The Board of Trustees honored the late trustee Joan Ballots and appointed Acting President Richard Englert university chancellor in its last scheduled meeting of the year on Tuesday.
Patrick J. O’Connor, chair of the board, opened the meeting with a moment of silence for Ballots, who passed away Thursday, Dec. 6 after a long illness. Ballots was a trustee since 1995 and served Temple in numerous factions, including the executive and athletics committees.
“There was no trustee that cared or loved Temple more than Joan,” O’Connor said.
The trustees signed a large get-well card to be sent to the Ballots family, which will hold services Friday that Englert and other board members pledged to attend.
Englert dedicated his last President’s Report to Ballots, who he said was “the strongest and most articulate advocate” of Temple students. He honored her by highlighting the exploits of some exemplary Temple students in his report.
“The students I mention all have directly benefit from your decisions,” Englert told the board. “Your decision to freeze tuition. Your decision to increase their gap by investing in student scholarships. Your decision to embark upon a $100 million campaign for scholarships, in which I’m proud to say 100 percent of the board members have been involved in.”
Following his report, the board unanimously approved Englert as the new university chancellor, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Englert said in an interview that he found out about the appointment a day or two ago.
“It is a terrific honor,” Englert said. “I’m so pleased and overwhelmed. This is an honor that I wasn’t expecting. When it comes from a great board of trustees, it means a lot to me.”
Englert will take over the role as chancellor from former President David Adamany, who served from 2000-06. Englert said there are no day-to-day responsibilities for the chancellor, and classified the position as an honorary one.
“Chancellor is former president,” Englert said. “Chancellor is an honorary role that performs whatever the board or the president wants to see done.”
In addition to his role as chancellor, Englert said he’d like to move to the classroom. He taught intellectual heritage when he was Dean of College Education, and said he’d like to return to the role. He also wants to teach university administration to doctorate students.
“I will definitely be involved in teaching,” Englert said.
The board appointed Bret S. Perkins, vice president of external and government affairs for the Comcast Corporation, a new member, effective immediately. Perkins will fill the vacancy created by Scott Mazo, whose term expired in October.
The report from the athletics committee gave no mention of the university’s active coaching search for the football team, which could be resolved this week, but did refer to the agenda of the executive session of the committee’s Nov. 27 meeting, in which board members “received briefings on conference-related matters.”
Other items on the agenda included the restructuring of curricula in various schools and colleges, installation of new cameras around the Main and Health Sciences Center and additional capacities for the Bio-Life Sciences Building, the Bell Building and Barrack Hall.
The next scheduled meeting of the board is March 5, 2013.
Joey Cranney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @joey_cranney.