Top 15 news topics of 2014

COURTESY TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
COURTESY TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

1. Pain and the Game: A seven-month investigation into the university’s men’s and women’s track & field teams found that Eric Mobley, who coached men’s and women’s track & field until his resignation in June, was accused of verbal abuse, intimidation and dereliction of his coaching duties. The account – based on 25 interviews with people involved with the track & field teams including students, coaches and family members – details abusive patterns in the programs’ leadership which negatively affected the mental health of several student-athletes.

The report found that Senior Associate Athletic Director Kristen Foley was informed of student complaints on multiple occasions, but Mobley remained in his position through June 2014.

The investigation also revealed that the team did not practice using proper safety equipment for its discus throwers, leading to a career-ending injury for a star runner.

2. Bill Cosby resigns from Board of Trustees:

Bill Cosby speaks at a graduation ceremony in May 2013. The famed comedian and alumnus served on the Board of Trustees for 32 years. Andrew Thayer | TTN
Bill Cosby speaks at a graduation ceremony in May 2013. The famed comedian and alumnus served on the Board of Trustees for 32 years. Andrew Thayer | TTN

After a resurgence in accusations of sexual misconduct from more than 20 women, famed alumnus and comedian Bill Cosby, 77, resigned from Temple’s Board of Trustees. Cosby had held the position since 1982.

3. Cut crew and rowing teams reinstated:

(From left) Rowers Layla Moran, Rachael Braccia and Kelly Hill react in excitement to the news that the men’s crew and women’s rowing teams will be reinstated. The programs were slated to be eliminated this summer before the Board of Trustees reversed its decision. | ABI REIMOLD TTN
(From left) Rowers Layla Moran, Rachael Braccia and Kelly Hill react in excitement to the news that the men’s crew and women’s rowing teams will be reinstated. The programs were slated to be eliminated this summer before the Board of Trustees reversed its decision. | ABI REIMOLD TTN

Almost three months after the December 2013 decision to cut seven sports, the Board of Trustees voted to reinstate two of the cut programs: the crew and rowing teams. President Theobald said the teams were reinstated after the City of Philadelphia and trustee H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest agreed to contribute a total of $5.5 million for the renovation of the East Park Canoe House along the Schuylkill River.

The other five programs – baseball, softball, men’s gymnastics and men’s indoor and outdoor track & field – played their final seasons this spring and were cut effective July 1.

4. Trustee and alumnus Lewis Katz dies in plane crash:

COURTESY TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
COURTESY TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

The former chairman of the Board of Trustees’ athletics committee died May 31 in a plane crash near Boston, Massachusetts. With fellow trustee H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, he had won ownership of the Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com just days before. Temple honored Katz in a memorial service attended by the likes of former President Bill Clinton, N.J. Sen. Cory Booker, and Gov. Tom Corbett. Katz’ son, Drew Katz, has since taken his father’s spot on the board.

5. Brick attacks:

A Temple student looks at the hole she made in the drywall of her off-campus apartment. | ABI REIMOLD TTN
A Temple student looks at the hole she made in the drywall of her off-campus apartment. | ABI REIMOLD TTN

Early in the evening on March 21, four Temple students were attacked by a group of teenage girls in three separate assaults just west of Main Campus. One student, who was hit in the face with a brick, had a fractured jaw and needed oral surgery. Since the attacks were handled by the Philadelphia police and were outside of the Temple Police patrol zone, TUPD was not notified of the attacks until hours later and no TU Alerts were sent out about the incidents. One of the perpetrators who wielded the brick, 15-year-old Zaria Estes, was to be tried as an adult before she pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Estes will be sentenced on Jan. 14.

6. University police patrol border expands:

Temple Police will supplement the city’s 22nd police district to the west of Main Campus. Amanda Shaffern | TTN
Temple Police will supplement the city’s 22nd police district to the west of Main Campus. Sash Schaeffer| TTN

At the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester, Temple Police expanded its patrol borders by a total of 25 square blocks. The current patrol zone is now bounded by 18th Street on the west, Susquehanna Avenue on the north, Ninth Street to the east and Jefferson Street to the south. Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the border expansion was motivated in part by the March brick assault and the increasing number of students living off campus. The Temple News was the first to report on this decision.

7. Gubernatorial elections:

President Barack Obama speaks to the crowd of about 5,000 gathered in the Liacouras Center on Sunday. Kara Milstein | TTN
President Barack Obama speaks to the crowd of about 5,000 gathered in the Liacouras Center on Nov.2. Kara Milstein | TTN

President Barack Obama spoke at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 2 as part of a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, who won the election against Tom Corbett two days later with 55 percent of the vote statewide and an overwhelming margin of victory in the precincts near Temple. Wolf’s runningmate and a state Senator from Northeast Philadelphia, Mike Stack, served on Temple’s Board of Trustees.

