Theobald formally approved as university’s next chief

Indiana University administrator Neil Theobald was formally named Temple’s 10th president after the Board of Trustees approved him at a meeting at Sullivan Hall Tuesday afternoon.

Patrick J. O’Connor, chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee, said that the committee met with numerous candidates before naming former provost Richard Englert acting presidnet and settling on Theobald.

“We met and interviewed many outstanding presidents from all over the United States,” O’ Connor said.  “When we realized that we would not have a president by September, we relied on Richard Englert. We owe a great deal of gratitude to Englert.”

Theobald entered Feinstone Lounge at Sullivan Hall to a standing ovation, and expressed that he and his wife, Sheona, were thrilled to become a part of the university.

Theobald is currently senior vice president and chief financial officer atIndianaUniversityand has university-wide responsibility for developing and implementing financial plans and policies to support Indiana University’s 110,000 students.

The incoming president said that he aims to make higher education affordable and added that he was a first generation college student.

“Sheona and I are first generation college students, as so many of Temple students are,” Theobald said. “The opportunity that a quality education provides has irreversibly changed both of our lives.”

Theobald added that his goal is to extend this opportunity to students for generations to come and that he will work to recruit and retain the best faculty and students. His goal garnered support from many of those in attendance.  

“I think it’s great,” said Ken Lawrence, senior vice president of government, community and public affairs.  “I think he understands the importance of a public research for Temple University.”

Englert will serve out the rest of the year as acting president before Theobald takes office on Jan. 1.

Dominique Johnson can be reached at dominique.johnson@temple.edu.

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