Temple University’s Board of Trustees elected two new members, authorized funding to renovate Paley Hall and approved the restructuring of several academic programs at its Oct. 13 virtual meeting.
President Richard Englert said the university will announce its plans for the Spring 2021 semester by the end of this month.
Englert also said the COVID-19 pandemic has created “serious, but not debilitating” financial implications for Temple, noting the university has suffered from the decline in students living in university housing and lost revenue from renting its facilities to private groups.
“We have tightened our belts across the board and are prepared to take additional measures if necessary,” Englert said.
During the meeting, the Board authorized Temple University Hospital’s board to increase its line of credit with JPMorgan Chase and Company bank from $40 million to $75 million. The credit line, which is a revolving credit facility, will have a 1.55 percent interest rate, and the hospital will be required to pay back the bank by April 15, 2021.
The Board also authorized its officers to borrow $30 million from any bank, trust company, corporation or individual from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 for the “general purposes” of the university.
Additionally, the Board approved the schedule of meetings for itself and its standing committees from now through Oct. 21, 2021. Chairman Mitchell Morgan also announced each Trustee’s committee assignments from now through October 2021.
Here’s what else happened at Tuesday’s meeting.
New members and re-elections
Barry Arkles, a 1970 chemistry alumnus, will serve as a trustee from now through 2024, and Michael Breeze, a 1996 economics and operations management alumnus, will serve as a trustee for the Temple Alumni Association from now through 2023.
Morgan will serve as chairman until the Board’s next annual meeting.
The Board re-elected the following members to serve as university trustees for the next four years: Stephen Charles, Paul Curcillo, Leon Moulder, Daniel Polett and Phillip Richards. The Board also re-elected Lewis Gould and Joseph Marshall as commonwealth trustees.
The Board authorized its officers to proceed with phase one of construction on the third and fourth floors of Ritter Hall for its College of Education and Human Development master plan. The construction will also impact Ritter Annex and the Howard Gittis Student Center, and the full project will cost around $11.7 million at most.
Trustees were also authorized to proceed with a $15 million plan to renovate Paley Hall, Weiss Hall and the Old Dental School. In accordance with Temple’s master plan, this project will help convert Paley Hall into the main home of the College of Public Health.
The Board voted to grant tenure to multiple faculty members and transferred the departments of four tenured professors in the College of Education and Human Development.
In the Boyer College of Music and Dance, the Board voted to establish a master of music in piano performance/collaborative piano and chamber music, and a master of music in piano performance/piano pedagogy.
In the College of Public Health, the Board approved the establishment of a minor in health information management, and terminated the master of science in clinical research and translational medicine.
In the Kornberg School of Dentistry, the Board authorized its officers to restructure the master of science in oral health sciences.
In the College of Engineering, the Board approved the establishment of a master of engineering in engineering.
In the Fox School of Business, the Board authorized its officers to restructure the minor in legal studies program.
In the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, the Board authorized its officers to restructure the minor in art history program.
In the School of Pharmacy, the Board voted to change the name of the master of science in pharmaceutical and regulatory science to the master of science in pharmaceutical regulatory sciences.
In the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, the Board voted to end the master of tourism and hospitality management in tourism and hospitality management executive program.
In the School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, the Board voted to end the concentration in musical theater for the bachelor of arts in theater program.
Alumni relations and development
The Board approved the updates the Office of Institutional Advancement made to Temple’s gift acceptance policy and endowed fund minima.
The Board also approved the establishment of an endowed fund in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. The $650,000 fund will be used to support students completing their resident education in the school’s department of orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine.
The Board amended a $2 million gift given to the Fox School of Business in December 2019 by moving it from a spending account to the school’s general endowment fund. This will give Dean Ronald Anderson more flexibility in spending the donation.
Two $250,000 term funds will be created to jumpstart the College of Engineering’s Senior Design Program, the Board approved.
The Beasley School of Law will name a classroom in Klein Hall for 10 years at most using a $150,000 gift from a donor, the Board approved.
For Temple Athletics, the Board approved a donation of a Mercedes Sprinter Van for the men’s golf team, which has a trade-in value of $75,000 and will eliminate the team’s need to rent vehicles for their trips.
At the end of the meeting, Temple Faculty Senate president Rafael Porrata-Doria, a law professor who has worked alongside the Board as a member of the Presidential Search Committee, reported that faculty members are working alongside the university to plan for the spring semester.
“The main concern of the faculty, and what we have been engaged in since we were last in front of you, has been trying to operate the university and teach our classes through this COVID pandemic,” Porrata-Doria said.
Temple Student Government president Quinn Litsinger, a junior political science major, also shared the student body’s concerns amid the pandemic with the Board.
“What we can do is continue to listen to the pulse of our community, and continue to center conversations around the affordability of college tuition, a university-wide emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as student mental health services and availability,” Litsinger said.