Trustees hold committee meetings on finances and policy

Temple will pay off Temple Japan’s debts, shift a small pension plan from monthly payments to one final lump sum and allow different offices to have their own credit cards, the Board of Trustees announced at two committee meetings today.

Temple Japan owes $6.3 million on a loan that could be paid off now since the dollar’s value is high, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Ken Kaiser explained to the trustees. Paying off the loan immediately would save about $1.2 million.

“This seems like a no-brainer,” Chairman Patrick O’Connor said. The recommendation was passed with one motion to abstain from trustee J. William Mills, who is PNC Bank’s Regional President for Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. The loan in question was a PNC loan.

The executive committee also discussed the termination of the Interest Pension Plan, a plan started in 1946 that gives retired employees annuity payments. MetLife, the disperser of the payments, urged Temple to reform the plan.

Of the initial 200 signed up, 28 retired employees still draw from the fund. They will be given a lump sum that can be re-invested into another retirement plan, Kaiser said. The fund’s total value is $185,000.

The third recommendation concerned an amendment of a policy concerning credit cards for university offices to pay certain expenses. With the new policy, there will be a higher spending threshold before offices are required to obtain administrative pre-approval.

The Budget and Finance Committee met first in executive session before moving to public session, and made one recommendation concerning Temple Japan’s finances. Then the meeting shifted to casual chatting, where Provost Hai-Lung Dai and President Neil Theobald, when asked about the current state of admissions, revealed that 28 thousand students were competing for 4,700 undergraduate seats.

The executive committee met next and made the three recommendations. The public session meeting, which consisted of many of the trustees from the Budget and Finance Committee including McNichol and Lewis Gould Jr., lasted for about fifteen minutes.

The trustees’ general body will meet on May 13 at 3:30 p.m.

Joe Brandt can be reached at or on Twitter at @JBrandt_TU.