After 137 years, Temple University finally selects its first Black president

Ama Nunoo June 15, 2021
Jason Wingard is the first Black President at Temple University. Photo: Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

A Black educator who seeks to provide “professional development guidance for education-centered initiatives” is the new president of Temple University. Dr. Jason Wingard is making history with his unanimous appointment by the board of trustees as the first Black president in the school’s 137-year-history.

Wingard is the 12th president of the school, and he succeeds Richard Englert, the current president who worked with Temple for more than four decades and was president of the school for the last five years.

Englert announced his retirement, which prompted the Presidential Search Committee’s 10-month-long search. Wingard’s appointment was made public on June 8, and he begins his term of office on July 1.

“I am honored by the board’s selection and excited to lead one of the nation’s premier urban research universities,” Wingard said in a statement shared on Temple’s website.

“Temple will continue to provide its diverse and talented community of learners an unparalleled, accessible opportunity to leverage a best-in-class network of faculty and academic resources in support of dynamic and lifelong professional goals.”

The West Chester, Pennsylvania holds a B.A. in sociology from Stanford University, a master’s in education from Emory University, an Ed.M. in technology in education from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. He brings to this new position a wealth of experience in academia.

Wingard’s most recent role was as the dean and professor at the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University. He’s also served as the senior director of executive education at Wharton and as the executive director of the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative.

He is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative and Zoeza Institute, a nonprofit that provides career development and mentorship to foster youth care in Philadelphia, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

The new Temple president is the founder of The Education Board, Inc.; a full-service consulting firm that specializes in providing professional development guidance for education-centered initiatives, per Newsone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of education and learning but as a businessman and educationist, Wingard is on top of his game.  

“Now post-pandemic [the workforce is] significantly unstable, and so we don’t know as higher education institutions what the workforce will look like,” he told The Philadelphia Tribune.

“Since we don’t know, we don’t have a clear sense of how we are going to be training our students to be prepared for it, so we’re going to have to be adaptable to that. We have to be innovative in how we structure our curriculum, so they can be ready for it.”

“At a time when the uncertainty of the global marketplace is challenging the future of learning and work, Temple will lead the progression of a career readiness agenda, built on a foundation of innovation and adaptability, to advance knowledge for relevant impact,” he said in a statement.

Wingard, who is also the author of “The Great Skills Gap: Optimizing Talent for the Future of Work”, said he looks “forward to the work” he and the school will undertake together. “I believe that for all this institution has achieved over the past 137 years, Temple University’s best days are yet to come,” the father of five told the Associated Press.

Mitchell L. Morgan, chair of the Temple University Board of Trustees, considers Wingard to be both a “dynamic and innovate leader” who will help lead the school into the future. “Dr. Wingard recognizes that higher education is changing, and his unique combination of academic and business success, together with his skills in the fields of leadership development, organizational strategy, and the future of work, make him a compelling choice to lead Temple into an exciting future filled with promise and new opportunity.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 15, 2021


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