Since July, Temple has named four new deans to six of the university’s 17 colleges. In the first months of the semester, the new hires have spent time listening to stakeholders to determine priorities for their colleges.
While each dean has only a few months of experience at Temple, they have ideas for the future of their schools and how they’ll navigate budget and enrollment ailments through increasing publicity and student opportunities.
Temple has faced low overall enrollment this year, down more than nine percent from last year and 22 percent from 2019, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Budget reductions have also taken place in every college, except for the School of Pharmacy and Kornberg School of Dentistry.
Here are the new deans and their top priorities.
Mostafá began his position as dean of the College of Science and Technology on Oct. 1.
Mostafá has been doing a listening tour, the period of time when a new manager speaks with their key stakeholders to get an idea of what their workspace needs, which he expects to finish in October.
So far, the college’s budget is a concern and affects each department’s morale. They can raise the budget by increasing enrollment and getting private funds and government donations for research, Mostafá said.
Mostafá has noticed a lack of promotion for the college and believes that gaining recognition through their research and faculty is what will move the college forward.
“My biggest priority is research, because that’s what we serve for the students,” Mostafá said. “That’s what can distinguish Temple from any competitor, we can give the students that extra nudge that they cannot get in other places, where they only teach classes. That’s a big advantage of having top researchers. I think that, even though some people disagree, the main job of the dean is to hire excellent faculty.”
Ibrahim transitioned from interim to permanent dean of the College of Public Health and School of Social Work on Aug. 1.
The college is able to proceed with strategic planning — the process of defining its vision and current objectives for the future — with Ibrahim in the position.
“We’re really using this upcoming year to listen to everyone, to be more focused in what we’re doing and better articulate our brand and value externally,” Ibrahim said. “The last time we were ranked in U.S. News as a school of public health, we moved from 50 to 36. I anticipate with the work that we’re doing that will continue to move in that direction.”
Under Ibrahim’s leadership, CPH will continue its fundraising campaign, which focuses a portion of the additional funds on the renovation of Paley Hall, and another portion on adding funds for scholarships.
The college is currently located across 12 different buildings while students and faculty wait for the renovation and expansion of Paley Hall. Finishing the building and being able to reconnect students and faculty back into the same space is most critical, Ibrahim said.
Larry “Chip” Hunter
Hunter also started as dean of the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management on Aug. 1.
As Hunter steps into the role, the schools’ biggest concern is increasing enrollment. The school has faced lower numbers in undergraduate and graduate programs, Hunter said.
Fox has 5,703 undergraduate and graduate students this semester, and STHM has 638. In the Fall 2021 semester, 7,216 total students were enrolled in Fox, with 825 in STHM.
“Because of the budget challenges, we’ve had to cut our investment in marketing our programs, which isn’t ideal, but we just literally don’t have the money, which then makes it harder to get the word out,” Hunter said. “Then enrollment drops and we’re in a kind of a cycle that’s going the wrong way.”
Hunter has been working with Jose Aviles, vice provost of enrollment management, to better market the school’s program offerings. Hunter has also been connecting with the school’s alumni as an avenue for fundraising and student networking.
“We want to make sure that the students who come and study with us are learning as much as they need to learn to be successful in their careers and to have a valuable degree,” Hunter said. “The good news is we have a track record of doing that, so in some ways, you could say my job is not to mess that up.”
Shealey began as the dean of the College of Education and Human Development on July 1.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, and with renovations underway in Ritter Hall, there’s been an emotional and physical disconnect in the college’s community, Shealey said.
This inspired the current “beautification” effort to change Ritter Hall’s interior design. Shealey will begin meeting with art education students and faculty on Nov. 1 to brainstorm the best ways to express the college’s identity.
“I’m excited to be able to reintroduce our college,” Shealey said. “[There are] some communities that thought they knew us well and those who didn’t feel like they knew us at all. I’m really excited to be able to do that.”
Shealey will also form a student advisory committee in November, with the hopes of starting meetings in January. With this committee, undergraduate and graduate student members will have a way to deliver feedback on areas the college needs to improve through monthly meetings. They will also serve on search and strategic action planning committees.
Additionally, Shealey will work to provide more study abroad opportunities to help more students consider their work as educators or communicators from a global perspective.