Dear members of the Temple community:
I am proud and excited to accept the position of acting president of Temple University. It is humbling to have been asked to lead our great institution forward while the Board of Trustees searches for our next president.
My love for Temple runs deep. My mom worked here as a secretary for 40 years, and my first job as a teenager was in the campus bookstore. (Ask me some day why it was one of my favorite jobs!) I was fortunate enough to join the Temple faculty back in 1985, and I’ve been happily here ever since, serving as a dean and eventually as provost. Temple has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
We all have Temple stories. As I move forward in this role, I look forward to hearing yours, as well as your input and feedback. During the past week, I have become immersed in two priorities—safety and enrollment. Listening to your thoughts and ideas on these and other topics will be key to my leadership of the university and to collaborating with you, our students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni and members of our North Philadelphia community.
We are in a period of transformation for Temple and for higher education as a whole. Yes, we have challenges. But in these challenges, we have tremendous opportunity to join together to make a difference. If we are to succeed, we must demonstrate leadership that looks toward solutions that are grounded in collaboration and implemented collectively. Through all of this, we remain committed to engage with our neighbors and our community partners who have helped make our commitment to Temple’s mission possible.
As we look forward to Commencement and other end-of-year celebrations, I am filled with optimism for the future. I promise you that I am fully committed to serving you and our university, but I cannot do this job alone. Temple needs each of you and your creative minds, your articulate voices, and your open hearts. Please join me on the journey ahead.
When you see me around campus, please stop to say hello. One of my greatest pleasures is meeting and listening to Temple students, faculty, staff and alumni, hearing your stories and dreams for the future. Never underestimate how much of Temple’s greatness is because of you.
JoAnne A. Epps