a great guy he is.”
Members of the board said they believe that the board will help to improve support for Temple as well as move the university in a positive direction.
“Together, this group of talented men and women should be able to serve the new president as his or her sounding board for continuing our excellence and expanding our progress,” Duckworth said.
Carrie Wells can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.