New trustees, new plans expected at BOT meeting

The board will vote on a request for more state funding.

The Board of Trustees will hold its first General Assembly meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Oct. 8, where the board will elect three new trustees and come up with new strategies for the university.

The board’s General Assembly meetings, which are typically held once a semester, serve as the main legislative organ of the university, determining strategies from tuition and costs, approval of top administrators and fundraising initiatives.

Several of the board’s committees met over the past three weeks to discuss plans they will present to the entire board to vote on at the meeting. Some of the board’s key committees, such as athletics and budget and finance, chose to cancel their meetings, saying they had nothing new on the agenda.

Bob Rovner, chairman of the student affairs committee, said his committee will present a report to the entire board on enrollment, student services and diversity.

John Campolongo, president of Temple’s Alumni Association, said the alumni relations and development committee discussed plans to increase alumni engagement and fundraising, and they will report to the entire board on Oct. 8.

At the last General Assembly meeting in June, the board voted to raise undergraduate tuition by $400 for in-state students and $600 for out-of-state students.

Lew Gould, chairman of the budget and finance committee, said the decision was difficult, but added that the board also approved a 12 percent increase in the financial aid budget, which rose to $90 million.

In order to avoid raising tuition next year, the board will request that the state increase its funding for Temple. Ray Betzner, assistant vice president of University Communications, said the board will announce the specific details of its request at the General Assembly meeting.

The trustees will also discuss other methods to increase Temple’s revenue. Alumni giving and research revenue have been the focus, Gould said, and the board is giving every effort to raise them in the future.

In 2012, the board established a task force to increase research dollars, and it will spend $50 million over the next four to five years on commercially viable research projects.

The board will also vote in three new trustees, whose names have not yet been released, at Tuesday’s meeting. The meeting will be open to the public.

Later in the semester, the Visualize Temple initiative being developed by the university’s administrative offices will be put in front of board members for review. No specific date on the timing of this process, which is set to replace the Temple 20/20 initiative, has been set.

The board is composed of 36 voting members, 24 of whom are elected and 12 who are appointed by local government officials.

Joseph Gilbride can be reached at

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