Faced with declining state revenue, Temple University’s provost spent the last year looking at ways to cut costs and improve operations, but some educators on campus aren’t pleased with his ideas.
In a 25-page white paper, Dick Englert laid out a range of possibilities, perhaps the most controversial of which calls for consolidating or merging several schools and departments.
The schools of education and communications and theater, the Boyer College of Music and Dance, and the Tyler School of Art were listed as possible candidates. One of the suggestions calls for establishing a performing arts school encompassing Boyer, Tyler, the theater department, and possibly others to be overseen by one dean.
But those ideas stirred up much debate on campus and in alumni groups among those concerned their departments would be lost in larger areas, such as liberal arts – or altered in mission or scope.
While the debate goes on, Temple faces another state funding cut of 30 percent under Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget and continues its search for a president to replace Ann Weaver Hart, who announced in September that she will leave in the summer.
The faculty senate said in January it would not support white-paper ideas without seeing a cost-benefit analysis and the effect on “Temple’s mission, our students, our faculty, our reputation, and the impact on the university in general.”