Board approves changes to academic programs, new lease for Richie’s

The Board will hold its next meeting on July 6.

Temple University's Board of Trustees held a virtual meeting approving construction projects, endowed funds and discussed various academic programs on May 11. | ZOOM / SCREENSHOT

Temple University’s Board of Trustees gave approval for multiple academic programs to be established, renamed, restructured or terminated at its virtual meeting Tuesday afternoon. 

The Board also issued a five-year lease to Richie’s of Philadelphia at Warnock Street near  Montgomery Avenue, where Saige Cafe was previously located, and approved the establishment of an endowment fund at Temple University Japan. 

In his opening remarks, President Richard Englert said more than 600 “community residents”  were vaccinated against COVID-19 at the university’s six-week COVID-19 vaccine clinic at White Hall on May 6. 

The clinic began vaccinating eligible Temple students, faculty, staff and community residents on March 31, and closed on May 6, The Temple News reported

Englert also said a total of 10,221 graduates earned degrees in the 2021 academic year.

Additionally, more than 37,700 students applied for admission to Temple for the fall 2021 semester, an increase from previous years, and more than 5,400 admitted applicants made financial deposits to secure their place in the class of 2025 as of May 8, Englert said. 

The Board also authorized its officers to borrow $30 million to help the university operate from July 1 through Oct. 30. 

Here’s what else happened at Tuesday’s meeting:

Alumni Relations and Development

The Board approved the establishment of the Mochida-Stronach Public High School Promotion Program at TUJ, an endowed fund to provide scholarships and financial support for graduates of public high schools in Japan in preparation for enrolling at TUJ and Temple’s Main Campus. A donor will invest $4.5 million in the fund by December 2021, and may invest an additional $4.5 million in three years based on the program’s outcome.

The Board also approved the Beasley School of Law’s proposal to compile $750,000 in gifts to create an endowed professorship in law. 

Trustees also authorized the Klein College of Media and Communication to accept a gift of $350,000 from the Major League Baseball Association and the Major League Baseball Players Association by June 1. The college plans to name its center for sports media as the Claire Smith Center for Sports Media if it receives an additional $650,000 in gifts and pledges by June 30, 2022. 

The Board approved a request from the School of Pharmacy to establish an endowed emergency fund for its students. The fund will be subsidized through a $25,000 pledge from a School of Pharmacy employee and an additional $25,000 gift from the Richard Bryan Matching Gift Challenge. 

Academic Affairs

The Board approved the establishment of a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Music Theory in the Boyer College of Music and Dance. 

In the College of Public Health, the Board approved the establishment of a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy, a Master of Science in Public Health Data Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies. 

In the College of Science and Technology, the Board approved the restructuring of the Minor in Computer Science. 

In the Fox School of Business, the Board approved the establishment of various academic programs, like the Master of Science in Real Estate.

The Trustees also approved the establishment of concentrations in Real Estate for the Master of Business Administration in Business Administration, Data Analytics in the Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance and Marketing and Supply Chain Management for the Master of Science in Business Analytics. 

The Board also approved the restructuring of the Master of Business Administration in Business Administration and the Master of Health Administration in Health Administration in Fox, and terminated the Minor of Entertainment Law and Business. 

In the College of Education and Human Development, the Board approved three concentrations, Social Studies and Language Arts, Social Studies and Mathematics and Social Studies and Science, for the Master of Education in Middle Grades Education.

Trustees also approved the restructuring of three academic programs in the College of Liberal Arts, including the Doctor of Philosophy in Religion, the Minor in Biomedical Anthropology and the Minor in Classical Languages and Literature. 

In the Klein College, the Board approved the renaming of the Minor in Journalism Studies as the Minor in Journalism, Society and Culture, and the Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Production program’s Track in Media Business and Entrepreneurship as the Track in Media Business. 

In the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, the Board approved the termination of the Master of Science in Hospitality Management program’s concentrations in Event Management, Hospitality Operations Management and Tourism and Hospitality Marketing. 

Facilities and Construction

The Board approved its officers to proceed with the mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades project on the second floor of Sullivan Hall. The Board approved an additional $1.2 million in funding for the project, bringing the project’s total estimated cost to approximately $1.4 million.

Officer Reports

The Board authorized that students who regularly complete their studies at the School of Pharmacy, Lewis Katz School of Medicine and Beasley School of Law in June, July or August, will have their degrees dated in one of those months.

Additionally, the Board approved the deans of Temple’s medicine, law and pharmacy schools to provide a certificate verifying that degrees for candidates approved by appropriate faculty academic committees should be dated June 22 2021, Aug. 3 2021 and Aug. 31 2021, respectively. 

COVID-19 Impact and TSG Remarks

President of the Faculty Senate, Rafael Porrata-Doria, a Temple law school professor, acknowledged Temple students, faculty, staff and trustees’ perseverance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in his closing remarks. 

“We have pulled our oars and we have managed to get the university out through this pandemic,” Porrata-Doria said. 

Porrata-Doria also welcomed Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, a theater professor, as his successor as president of the Faculty Senate. 

Student Body President Bradley Smutek also made his first speech to the Board, after being inaugurated on April 26. 

Smutek acknowledged the success of the university’s commencement ceremonies that took place on May 6 and 7, and the university’s six-week COVID-19 vaccine clinic at White Hall. 

Smutek also urged the Board to consider students who struggle with mental health, housing, food and financial insecurity when discussing tuition costs. 

Temple Student Government’s Parliament passed a resolution on April 27, calling on Smutek to present a proposal for a tuition freeze for the 2021-2022 academic year to the Board, The Temple News reported

“I hope that the Board shares my optimism for the future, but also recognizes the urgency of addressing these issues,” Smutek said. “You will find me a willing partner in conversations to discuss these topics.”

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