Progress on Campus Safety and Enrollment

Information regarding current campus concerns

Over the last several weeks, it's become evident that we need to improve engagement and communication. Going forward, you will hear from us much more regularly and frequently, and we also want to hear from you.

You’ve heard about Temple’s strategic plan and the university’s five strategic priorities: boundless access, community engagement, educational value, thought leadership, and reputational excellence. You’ve also heard about a number of initiatives under this plan. As we evaluate the evolving landscape, we are pausing and reconsidering a number of these initiatives to focus on community, safety and enrollment to better care for our Temple community.

University enrollment and campus safety are inextricably linked.

Our response to this crisis includes a multi-disciplinary, cross-campus network of groups charged with expediting campus safety improvements and aggressively addressing our enrollment decline. Key elements include our budget and finances, as well as labor relations. Members include deans, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, spanning schools, colleges, and units.

The primary goal is to increase security, specifically in those areas with a density of students, and to continuously communicate details on our progress. We must instill confidence among prospective and current students and their families that we prioritize their safety. Of critical importance will be coordinating university and city violence intervention programs, including the Civic Coalition to Save Lives, to continue to confront and solve the systemic issues fueling crime.

Campus Safety

Several groups are enacting strategies related to public safety personnel, technology, housing, community engagement, and program coordination. Here is a list of action items completed and in progress.

  • Launched an enhanced agreement with the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) for up to 288 hours of supplemental patrols per week on nights and weekends, effective March 1 with improved coordination, accountability, and efficacy metrics.  
  • Welcomed eight new police officers to the department and will graduate a new K9 team on Friday.
  • Increased the presence of Allied Security personnel on campus and in the patrol zone.
  • Currently developing a plan to boost police officer recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Two new police recruits starting the police academy this Monday will join Temple when they graduate in approximately 9 months.
  • Partnered with former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey on an audit of Temple’s current campus safety services. Report to be released in short order.
  • Initiated or completed recommendations of our Violence Reduction Task Force.
  • Elevated the position of Vice President for Public Safety; currently reorganizing the department to improve effectiveness, efficiency, capability, and competencies.
  • Revised and expanded the Flight shuttle service to over 50 drop-off and pick-up locations.
  • Provided over 1,200 walking escorts in 2022, and offered the RAVE Temple Guardian personal safety app.
  • Joined the Civic Coalition to Save Lives to increase collaboration among nonprofits and businesses on gun violence strategies.
  • Created the Best Nest off-campus housing safety vetting program. 
  • Started a security upgrade grant program for landlords who offer student rentals.
  • Improving and enhancing security technologies and equipment, including CCTV cameras, gunshot detection devices, license plate readers, code blue phones, and bicycle patrols.
  • Secured an inventory of affordable additional campus-adjacent residences.
    • The university will offer a discounted rate for students who want to live off but adjacent to campus at The Edge (near Broad and Cecil B. Moore streets).
  • Creating a ‘navigator’ program to help connect our North Philadelphia neighbors to much-needed community services.
  • Auditing and coordinating university and city-wide violence intervention programs to maximize impact.
  • Increasing communication by holding two in-person student town halls for more than 100 participants and meeting regularly with groups of students and parents.
  • Redesigned the Public Safety website which will continue to be enhanced to increase communication and transparency.

The university already has dedicated funding for these efforts and we continue to seek additional funding from city, state, and federal resources, including two recent grants:


Temple University’s enrollment has declined 16.5% since its peak in 2017, exacerbated by COVID-19 and a national decline in college-aged students, which is particularly acute in the Northeast, as well as concerns about safety around Temple’s campus. Actions to combat this decline build on the Enrollment Task Force’s work, which began in September 2022 and is led by the Provost. The steps we’re taking focus on both the short-term for Fall 2023 and the long-term to optimize and stabilize enrollment into the future. 

  • Financial aid and scholarships: Optimized the financial aid model for Fall 2023 to offer additional scholarship opportunities, including enhanced merit scholarships, completion grants for Pell recipients, and need-based grants for applicants from Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Pursuing strategies and models to improve our long-term financial aid strategy for Fall 2024 and beyond.
  • New vice provost of enrollment management: South Jersey native Jose Aviles joins us on May 1 as our new vice provost for enrollment management. He has an impressive record of experience and accomplishment in enrollment and student success, and is committed to both Temple’s access mission and the Philadelphia region he calls home.
  • Student retention: We have strengthened student services and we are exploring other ways to improve the current student experience.
    • With mental health and wellness challenges identified as one of the leading causes of students leaving Temple, we’ve implemented the recommendations of the Health and Wellness Task Force, including the addition of $1M to recruit and retain counselors, the creation of a new Division of Health and Well-Being, and the establishment of a counseling office on the Health Sciences Campus.
    • The Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies are leading an effort to evaluate and improve current student success initiatives and recommend new, effective ways to help our students remain enrolled and be successful at Temple.
  • International student enrollment: We are reimagining international admissions in light of changing demand and markets worldwide.
    • Integrated international admissions team into undergraduate admissions team
    • Restructured network of international recruiters
    • Identified strategic regions of focus for international recruitment
    • Launched TUJ first-year entry program, similar to the Rome first-year entry program
  • Recruitment: While we maintain our strong commitment to in-state students, out-of-state students are increasingly choosing Temple. We've taken several steps to fortify both types of student recruitment. 
    • Based on data analysis, in addition to recruiters in FL, TX, CA, and the Southeast introduced in the last few years, we have hired a regional recruiter based in the Midwest and are searching for a regional recruiter for NY/New England.
    • Expanded recruitment in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, through visits and targeted communications.
  • Transfer students: Nationwide, the number of transfer students is declining due in part to a decline in community college enrollment. Still, it’s critical to strengthen our transfer student recruitment. 
    • Implemented a new merit scholarship program for transfer students
    • Purchased and implementing software to accelerate credit transfer review
  • Graduate/professional programs: 
    • Planning a pilot for pre-admission into select graduate programs upon undergraduate admission.
    • Working as part of the retention group to identify ways to support and retain graduate students.
    • Expanding graduate student opportunities with current and new international partners through global engagement.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    • We are working on identifying vendors for a new life cycle CRM system or systems.


Temple employs staff represented by 11 different unions, and the university has successfully negotiated over 80 contracts over 20 years. In March, the university reached an agreement with the Temple University Graduate Students’ Association (TUGSA), including raises and increased benefits for our graduate student workers. We continue to take a collaborative and cooperative approach to relations with all of our collective bargaining units to ensure the best working conditions for our employees while also ensuring responsible stewardship of our resources during these challenging times and into the future.


Universities nationwide are contending with significant declines in enrollment, resulting in deficits that require responsible fiscal management. Under conditions relating to spiraling costs and personnel needs, Temple faces a significant deficit impacting hiring and programs. Our schools and colleges have been working on adjusting budgets related to reduced enrollment for the past year.

In addition, we are committed to working with our elected officials to keep the tuition rate as flat as possible. This month, we traveled to Harrisburg to seek support as we face a challenging budget year.

The Road Ahead

My administration and I recognize that this road has not been easy, and we acknowledge that the priorities and objectives listed above will take work from all to make a meaningful and lasting difference for our university.

We cannot lose sight of our common goals—to ensure Temple is a safe, innovative, best-in-class university that meets the needs of students today and tomorrow. Let us move forward with a collective purpose. 

Dr. Jason Wingard