Immediately following President David Adamany’s e-mail announcement of his pending retirement on Jan. 19, Temple students expressed surprise and disbelief over his decision to leave his post.
James Lee, a graduate theology student, said, “I feel like he’s been working on so many changes … bringing Tyler [to Main Campus], tearing down Curtis [Hall]. … He’s making all these changes and right when it all happens, he’s going to leave?” Lee asked.
“It’s like a premonition that something bad is going to happen. Like why is he running away,” Lee said.
Before students were informed of Adamany’s resignation, a closed-door Executive Session Meeting began at 3 p.m. on Thursday in Sullivan Hall where the Board of Trustees assembled.
The meeting was first unopen to the public, but, at 3:45 p.m., the public was allowed in and Board of Trustees Chairman Howard Gittis announced that Adamany would retire effective June 30, unless the university can find a suitable president earlier.
Shortly after the press conference, Temple Student Government President Oscar Chow learned of Adamany’s announcement.
“I was very surprised,” Chow said. “I really don’t have any words, just very surprised.”
Chow, who graduates in May, said Adamany achieved a lot as president during the past six years, such as opening the new TECH Center. “He did a decent job as president,” Chow said. “I definitely think he’s leaving on a positive note.”
Sung Ho Yoo, a sophomore German and secondary education major, was also surprised.
“It was sudden, kind of strange,” Yoo said. “Best wishes to our president though, and I hope he does well wherever he goes.”
Four days later, after absorbing the news, several students reflected upon Adamany’s tenure with disdain.
Senior political science major Alison Huxta said that Adamany maintained a poor relationship with faculty, staff and students.
“The people that had to do with the education part of Temple and the actual community of Temple didn’t like Adamany because he did nothing for the workers and the faculty,” Huxta said. “And the only thing he did for the students was just say that we had grade inflation.”
Huxta, who is a member of the Student Labor Action Project, also disapproved of Adamany’s treatment of Temple union members.
“A lot of Temple workers have had a really hard time negotiating contracts with Adamany,” she said.
Junior Asian studies major Yosef Kalish agreed. He said that Adamany’s policies fostered too much of a focus on “grandiose” and “money-profiteering” pursuits instead of providing a quality education to those students who may be underprivileged.
“The whole purpose of Temple University is to give those children the opportunity to learn in the best kind of institution that’s out there, an elite institution, which Temple University is,” Kalish said. “I’m very upset with what [Adamany] has done. I think that the core issue of Temple University has been missed.”
Other students approved of Adamany’s efforts to improve Temple’s infrastructure and expressed disappointment at his resignation.
“He’s constructed all these new buildings and really tried to give us more of a private school, higher-rated school feel,” junior marketing major Kristen Knese said. “I think he did a lot for the image of this school and it is sad that he’s retiring.”
Many other students felt that Adamany’s decision did not have much of an effect on their daily lives.
“I don’t really feel like he connected with me at all, really. I didn’t even know he was president until I heard he resigned, to be honest,” said Joe Hess, a freshman in the Fox School of Business.
Huxta said she believes that the future for Temple’s administration appears uncertain.
“Temple hired Adamany to make more money, … so who knows who they’re going to hire to get even more money,” Huxta said. “It could be somebody who’s even worse than Adamany or maybe they learned a lesson and they’re going to find someone better.”
Venuri Siriwardane and Charmie R. Snetter can be reached at TempleNews@GMail.com.