Posted August 7, 2012

Trustees approve Neil Theobald as Temple's 10th president

Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick J. O'Connor, left, introduces Neil Theobald following his approval as Temple University's 10th president.

Temple University's Board of Trustees today approved Neil Theobald, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Indiana University, as Temple's 10th president.

Dr. Theobald will assume the presidency on Jan. 1, 2013, taking over from Acting President Richard M. Englert.

In comments before the board vote, Trustees Chairman Patrick J. O'Connor said Theobald was the right person at the right time for Temple. O'Connor noted Theobald was the first member of his family to go to college, an experience many Temple students share.

"He wants to ensure that students have access to an education that is first-class and affordable," O'Connor explained. "At Indiana, he made the tough decisions demanded by our times, while creating greater opportunities for student scholarship. I can't think of a better set of values to bring to the Temple presidency."

In appearances before faculty, students and staff before the vote, Theobald vowed he would work to hold down the cost of tuition and keep college affordable.

"We really need to ramp up financial aid here," he said.

He noted that he chaired a $1.1 billion campaign at Indiana and loves fundraising. "It is my biggest job (as Temple president)," he said.

Asked how the university could remain attractive to students in an increasingly competitive higher education marketplace, Theobald emphasized the importance of high quality academics.

"People are attracted to quality," he said. "Affordable and excellent will do well in any market."

Theobald said he expects to be back several times between now and his official start date so that he will be ready to lead the university. "We need to hit the ground running in January," he said.