Jason Wingard resigns as Temple University's president
UPDATE: Temple University could name an acting president
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Jason Wingard resigned as Temple University's president, the university announced Tuesday.
Wingard was the university's first Black president.
Mitchell Morgan, the chair of the Board of Trustees, released a statement following Wingard's resignation:
"Among the priorities the Board set for Dr. Wingard were developing and executing a strategy to enhance the value proposition, reputation, and external profile of the University. He demonstrated unwavering commitment to that mandate, and his contributions to advancing the University's mission have been significant. We are confident that the University 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.
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.
At the same time, we acknowledge that these issues adversely affect all of the University's constituencies. 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."
Wingard's resignation will be effective on March 31, Morgan said in a statement. Wingard was hired as Temple's 12th president in July of 2021.
Morgan added that the Board of Trustees will designate a small group of senior Temple leaders to guide the university. The "group will have many years of Temple experience" and a devotion to its mission, according to a release.
Wingard's tenure at Temple was tumultuous and filled with plenty of scrutiny as crime increased around campus, the death of Temple Police Sgt. Christopher Fitzgerald and a 42-day strike by graduate student workers.
The Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP) authorized a vote of confidence last week on senior leadership at the school, including Wingard, Morgan and provost Gregory Mandel. The TAUP said they will continue with a vote of no confidence in April for Morgan and Mandel.
Eighty-four percent of the 917 members of TAUP supported to move ahead with a no confidence vote.
Ninety-seven percent of union members sought a no-confidence vote in Wingard, 86% sought a no-confidence vote for Morgan and 79% sought one for Mandel.
Last December, Wingard announced that he planned to move to a rowhome just off campus and sell his Chestnut Hill home, but neither happened. His home was never put on the market.
Wingard also promised to beef up security in 2021 after the murder of Temple student Samuel Collington, but that also fell short.
Students were not surprised to hear Wingard submitted his resignation during a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.
"I think he's not taking certain actions that he could be taking, so I think stepping down is the best," Joan Tom, a freshman at Temple, said.
Students also said while safety is their top concern, they believe Wingard prioritized his personal image over impact.
"It's one of the only campuses in America where I feel like it's normalized for my classmates to constantly be targeted," Riley Brady, a sophomore at Temple, said.
"We've been getting emails from him where he's trying to make it seem like he's doing more than he actually is, and weirdly victimizing himself," Natalie Shoulberg said.
Keep Us Safe Temple university co-founder Nate Weinberg hopes this change is just the first of many.
"No one is off the hook until we are all safe at Temple," Weinberg said.
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