8. Temple researchers find potential HIV cure:

Temple's School of Medicine, located north of Main Campus near the intersection of Tioga and Broad streets. | HUA ZONG TTN
Temple’s School of Medicine, located north of Main Campus near the intersection of Tioga and Broad streets. | HUA ZONG TTN

A team led by Drs. Kamel Khalili and Wenhui Hu of the Department of Neuroscience developed a technique that successfully eliminated HIV from human cells. After an enzyme “snips” the virus from cell DNA, the cells can repair themselves and be virus free, Khalili told The Temple News this summer.

9. University’s handling of sexual assault under review:

In May, the U.S. Department of Education named Temple as one of 55 (now more than 80) universities under investigation for possible violations of Title IX in regard to handling claims of sexual assault. The DOE’s Office for Civil Rights visited Temple to conduct focus groups in Morgan Hall and address the issue.

10. New Main Campus construction to include library, quad, soccer  fields:

The new library planned for the intersection of Liacouras and Polett walks is slated for completion by 2018.  | IMAGE COURTESY OF SNØHETTA
The new library planned for the intersection of Liacouras and Polett walks is slated for completion by 2018. | IMAGE COURTESY OF SNØHETTA

This year, Temple announced its plans for development of its campuses, dubbed Visualize Temple. The plan includes a new library in the center of Main Campus to be bordered by a quad, a new science building, and another building for the College of Public Health. Despite speculation, an on-campus football stadium was not part of the initial plan.  Temple also purchased William Penn High School, where it will open a job training academy and build athletic fields.

11. Decentralized budget model implemented: Fiscal Year 2015 began on July 1 of this year and marked the first year under the decentralized budget model, in which cash that formerly flowed to the central administration now goes straight into the coffers of schools and offices. With tuition dollars now tied directly to schools’ budgets, programs with lower enrollment could see less funding.

12.  State-related schools ask for more funding:  Since Temple’s next request for a state appropriation had a chance to land on the desk of a new governor, the university asked for a 5 percent increase in funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 2011, under Gov. Tom Corbett, Temple saw a $32 million decline in funding and a small increase the following year. Since 2012, Temple’s state appropriation has stayed flat at $139.9 million amid rising costs, which has led to tuition increases. Other schools including Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh are asking for funding increases as well.

13. Temple launches two new admissions programs:

Temple officials said the SAT and ACT are not fair indicators of a student's success in college. | MARCUS MCCARTHY TTN
Temple officials said the SAT and ACT are not fair indicators of a student’s success in college. | MARCUS MCCARTHY TTN

Temple’s Fly in 4 initiative, announced in February, offers $4,000 scholarships to 500 incoming students, beginning with the Class of 2018. If students cannot graduate in eight semesters due to scheduling conflicts, the university will pay any remaining tuition costs.

The Temple Option is a new admission tactic which makes submission of SAT scores optional for applying students. Instead of submitting scores, students, beginning with those applying for the Class of 2019, can respond to four open-ended questions. Temple’s scholarships were previously based upon SAT scores and high school GPA.

14. Community relations: As Temple grows, its position in the community becomes more and more discussed. Students now live as far west as Gratz Street, the 1700 block of which had a block party canceled by police this year. City Council President Darrell Clarke proposed a bill that would incorporate areas near Temple as an educational housing district, which would impose a slew of requirements onto landlords. This year, TTN published an enterprise on gentrification.

15. Monteiro protests:

Students protest for Temple to reinstate African American studies professor Anthony Monteiro outside a meeting of the Board of Trustrees in Sullivan Hall on March 10. Students sucessfully argued for a private meeting with the senior vice president of government affairs on Friday. |Alexis Wright-Whitley TTN
Students protest for Temple to reinstate African American studies professor Anthony Monteiro outside a meeting of the Board of Trustrees in Sullivan Hall on March 10. |Alexis Wright-Whitley TTN

The Spring 2014 semester was marked by protests against the nonrenewal of the contract of non-tenure-track African American studies professor Anthony Monteiro. The protests, led by student activists and community members, argued that Monteiro’s knowledge of sociologist W.E.B Dubois should be kept at Temple and accused the university of targeting radical faculty members. The contract officially ended on June 30. Monteiro taught two courses at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.

 

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