Temple University President Jason Wingard is leaving
After less than two years on the job, Wingard will step down on Friday, the university said
Temple University President Jason Wingard (Philadelphia Tribune photo).
PHILADELPHIA — After less than two years on the job, Temple University President Jason Wingard will step down on Friday.
Tuesday’s announcement by Temple Board of Trustees Chairperson Mitchell Morgan comes on the heels of the authorization of a no-confidence vote by the state-related school’s faculty union; a strike by graduate students, and the murder of Temple University Police Sgt. Christopher Fizgerald.
“Given the urgent matters now facing the University, particularly campus safety, the Board and the administration will ensure the highest level of focus on these serious issues. We understand that a concerted and sustained effort must be undertaken as we attempt to solve these problems,” Morgan said in a statement posted to Temple’s website.
“At the same time, we acknowledge that these issues adversely affect all of the University’s constituencies,” Morgan continued. “We recognize that solutions will be most effective, impactful and long-lasting when they reflect the perspectives of so many different groups who care deeply about Temple’s future. We remain confident that the University can overcome these challenges with your support.”
As the university’s first Black president, Wingard worked to enhance the value of the university since joining in June 2021 following the retirement of former Temple President Richard Englert.
Despite his efforts, 92% of over 1,000 Temple students who participated in a poll by Temple News from March 10 to March 18 said they disapproved of his performance.
Student respondents to the poll said they do not believe that Wingard was relatable as a president to the Temple student population. An overwhelming majority also said they do not believe the university is headed in the right direction.
Wingard sent a message to the Temple community on March 24 soon after the Temple News published the poll results.
“Our priorities are clear; safeguard the safety, security, and well-being of our students, faculty and the entire Temple community,” Wingard said. “Another priority is to combat the decline in Temple’s enrollment exacerbated by COVID-19 and a broader national decline in college student enrollment.”
In his message, Wingard also said the administration was, “deeply committed to taking the necessary steps to keep this campus safe. I know we all share a deep commitment to Temple and its public teaching and research mission.”
In his Tuesday email, Morgan acknowledged that Temple “will benefit from the strategies and initiatives launched by Dr. Wingard, in the years to come. We thank him for his leadership and dedication to the Temple community.”
The board will designate a small group of senior Temple leaders to govern the university as the community enters this new phase, Morgan said.
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