Posted on March 30, 2023

Temple University President Resigns as Philadelphia Crime Concerns Wreak Havoc on Enrollment

Danielle Wallace, Fox News, March 29, 2023

Temple University President Jason Wingard resigned Tuesday as the north Philadelphia campus struggles to deter violent crime.

The Temple University Board of Trustees announced that it accepted Wingard’s resignation, which will take effect on Friday. The 51-year-old has led the 33,600-student university since July 2021. Before then, Wingard was a dean for Columbia University and also previously worked at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford.

“Among the priorities the Board set for Dr. Wingard were developing and executing a strategy to enhance the value proposition, reputation, and external profile of the University,” Temple Board of Trustees Chair Mitchell Morgan said. {snip}

“Given the urgent matters now facing the University, particularly campus safety, the Board and the administration will ensure the highest level of focus on these serious issues,” Morgan, the founder and chairman of Morgan Properties, who has led the Temple trustees board for more than three years, said in the statement. {snip}


Wingard’s departure comes as graduate students have been striking for more than 40 days. The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing a source close to the dean, reported that enrollment has dropped 14% since 2019, with deposits for next year having plummeted by 25% compared with the same time last year.


Wingard, the first Black president at Temple University, told a panel of state lawmakers last week that Philadelphia’s homicide rate has wrought a climate where students, faculty, parents and staff are afraid.

A Temple University police officer was shot and killed near the north Philadelphia campus last month.

Officer Christopher Fitzgerald, 31, was shot after pursing three people dressed in black and wearing masks in an area where there had been a series of robberies and carjackings. {snip} Fitzgerald was the first Temple University officer killed in the line of duty {snip}

In a statement to the Inquirer Tuesday, Wingard said safety and enrollment challenges proved a “perfect storm of societal crises” that “drastically and disproportionately” impacted Temple.