Hilary Link, the dean of Temple University Rome, is leaving the university to become the first woman president of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
“Temple Rome is a true gem of Temple University,” Link said. “It is one of the longest-running, most historic, largest, most vibrant American campuses in Italy.”
Link will assume her new role on July 1. The university will immediately begin its search for a new dean, a Temple spokesperson wrote in an email to The Temple News.
Link’s “departure is a great loss for Temple,” Provost JoAnne Epps said in a statement. Link had led Temple Rome since 2013.
Link wants to apply an interdisciplinary approach at Allegheny, she said. It’s an appropriate time for an institution to appoint a woman leader, she added, considering “everything going on in the cultural context in the [United States].”
Prior to her position at Temple, Link worked at Barnard College of Columbia University for 11 years.
“It feels really exciting and satisfying to be a role model for lots of young women,” Link said. “Whether you’re the first, or the 10th, or the 100th…there’s roles for women in leadership, and you don’t have to be sort of stepping into the spotlight.”
During her five years in Rome, Link worked with schools on Main Campus to make studying abroad easier for students in the College of Science and Technology, the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management and the Klein College of Media and Communication. Temple Rome started offering curriculum options for engineering students during Link’s tenure.
She was also involved in the establishment of the campus’ first Board of Visitors, which includes alumni and administrators from the university’s domestic and international campuses who provide counsel to the Temple Rome dean.
Link “reinvigorated” Temple Rome, said Alistair Howard, the assistant vice president for international affairs for Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses.
“She’s promoted growth in the student numbers and the curriculum is more diverse, which means it’s more attractive to more Temple students and non-Temple students as well,” said Howard, who talks to Link at least once a week.
Link also initiated renovations at the Rome Campus. Before Temple Rome celebrated its 50th anniversary in June 2017, the university updated the basement of the campus’ main building, the Villa Caproni. It now has spaces for outside organizations to use.
The campus unveiled an updated digital photo studio, classroom space and study space, Link said. Temple Rome is also preparing to renovate its library, which is housed in the Villa Caproni building, during Summer 2019, Link said.
“I’m leaving an institution that has such great momentum and energy and is doing such great things,” Link said. “I personally feel whoever is selected will be stepping into an…opportunity to really take things in new directions.”