Jason Wingard, a dean emeritus and professor at Columbia University, was selected as Temple University’s president-elect today, making him the first Black president in the university’s 137-year history, Board of Trustees chairman Mitchell Morgan announced at a noon press conference in 1810 Liacouras Walk.
“I am honored by the Board’s selection and excited to lead one of the nation’s premier urban research universities,” Wingard said.
Wingard previously held administrative positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University. He also serves as the founder and chairman of The Education Board, Inc., a consulting firm for non-profit organizations, K-12 schools, colleges, universities and other special-interest organizations, and has held positions with business firms like Goldman Sachs.
“He had every specification, every qualification that we were looking for in the next president,” Morgan said. “He’s a visionary, he’s a great leader and we are really excited about him.”
Wingard will begin his presidency on July 1 and will spend the next month planning for his first day by listening to recommendations from Temple administrators, students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members, he said.
During his presidency, Wingard hopes to serve as an ambassador for the university by championing Temple’s accomplishments locally and globally, which he believes will help the university’s fundraising initiatives, he said.
“People will love hearing about how successful we are in all aspects of university life, and they will want to know how we can get to the next level,” Wingard said. “Then we will be able to tell them how we can build upon the excellent success that we have, and what we need to be able to get there.”
He also hopes to ensure Temple’s curriculum reflects employers’ needs and deepens the university’s engagement with the local and global community, which he plans to do by increasing the amount of time he and his staff will spend listening to community stakeholders, he said.
“The key is making it more of a priority, spending more resources and spending more time,” Wingard said. “The community is more than willing to listen, to hear us, but we have to spend the time to do it.”
Wingard was raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and grew up attending the late Temple basketball coach John Chaney’s camps in Philadelphia and Ambler. He has lived in Philadelphia for the past 23 years and began visiting Temple’s campus four years ago while his father attended graduate school here, he said.
“Temple University is the educational heartbeat of this city and this region,” Wingard said. “We have been proudly supporting and following Temple University for all these 23 years.”
Wingard will succeed Richard Englert, who has served as president of the university since 2016, The Temple News reported.
“His absolute passion for Temple’s mission inspires me,” Englert said. “We have so many things in common. Any way I can help him as he assumes this role, I’m going to help him. It’s all about our students, our faculty and our mission, and he gets it.”
Englert announced his plans to retire by the end of the 2020-21 academic year during a conference call after the July 2020 Board of Trustees meeting, The Temple News reported.
The Board convened the Presidential Search Committee in September 2020 to begin identifying potential candidates to succeed Englert, and collected feedback from the Temple community about the decision through nine virtual town halls and a survey, The Temple News reported.
The Presidential Search Committee shared a prospectus of the qualities they were searching for in Englert’s successor in February and announced their intentions to recommend a candidate for his successor in late April, The Temple News reported.