As Temple prepares to welcome a new president this summer, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Englert has agreed the suspend his departure from the head of faculty until December 31, 2012, in order to help the university transition to a new president.
President Ann Weaver Hart’s upcoming departure this June after six years at Temple has left the Board of Trustees with the critical task of finding a new president in the midst of the university’s 20/20 plan.
In an email sent to students and staff of May 9, Hart thanked Englert for his decision to stay, and praised his leadership.
“Dick has been a strong academic leader for Temple University, and his steady leadership will assure that Temple does not miss a beat in its continued growth and distinction,” Hart said in the email.
Englert has been working at the university for 36 years, first taking the role of assistant to the dean at the College of Education in 1976. Englert has served as a professor of education administration while also taking on numerous roles at the College of Education and university as a whole.
When Hart became president in 2006, she asked Englert to serve as provost, a position he filled until 2007. He resumed the office in June 2010 to fill a two-year term following the departure of Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico.
Englert’s two-year contact expired this summer, but he and his faculty decided to extend it another six months to ease the transition for a new president.
“We said a new president is coming in, let’s give the president six months to settle and help with the transition,” Englert said. “That way the new president can come in and settle and then choose their own provost.”
Englert said he plans on staying with the university by returning to his full-time teaching position at the College of Education.
This summer, the Board of Trustees is expected to announce its candidate for the next president.
While he has no specific knowledge on the dealings of the presidential search, Englert said he is confident in whoever is selected for the role.
“We have a great Board of Trustees who are doing the search and they will continue at their own pace,” Englert said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for a new person coming in. The university is doing extremely well in admissions, enrollment, quality of education and quality of faculty. Temple University continues to be on the move and any president would love that opportunity.”
As part of the university’s 20/20 plan, money has been appropriated for planning and construction of new buildings such as the South Gateway residence hall on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, a new College of Science and Technology building in front of Gladfelter Hall and the design of a new library on Broad Street.
“Students will not be able to see something changing as a result of the new president,” Ray Betzner, assistant vice president of university communications, said in reference to the 20/20 plan.
“Any projects that the Board of Trustees has approved will continue as we transition from President Hart,” Betzner added, though he said that future projects could be added or cut through decisions of the future president.
Englert added that he is eager to help the new president in any way he can.
“Any way that I can help, I would put my knowledge and experience towards the new president,” Englert said.
In February, the Board of Regents at the University of Arizona announced that Hart was the final candidate for the role of president at the university. Hart will begin her role on July 1.
John Moritz can be reached at email@example.com.