BOT approves room rate increases at first meeting of calendar year

Neil Theobald stressed affordability in his first address to the Board of Trustees as president.

President Neil Theobald stressed the importance of high-value education and affordability in his first address as president to the Board of Trustees during the public session of its meeting  March 5.

“Over the next several months, we will be creating a new vision for Temple University, one that makes good on [Russell] Conwell’s commitment to our students,” Theobald said.

In line with Theobald’s address, the trustees approved to restructure the curriculum in various schools and colleges in order to strengthen programs and provide new alternatives to graduate and undergraduate students beginning this fall.

Fox School of Business will consolidate its various MBA offerings into a single degree program with different modes of delivery. Students who are currently enrolled in any of these separate programs will be allowed to the take the necessary courses for completion.

According to the Academic Affairs Committee report, “MBA programs that are not agile and quick to respond to market expectations will increasingly fail.”

The College of Health Professions and Social Work will offer three news concentrations in the Bachelor of Science in kinesiology and a new concentration within the Master of public health program.

The College of Engineering will establish a Bachelor of Science in bioengineering in a move to develop the department of bioengineering that was created in 2008.

The College of Liberal Arts and the Center for the Arts will increase the number of credits in its respective master’s programs to satisfy the Pennsylvania Department of Education requirement of 30 credits.

The trustees also approved the president’s recommendation of granting faculty tenure.

“We must use the intellectual gifts of our faculty and researchers to provide solutions to our world’s most pressing problems,” he said. “We must never forget that a great university is based on a great faculty.”

The tenure list is on file in the Office of the Provost.

Aside from academic matters, the board authorized an average increase in student housing rates of 3.12 percent for 2013-14. There will be no increase for Peabody, Johnson and Hardwick halls.

In his final remarks, Theobald urged the board to keep tuition as low as possible while stressing that the best way to help students control their costs is to have them focus on graduating in four years.

“Russell Conwell had 38 years as president to make his vision of Temple come true, I am not planning on a tenure quite so long,” he said.

Laura Ordonez can be reached at 

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