The Board of Trustees approved the appointment of a new trustee and the agenda reports of twelve committees in a meeting held Tuesday in Sullivan Hall.
Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Sam Smith, who will retire from office Jan. 6 when the new legislative assembly comes in, appointed himself to the board.
Smith, a Republican who represents Jefferson, Armstrong and Indiana counties, has served 28 years in the state legislature, including four in his current role. Since the board only has seats for 12 state-selected trustees, AFL-CIO President Patrick Eiding will be forced to step down. Eiding made a speech and was given a certificate of appreciation.
In an interview after the meeting, Eiding said he was “disappointed” that he would no longer serve on the board.
“I was told I was going to have the appointment again from the Speaker of the House, who for whatever reason, decided to appoint himself, and God bless him,” Eiding said. “But you never know, I might be back. As I said [in my speech], I’m near Philadelphia, I’m not going anywhere.”
Chairman Patrick O’Connor said Smith “nominated himself to be a board member because he believes in Temple.”
Smith’s term on Temple’s board will end in October 2017.
The seat left vacant after the resignation of trustee Bill Cosby has not been filled.
“We are always looking for great women,” O’Connor said when asked if a woman might take the vacant seat. “We are a very diverse board, and we will become more diverse. Temple is a diverse institution, that’s why we’re here.”
O’Connor said the Trustee Affairs committee has identified several candidates, and will begin the process of interviewing them before bringing them to the full board for a vote.
Cosby resigned Dec. 2 amid a resurgence in allegations of sexual misconduct stemming from a joke comedian Hannibal Buress made about past accusations.
Since then, several women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault.
Members of the facilities committee met in executive session on Monday and were briefed on the campus master plan Visualize Temple, which includes a new library.
Senior Vice President for Construction, Facilities and Operations Jim Creedon said the trustees are allowing the plan to move forward and will vote as needed on capital projects involved with the master plan.
Faculty Senate President Tricia Jones gave a speech at the meeting, where she recounted an Oct. 28 diversity symposium and a meeting of the Council of Deans. She told the trustees that the senate would meet with adjunct faculty to discuss possible unionizing.
This meeting was the first for new trustee Drew Katz, who was elected to a four-year term in October. Katz took the seat previously held by his father, the late Lewis Katz, who died in a May plane crash.
Joe Brandt can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JBrandt_TU.
Steve Bohnel and John Moritz contributed reporting.