The Board of Trustees held a general body meeting on Oct. 14 in Sullivan Hall to approve the recommendations of its committees and hear reports from university administrators.
One of the early orders of business was the election of a new Board member to replace the seat left vacant by Lewis Katz, who died in a May 31 plane crash in Bedford, Massachusetts.
Upon the recommendation of the Trustee Affairs committee, the Board elected Drew Katz, Lewis Katz’s son, to fill his father’s seat for the next four years.
Katz did not attend the meeting.
Chairman Patrick O’Connor was re-elected to his position for the coming year.
The Executive Committee welcomed two new members, Scott Cooper and Leon Moulder. Both trustees joined the Board within the last two years.
The Athletics Committee ballooned from seven members to 13. All previous members stayed on, and joining them are Katz, Cooper, Theodore Davis, Theodore McKee of the Third Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, James S. White, and Michael Stack, a state senator representing Northeast Philadelphia who is running for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania with gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.
O’Connor named two new committee chairs for this academic year. Solomon C. Luo will take over Campus Life and Diversity. Anthony J. McIntyre will oversee the Student Affairs committee.
As The Temple News reported last week, the College of Health Professions and Social Work will be reorganized and renamed The College of Public Health, as recommended by the Academic Affairs Committee. The move allows for a potential increase in outside funding.
The College of Public Health will house the School of Social Work.
Other Board members were up for reelection, including comedian Bill Cosby, who was e-elected unanimously. After the election, Trustee Robert Rovner spoke about Cosby’s accomplishments.
“Trustee Cosby was the Jackie Robinson of television, the first African American to be on a weekly show,” Rovner said. Cosby was not present at the meeting.
Also re-elected for four-year terms were McKee, White, Nelson Diaz of Dilworth Paxson LLP and Mitchell Morgan of Morgan Properties. Morgan and White are both the namesake of two residence halls on Main Campus.
Christopher McNichol, of Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., was reappointed by Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Sam Smith earlier this month.
McNichol presented the Facilities Committee report. Several buildings on different campuses needed safety and infrastructure upgrades, he said.
The trustees approved a major safety upgrade for Ritter Hall valued $10.75 million. The project will install a sprinkler system and upgrade the fire alarm system. Additionally, the existing ceiling will be replaced along with the lighting system.
Fire suppression and life safety system upgrade design services were approved for Annenberg Hall and the Tomlinson Theater on Main Campus and the Medical Research Building on the Health Sciences Campus. Those were not to exceed $250,000 and $150,000, respectively.
Electrical switchgear equipment at several Temple buildings no longer meets the requirements of modern technology. To address this, the Board approved design services for eventual upgrades and replacement at Kresge Hall and the Medical Research Building on the Health Sciences Campus, the School of Podiatric Medicine and Pearson, McGonigle, Wachman and Speakman halls on Main Campus.
According to the proposals in the references for the Facilities agenda, the equipment was upgraded due to being obsolete, expensive to maintain or falling short of current electrical demands. Kresge Hall, originally designed for classrooms, now has a robotics lab. The design cost totals are not expected to exceed $975,000.
The Board also approved a long term sublease of the East Park Canoe House, which will serve as the home of Temple’s crew and rowing teams. The renovation cost will be $5.5 million, with $2.5 million coming from the City of Philadelphia and $3 million via a donation from trustee H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, who joined the Board in 2013.
The Board is scheduled to meet again on Dec. 9.
Bob Stewart can be reached at email@example.com