Presidential Search Committee Recommends Indiana University Sr. VP and CFO Neil Theobald

To the Temple University Community:


I am pleased to report that the Presidential Search Committee will recommend to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, August 7, that Neil Theobald, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Indiana University, become Temple's next president. With the Trustees vote, Dr. Theobald will officially become Temple's 10th president on January 1, 2013. 

There will be opportunities for faculty, students and staff to meet Dr. Theobald on Monday, August 6 and Tuesday, August 7. The schedule for these meetings will be emailed to you soon via Temple Today.

Early in the search process, many of you offered your thoughts about the characteristics of the next president, and the Presidential Search Committee took those recommendations to heart. We agreed to proceed thoughtfully, to take our time and find the most qualified candidate. We were heartened at the tremendous level of interest in the position; the Committee received hundreds of applications from all across the nation. After reviewing these submissions and interviewing dozens of candidates, we came to the unanimous decision that Neil Theobald has the experience, vision and proven track record to lead this great university.

A biography of Dr. Theobald is listed below and by any standard, he has built an outstanding record of achievement in the field of education. Let me point out just a few of his many credentials. Dr. Theobald is a gifted teacher who holds a professorship in education finance at Indiana University Bloomington. He also is a dedicated researcher whose work has drawn $1.5 million in funded research, and has resulted in numerous edited books, book chapters, and professional journal articles. 

In addition, Dr. Theobald has a deep and practical understanding of the changing dynamics of higher education. He wants to ensure that students have access to an education that is first-class and affordable. 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.

I also want to take this opportunity to once again thank Richard M. Englert for his outstanding service to the University as acting president, a role he will ably continue through the end of the calendar year. Dr. Englert has provided strong and effective leadership during his brief tenure and has pledged to work with Dr. Theobald to build a smooth transition in the months to come.

Temple University is at an extraordinary moment in its history. I believe our enthusiastic students, world-class faculty, dedicated staff and supportive alumni will thrive under Neil Theobald's leadership, and together Temple University will continue to rise to greater levels of national prominence.


Patrick J. O'Connor, Chair

Temple University Board of Trustees

Presidential Search Committee


Biography of Neil David Theobald

Neil David Theobald is currently senior vice president and chief financial officer at Indiana University. He has university-wide responsibility for developing and implementing financial plans and policies to support Indiana University's objective: educating its 110,000 students, developing new knowledge through research expenditures of over $500 million and serving the state.

As senior vice president and chief financial officer, he oversees the preparation, approval and administration of the university's $3.1 billion budget, supervision of human resource services for the university's 3,100 faculty and more than 14,000 staff members, and management of the largest student union in the world and one of the five largest student housing systems in the country.

Under Theobald's direction, Indiana University implemented a $38.4 million state budget cut (7.8 percent) while avoiding layoffs and providing funding for faculty and staff salary increases averaging 2 percent per year. To accomplish this, the university has aggressively cut costs by consolidating purchasing systems ($12 million annual savings), providing an early retirement incentive taken by 500 employees ($46 million on-going savings), changing the vesting provision in the retirement plan ($3.5 million per year), closing the School of Continuing Studies ($1.8 million per year) and boosting IU's credit ranking to Moody's highest level, Aaa. Indiana University is one of only eight Aaa-rated public universities in the country.

In addition to his senior administrative responsibilities, Theobald holds a professorship in education finance on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. His research interests in the appropriate role of decentralization in educational financing and in modeling educational labor markets are reflected in more than $1.5 million in funded research, numerous books and book chapters, dozens of articles published in professional journals and nearly 50 policy reports for state governments across the United States. 

Prior to his current post, Theobald was appointed as senior vice provost and special assistant to the president in 2006. Major accomplishments during his five years overseeing the campus budget include increasing the number of tenure-track faculty members by 80, increasing the campus financial aid endowment from $150 million to $370 million and increasing the mean SAT score of the incoming class from 1099 to 1147. He was named Indiana University Bloomington's vice chancellor for budgetary administration and planning in 2002.

In 1993, he was named director of the Indiana Education Policy Center, a role he held until 2002. Funded by the Lilly Endowment and the Indiana General Assembly, the center focused on Indiana's complex and ambitious efforts to improve the process by which about $7 billion annually is allocated to the state's K-12 public schools.

A native of Peoria, Illinois, Dr. Theobald began his career as a secondary school mathematics teacher in Washington state. He began his higher education career teaching education at the University of Washington from 1988 to 1993. Dr. Theobald went to Indiana University from the University of Washington, where he was associate professor of education finance.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Trinity College and a doctoral degree from the University of Washington.

He lives in Bloomington with his wife, Sheona Mackenzie, who is a school psychologist in the Monroe County schools. Their son, Roddy, is a graduate student in statistics at the University of Washington; their elder daughter, Kinnear, is completing a medical residency at the University of Colorado; and their younger daughter, Mattie, is a junior at Hamilton College in New York.