Richard Englert to serve as Temple University’s interim president after JoAnne Epps’ passing
Temple University says former president and current chancellor Richard Englert will take over temporarily as president following the death last week of then-acting president JoAnne Epps.
Englert serve as a “transitional leader” to carry on the work Epps started “and provide a steady hand of leadership while the search for Temple’s next chief executive continues,” the Philadelphia university said in an announcement Tuesday.
From 2016 to 2021, Englert served as Temple president, and earlier stepped in as acting president during a nearly half- century career at the university.
The school said it hopes to announce the choice of the next president in spring 2024.
Epps died a week ago at 72 after falling ill on stage at a memorial event, after which the “acting” designation was removed from her title in recognition of her contributions during her brief tenure. The following day saw an outpouring of affection on the university’s campus where flags were flown at half-staff and dozens gathered to remember her.
Temple’s former law school dean and provost took over in April from Jason Wingard, Temple’s first Black president who had led the 33,600-student university since July 2021. His resignation in March came shortly before a no-confidence vote by the faculty union, with members citing concerns over falling enrollment, financial issues and labor disputes.
Following her predecessor’s tumultuous tenure, Epps had vowed to focus on enrollment as well as safety amid an uptick in crime near the north Philadelphia campus. She told The Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported enrollment was down 14% since 2019, that she believed she was selected in part for her ability to “calm waters.”