Top 10 News Topics of 2016

Theobald resigned, security increased after mob attacks and students protested after the presidential election.

Neil Theobald (left), addresses the state legislature in Harrisburg in March. Hai-Lung Dai (right), speaks at the opening of the Science Education and Research Center in 2014. TTN FILE PHOTO | PATRICK CLARK / KARA MILSTEIN
  1. Administration – In July, Temple faced administrative upheaval after Hai Lung-Dai was removed from his position as provost, and then two weeks later, former President Neil Theobald was faced with a vote of no confidence from the Board of Trustees. Richard Englert stepped in as interim president while Joanne Epps became the university’s provost. Since then, Dai has filed a lawsuit against Theobald and Englert was named President for the next year until a national search begins in the summer. Theobald was also a finalist to be president of the University of Northern Iowa but did not get the job.
  2. Stadium – Temple selected Moody Nolan as the architect for a possible on-campus football stadium. In April, university CFO and treasurer Ken Kaiser explained the financial aspects of the stadium to the school’s faculty senate. Over the summer, the Board approved an additional $250,000 to be spent on a study that would explore the impact of the stadium. This brought the total cost of the study to $1.25 million. Dozie Ibeh, associate vice president for Temple’s Project Delivery Group told The Temple News in August that the study, which began in the spring, is still months away. In early December, Temple exercised its option to renew its lease at Lincoln Financial Field for the 2018 football season.
  3. Adjunct faculty – After they voted to unionize in December 2015, about 1,400 adjunct faculty will be represented by the Temple Association of University Professionals. Now TAUP and Temple are negotiating a new contract that will include part-time faculty in the schools and colleges that teach undergraduate programs.
  4. Mob attacks – A crowd of about 200 minors gathered on Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Broad Street for a Pearl Theater meetup organized through social media in October. The meetup quickly turned into violence when a couple of small groups split from the larger crowd and attacked several students and police officers. Students were shaken after the attacks and Temple Police upped security.
  5. State budget – A state budget impasse that lasted close to 9 months, with Temple’s $175 million apportionment hanging in the balance. The uncertainty led to talk of losing funding for Temple’s health system and lowering the university’s credit rating. Former President Theobald and representatives from Temple Student Government visited Harrisburg, PA to ask lawmakers to resolve the impasse.
  6. Food Services – In September, food service providers met with the university in the hopes of replacing Sodexo, which had been with Temple for 28 years. The following month, Temple announced Aramark would take over with a 15-year contract. Employees would be able to reapply for positions with Aramark and some vendors around campus may change. Meal plans have a chance to change as a result of the new service provider and the city’s sugary drink tax, but not until the 2017-18 academic year.
  7. SEPTA – A third of the Regional Rail fleet was pulled off the tracks and students faced delays in September. But in late October, students and the university began preparing for a possible strike of subway, bus and trolley operators, which would effectively shut down public transportation within the city. On Nov. 1, it happened and Temple launched a free shuttle service for students and faculty, but it didn’t come without criticism.
  8. Peter Liacouras and David Adamany – Temple lost two former presidents in 2016. Peter Liacouras, the namesake of the Liacouras Center and Liacouras Walk, served from 1982 to 2000. David Adamany, who served from 2000 to 2006, died in November. He was known for continuing the capital projects that started with Liacouras.
  9. The election – Throughout the 2016 election cycle, candidates visited Temple to campaign, including Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty. Sanders drew the largest crowds and Clinton visited Main Campus twice in two months. Students faced ballot issues with late absentee ballots and after the election, protests filled the streets in the days and nights that followed.
  10. Construction around campus – Temple opened up a new sports complex this year, with the possibility of adding a training facility for nearby union workers. The library underwent renovations to accommodate the advising offices for the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Technology and construction for the new library officially broke ground. An apartment building was proposed just south of Main Campus and another apartment building will open on 16th Street near Oxford.

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