Temple University’s Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of JoAnne A. Epps as Temple’s acting president. Epps will begin serving in this role immediately.
A member of the Temple faculty for more than 30 years, Epps has more than 15 years in leadership roles with the university, including dean of the Beasley School of Law, and executive vice president and provost, and Temple’s chief academic officer. Prior to her time at Temple, Epps served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia and a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles.
“There is no one more qualified than JoAnne to assume the role of acting president during this critical moment for our university,” said board Chair Mitchell Morgan. “Her lifelong dedication to Temple and the greater Philadelphia community make us extremely confident in JoAnne’s ability to unite the Temple community and lead a focused effort on developing and implementing solutions to our key challenges. We believe her hands-on approach and high level of engagement across the institution will have an immediate impact and enable us to move forward.”
“In the last two weeks, individuals from across the university reached out with their thoughts and ideas on the most important leadership qualities and priorities necessary to move Temple forward,” continued Morgan. “It was heartening to hear from so many Deans, faculty members, staff, elected officials, and community and regional leaders. Their thoughts were extremely valuable to us in thinking through the best choice for an acting president.”
Lon Greenberg, chair of the Special Committee, noted, “It became clear that the university would be best served by a leader who knows the university well, who has a demonstrated record of leadership in higher education, who believes in Temple’s mission, and who embraces the key role the university plays not only in higher education, but also in the region and the commonwealth. The members of the board felt strongly that JoAnne met these criteria in a way that no one else could.”
Acting President Epps has requested that the Special Committee of the Board continue its work, in support of her administration, as it seeks to address the primary challenges of safety and enrollment.
Although Epps has agreed to serve until a new president is appointed, the Board of Trustees intends to initiate a thorough, formal search process promptly. More information about the process will be forthcoming.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve as acting president of this institution that I love so much, that has been such an important part of my life, and always will be,” said Epps. “As acting president, my mandate is to provide the necessary leadership to focus our collective intellect and energies on the immediate challenges of safety and enrollment, and to engage with individuals and groups across the university to reinvigorate a culture of shared governance, listening and learning.
“I recognize the importance of this moment in Temple’s 135-year history and believe that a genuinely collaborative approach that encourages and demands the best that our brightest minds have to offer, will both help bring the Temple community together and also will help us identify the best solutions to address our challenges. I am energized by this opportunity and look forward to working side by side with so many of you to move Temple forward. Let’s get to work.”