Wingard Steps Down as President After Almost Two Years of Service
Temple students react to former President Jason Wingard’s resignation
Throughout the past two years, Dr. Jason Wingard’s leadership as Temple University’s president left students and community members with mixed emotions about his leadership.
Specifically in the Spring 2023 semester, Wingard’s presence – or lack thereof – was a point of contention for community members and students in regard to campus safety and student rights.
On March 28, the university sent an email informing the Temple community that Wingard was resigning.
A week earlier, Temple’s faculty union decided it would hold no-confidence votes against Wingard, provost Gregory Mandell and Board of Trustees Chair Mitchell Morgan.
“In a way it’s good he removed himself. I don’t think he was willing or able to help Temple’s safety or respond in an understanding way to strikes and other concerns at Temple,” sophomore management information systems major Jenna Laliwala said.
Temple’s Graduate Students Association went on strike on Jan. 31 to protest what it believed were unfair salaries and benefits. After a 42-day strike, TUGSA came to a tentative agreement with Temple.
Beyond the TUGSA strike, campus safety is a growing issue the Temple community has been facing, one for which Wingard weathered much criticism during his tenure.
Tragedies such as the shooting death of Temple Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald and the death of student Samuel Collington in 2021 have left students and community members concerned.
“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,” Trustees Chair Morgan said in an email.
Students held a walkout on Feb. 28 regarding safety and demanded Wingard make changes. The notorious Instagram Account “Keep Us Safe TU” led the movement to hold Temple accountable for what it believed to be its lack of transparency on crime.
“Crime is inevitable in the area Temple is in, but surely he could’ve done something,” junior media studies and production major Emma Shainline said. ” For so many students to agree on this, we know there’s something wrong. I think completely blaming Wingard is also wrong though – it’s the entire board (of trustees) that has to help him out with this. He is only one man. Temple needs to do better.”
Temple then named JoAnne Epps, its former law school dean and provost, its acting president April 11. Epps said she would not assume the presidency in a permanent capacity and that the university would conduct a national search for her successor.