Temple to fire president Neil Theobald
- Temple University President Neil Theobald will likely be fired this week, in connection to a $22 million over-allocation of student merit scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year.
- Officials say that former Temple Provost Hai-Lung Dai was dismissed last month in connection to the deficit, but the board voted no-confidence in Theobald and said that he must be held accountable for the budget issue.
- The shortfall is in direct connection with double-digit increases in the number of incoming freshman with above-average GPAs or SAT scores.
Temple will transition leadership for the second time in four years, and at the center of the controversy is money committed to boosting the university’s student profile. But beyond that is a larger issue — a lack of communication between the president and the board about personnel and budgetary issues.
These issues produced similar acrimony at the University of Virginia in recent weeks, and are part of an emerging trend in higher education of executive fallout tied to aggressive pursuit of wealthier, smarter students against consistent decreases in enrollment nationwide, and boards having shorter patience for lapses in growth. Ultimately, it is up to presidents to maintain regularly contact with board members, and to teach them about trends and best practices, instead of allowing negative news to shape board opinion without context.
- The New York Times Temple University board seeks to dismiss president over shortfall