Board of Trustees name new trustee, football coach and approve gender-neutral housing

In its last meeting of 2016, the Board announced Steve Charles as its newest member and the Faculty Senate President Michael Sachs asked the board to consider naming the university a sanctuary campus.

The Board of Trustees approved several new actions at their public session on Tuesday in Sullivan Hall. Some of these actions included the addition of a new trustee, gender-inclusive housing and confirmation of Geoff Collins as new head coach of Temple’s football program.

Steve Charles, who donated $2 million to the School of Media and Communication last year, was elected to the Board of Trustees. Charles said he hopes to get involved in alumni relations.

“I think alumni, many times, don’t realize how much impact and goodness they can actually have for the university,” he said.

He added that he hopes to encourage Temple to participate in government programs and offer the university’s resources as a research and academic institution to the programs.

Charles works as co-founder of immixGroup, which is a Virginia-based company that connects technology companies with government agencies. Charles donated the money to SMC to create the school’s first endowed chair, called the Steve Charles Chair in Media, Cities and Solutions.

Gender-inclusive housing options will be available to students in Fall 2017. The housing option was said by Trustee Loretta Duckworth to have been presented to the Student Life and Diversity Committee of the trustees on Monday.

Gender-neutral housing will be throughout several residence halls in gender-neutral specified rooms.

“We’ve been working on it for a long time to get it fully-implemented as it is today,” Vice President for Student Affairs Theresa Powell said. “I couldn’t be more pleased. … This is a wonderful option for our students.”

In President Richard Englert’s report presented to the trustees, Englert emphasized the successes of Temple’s intercollegiate athletes. Some of these successes, Englert said, include all 19 women’s and men’s teams participating in community outreach, all football players achieving GPAs above 2.95 and the team’s future trip to the Military Bowl game in Annapolis on Dec. 27.

At the end of the meeting, both Student Body President Aron Cowen and Faculty Senate President Michael Sachs commended Englert for signing a letter in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a policy from the Obama administration that allows undocumented young people who fill certain criteria apply to stay in the United States for a renewable two-year period.

Sachs also told Englert about a petition that the Faculty Senate endorsed, asking the university to name itself a sanctuary campus, like the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College announced earlier this month.

Julie Christie and Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.

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