Student government leaders discuss student participation in presidential search

A petition has surfaced to include a graduate student in the committee that will select Temple’s next president.

The Presidential Search Committee met on Tuesday, Nov. 29 in Sullivan Hall, and Colin Saltry will draft a formal student opinion for hiring Ann Weaver Hart’s replacement.

Saltry, Temple Student Government student body president, is the sole student representative on the committee and announced the latest news at the TSG General Assembly meeting Monday, Dec. 5.

Saltry said the committee will be putting suggestions students gave during public meetings last month into the job description of the new university president.

Specifically, Saltry will incorporate calls for a candidate who is “accessible…and someone who has a commitment to Temple. Someone who’s attached to Philadelphia, and they’re not driving five hours to come to Temple,” he said.

Saltry declined to say what the committee has accomplished after its two meetings, citing that the committee intends to keep its meetings confidential. The meetings are not open to the public, and Saltry said the committee does not currently have anything to formally present to the public.

“It’s to protect the identity of potential candidates,” Saltry said. “When we have it narrowed down to a few candidates, they’ll be meeting with constituency groups of students on campus.”

Twelve members of the Board of Trustees, faculty members Paul S. LaFollette, Jr. and Luis T. Gonzalez del Valle sit on the committee with Saltry, who represents all students, including undergraduates, graduates, transfers and other non-traditional students.

TSG Director of Academic Affairs Zack Groff presented a petition at the TSG meeting to include a graduate student representative on the search committee, on behalf of Temple University Graduate Students Association.

The committee has until June 30, 2012 to find a replacement for Hart. Saltry said the student opinion does not have a specific timeline.

Amelia Brust can be reached at abrust@temple.edu.

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