Another semester is now coming to an end. It’s time for study days, finals, last minute term papers and all that entails. Depending on a students’ particular workload or choice of classes, this week will either come as a relief or as an insurmountable obstacle of work before Winter break.
But more importantly, besides the mandatory teacher evaluation forms or half-hour long classes on the last day of school, there is the question of where Temple University is headed.
The last semester has seen questions at Temple University over a number of school policies, resignations and more than its fair share of scandals.
New policies put in place in regard to the process of hiring faculty alarmed many professors here, while raising questions about the worth of a masters degree or doctorate from Temple if the school’s own degree is not good enough to teach here.
Communication of these new regulations was handled awkwardly by Temple’s administration, with ambiguous wording and a convoluted chain of command; leaving faculty members unaware of the exact purpose and implementation of these rules.
Faculty and other employees are part of the Temple community just as students are, and the strange behavior of the administration had the perception of being unnecessarily antagonizing.
Turnover also occurred at several colleges within the university, with C. Kent McGuire taking over the College of Education and the resignation of Chris D. Platsoucas as dean of the College of Science and Technology.
All in all, we are left with a school that is reforming and repackaging itself – but as what?
Temple is a school with a personality crisis. Both residential college and commuter school, both world-reknowned and suffering from woefully understaffed departments. The Temple football team’s controversial move into the Linc has done wonders at getting Temple’s name out, but we still do not have anything resembling a coherent vision for our school.
Temple cannot continue being all things to all people. Instead of assertively taking on any of the difficulties facing the school such as lack of student housing, dwindling state funding or understaffed academic departments, we instead see a piecemeal effort aimed at placating critics of the school.
As a public urban university, Temple faces very specific goals and challenges. Let us hope the next semester sees Temple meeting all these challenges and becoming a better school.