Temple University's first black President, Jason Wingard, resigned over concerns about increased crime and his lack of solutions for prevention. The university’s board of trustees said that it had accepted Wingard’s resignation. Wingard's tenure of under two years on the Philadelphia campus was marred by high-profile campus crimes, a graduate-student strike, and declining confidence among the faculty. Wingard's resignation was submitted shortly before some university staff were set to hold a no-confidence vote against him, reports the Wall Street Journal. He had released a plan to address campus safety, which included using gunshot detection devices and security cameras. “While I am confident in my ability to pivot strategy and lead Temple through this crisis, I understand, and it has been made clear, unfortunately, that too much focus is on me rather than the challenges we seek to overcome,” Wingard said Wednesday. He said he had improved Temple’s reputation in academics, athletics, and other areas, but violence on campus became an existential challenge. He said the school’s falling enrollment was another problem. “This perfect storm of societal crises has drastically and disproportionately impacted Temple,” Wingard said.
Wingard’s tenure of roughly one year and nine months is short for a university president. A 2017 study by the American Council on Education found that presidents often keep their positions for at least 6 years.
Temple selected Wingard as president in 2021 after a 10-month search for a new leader. Before Wingard's resignation, students and faculty were angry with him because the university took away health insurance from some graduate students during their 42-day strike earlier this year. They were asking for better wages, which the university later agreed to after weeks of contention. Students and faculty criticized the administration’s response as heinous and cruel. The union representing the staff and faculty, the Temple Association of University Professionals, had said it was concerned that longtime faculty members were being let go and that the university had increased tuition despite cutting parts of its education budget.