Board elects Cawley, raises housing costs

The Board of Trustees also voted on demolitions.

Chairman Patrick O’Connor (center) addresses the Board of Trustees in its March 11 meeting. | Allan Barnes TTN
Chairman Patrick O’Connor (center) addresses the Board of Trustees in its March 11 meeting. | Allan Barnes TTN

Nearly two months after Gov. Tom Wolf rescinded his predecessor’s appointment of the previous Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley to the Board of Trustees, the board elected the two-time Temple alumnus and CEO of the United Way charity in a meeting held March 11 in Sullivan Hall.

Cawley had previously served as Gov. Tom Corbett’s non-voting representative on the board, as an ex-officio member. In one of his last days in office, Corbett appointed Cawley to take a seat as a voting trustee. On the 36-member board, 12 are chosen by the state government, divided equally among the House of Representatives, Senate and governor. The other 24 are elected by the board.

Cawley holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Temple.

Wolf also rescinded dozens of other late appointments, including that of Executive Director of Open Records Erik Arneson, the case of whom is currently being debated in Commonwealth Court.

Reached by phone at his United Way office on Monday, Cawley said the Senate asked Wolf to reconsider the recalled nominations and allow them to go through the body’s confirmation process, which vetted and approved him.

He said that after serving as Corbett’s representative, he was eager to come back to the board.

“I think we’re becoming one of the leaders in higher education nationally and I want to continue that,” Cawley said. “I want to continue to help Temple grow and expand its horizons and be an even better university today.”

Cawley said he is waiting to hear his committee assignments, but would be particularly interested in facilities, academic affairs and athletics.

“I’d serve on all the committees I could, time allowing,” Cawley said.

Cawley is the second Republican from the state government to join the board in recent months. In December, now-former Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Smith appointed himself to the board before retiring Jan. 6 when the new term began for the General Assembly. Smith, 59, a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, attended his first meeting on Wednesday. His term goes until October 2017.

Trustee Patrick V. Larkin, a 1974 graduate who was appointed to the board by the state Senate in 2004, was reappointed to the board by the same governmental body.

The board agreed to a 3.57 percent increase in the average housing cost for students on campus in the 2015-16 academic year. Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications Brandon Lausch said the average housing cost for students would be between $10,296 and $13,596 following the increase.

Housing costs rose an average 3.86 percent increase last year. In Morgan Hall and 1300 Residence Hall, the price for a single unit, for which demand was highest, was raised 7.5 percent.

Prices of university-offered meal plans, which are based on the November 2014 Philadelphia Consumer Price Index due to the university’s contract with Sodexo, will also increase by 2.6 percent next academic year.

“In line with Temple’s overall commitment to affordability, the new rates are being held to the lowest possible levels,” a statement from the Office of University Housing and Residential Life read.

The board also put final approval on the demolitions of Barton Hall and William Penn High School on Broad and Master streets. Under the university’s recently-unveiled Visualize Temple plan, the current site of Barton Hall will become a state-of-the-art library including green space. As The Temple News reported in October, the property is slated to become athletic facilities for the soccer and track & field team. Other facilities for lacrosse and field hockey are a possibility.

Joe Brandt and Christian Matozzo can be reached at or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.

CORRECTION: A version of this story which appeared in print on March 17 misstated the average cost of room and board following the cost increase. A university spokesman said the average cost of room and board would be between $10,296 and $13,596. The average cost did not rise to $13,596. The Temple News regrets the error.

This story also previously indicated that Cawley would now occupy the seat of former trustee Bill Cosby. This is incorrect. As a governor-appointed trustee, Cawley occupies a different seat. The board will elect a new trustee to take Cosby’s seat. That trustee will not be appointed by the state government.

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