The Board of Trustees unanimously approved all agenda items at its public session on Tuesday in Sullivan Hall.
Leonard Getz, the treasurer of Zionist Organization of America in Philadelphia, spoke to the Board at the end of the public session to call on the university to fire Marc Lamont Hill, a media studies and production and urban education professor, who came under fire last year for his comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Prior to Getz’s speech, the Board approved changes to curriculum, re-elected Trustee Michael McNichol and approved additional funding for several facilities projects on Main Campus, totalling more than $10 million.
The Board agreed to let Getz give an “orderly presentation” during the new business part of the public session, Board Chairman Patrick O’Connor told The Temple News after the meeting.
“[The Board] agreed that if under new business, which we’ve done before, if there could be an orderly presentation, we’d allow it, because to deny it would be to deny First Amendment rights when we affirmed our professor’s First Amendment rights,” he said.
“I think it served the university well,” O’Connor added about Getz’ speech. O’Connor has also publicly criticized Hill’s comments, calling them “lamentable” and “disgusting.” The Board issued a unanimous statement of condemnation of Hill’s comments in December 2018.
“I’m grateful for the university to allow me to speak, but what matters really is that Marc Lamont Hill be fired because he really doesn’t…represent Temple University,” Getz, a 1976 alumnus, told The Temple News on Tuesday.
The Board approved $5.5 million to relocate the advising offices located in Paley Library, which closed on Thursday.
The College of Liberal Arts advising offices will move to Gladfelter Hall’s plaza level, and the College of Science and Technology advising offices will move to the first floor of Tuttleman Learning Center.
The Board also approved a $2.5 million-increase to the cost of renovating the mezzanine between Anderson and Gladfelter halls, totalling $6.9 million. Two staircases, an elevator connected to the ground level and additional seating and furniture will be added to the mezzanine.
The first part of the two-part renovation project cost $2.6 million, The Temple News reported in February 2018.
The Board approved a $2.1 million-increase to renovation cost of the Office of Facilities Management. Offices for the Purchasing Department and Housekeeping will be added to the office’s loading and storage area. The project now costs $2.34 million.
The Board also approved academic changes to several of Temple’s undergraduate and graduate programs.
The College of Engineering will consolidate four of its current programs into a new Department of Engineering, Technology, and Management. The college will also add three new concentrations — engineering devices, pre-health and cellular engineering — within its undergraduate Bioengineering program.
The College of Liberal Arts will add a major and minor in Italian Studies that allows students to focuses on Italian culture.
The Board also approved the addition of a minor in corporate compliance and regulatory policy and a minor in sales in the Fox School of Business. Both will be offered in Fall 2019.
The Klein College of Media and Communication will add a graduate program in Conflict and Communication, which will be offered in Fall 2020. The college will also offer a minor in communication activism in Fall 2019.
The School of Theater, Film and Media Arts will offer an undergraduate program in Technical Production and Management in Fall 2019 to prepare students for professional work in theaters.
NAMED SPACES AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Temple will name a study room in the new Charles Library the “Gateway Search Associates Small Group Study Room” with a $10,000 gift over four years.
The Board approved a $150,000 gift from Samuel and Maureen Pond, which will create the Samuel and Maureen Pond Courtroom Fund to support technology upgrades within one of the school’s courtrooms.
The School of Podiatric Medicine will renovate its second floor to be a teaching lab and rename it “The Catherine Hand Center for Clinical Training and Excellence” after the 1949 alumna who donated more than $200,000 to the school.
The Board also approved additional scholarships at the university.
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine accepted a gift of $350,000 to create an endowed fund from the John Lachman Society. It will provide travel research, and test preparation support, among others, to the department’s students.
The Boyer College of Music will offer a full-tuition scholarship funded by State Rep. Jim Roebuck in memory of his wife.
In his address to the Board, President Richard Englert commended the newly created North Central Special Services District, a board of community residents and university officials, for expanding street-sweeping days in the area off campus to four days a week.
The District also added two additional trash pick-up days for the first two weekends of the month to combat student trash when they move out of their off-campus apartments.
Englert also thanked the outgoing Temple Student Government administration and the incoming administration, including the newly elected Student Body President Francesca Capozzi.