Board approves realignment, acting president, at latest meeting

At the Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, June 21, the board realigned some schools and formally announced the new acting president, but left university’s budget for fiscal year 2012-13 still undecided.

In what Ray Betzner, assistant vice president of university communications, called “a more streamlined approach,” some departments will be consolidated in the College of Education, Boyer College of Music and Dance and School of Communications and Theater.

“We are looking to reduce costs where we can,” Betzner said.

A Center for the Arts will be established to include the Boyer College of Music and Dance, Tyler School of Art and the Division of Film, Media Arts and Theater. Also, the School of Communications and Theater will be renamed the School of Media and Communication and will include the departments of advertising, broadcast, telecommunications and mass media, strategic communication and journalism, effective July 1.

“In terms of facilities…I think that is totally at the president’s discretion,” Solomon Luo, academic affairs committee vice chair, said. Luo added that the consolidation is intended to shrink the budget and help the university operate more efficiently.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Englert was also formally appointed the acting president of the university. The action earned a thunderous applause from the board. He will take office on July 1, when President Ann Weaver Hart assumes the presidency at the University of Arizona.

Englert , who served as provost for the past two years, recognized the deans from different schools during his report.

“The deans are key members of the university’s executive leadership,” Englert said, as he praised their achievements and innovative ideas to achieve.

Richard Englert said he feels both nervous and excited about his new position, but is happy to be joining a university with such “great students and great staff.” President Hart was absent from yesterday’s meeting. Englert said she was out of town and couldn’t make it.

The appropriations bill, which would provide Temple with state funds of the same level as last fiscal year, passed the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee, today. Having already made it through the senate, the appropriations bill must now survive a vote on the house floor and gain Governor Corbett’s signature. Since the appropriations bill has not been formally passed, no word on tuition was given at the meeting. After action is taken by the legislature, the Board of Trustees can begin to decide next year’s budget.

Assuming that the bill is passed by the legislature’s June 30 deadline, the Board of Trustees will convene on July 9 to approve next year’s budget. Until that time, officers have been authorized to extend funds at the same level into the 2012-13 year.

“I encourage everyone to contact their legislators. We have a lot of support within the legislature,” said Kenneth Lawrence Jr., senior vice president of government, community and public affairs. “But until they vote and pass the bill and the governor signs it, anything can happen.”

Dominique Johnson and Haley Kmetz can be reached at news@temple-news.com.

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