BOT committees approve facilities renovations and professors’ tenure

In preparation for its May 13 general body meeting, Temple’s Board of Trustees’ Facilities, Academic Affairs and Alumni Relations and Development committees met on May 5.  After the public session meeting of the Facilities committee, the trustees moved to executive session, which is closed to the public.

Trustees not on the Facilities committee including Athletics committee chairman Lewis Katz and local philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest attended the executive session meeting, likely to discuss plans for developing Main Campus.

The Facilities committee met in public session at noon to approve a 23-item agenda that included spending for demolishing and renovating buildings.

The committee approved a recommendation to demolish the Triangle Apartments near the corner of Broad and Norris streets at a cost not to exceed $1.4 million. The apartments, formerly used as graduate housing, were deemed unsafe by a structural engineer and closed in September.

“There were a lot of safety concerns in the building and they were really not in a situation where they could be repaired or used,” Senior Vice President for Construction, Facilities and Operations Jim Creedon explained to the trustees. “We’ll certainly clean up the site, landscape the area, make sure we get some grass growing, and add some benches and lighting.”

The committee also approved recommendations to renovate central heating and air conditioning systems for Speakman and Anderson halls, fire alarms and sprinklers for Ritter Hall and Ritter Annex and new elevators for the Bell Building, which houses the TECH Center.

The trustees will also improve security for the Telecommunications area on the third floor of the Bell Building to make space for five network employees from Fox Chase.

“The Bell Building is really the last open space area we have,” Creedon said. “We try to use it judiciously.”

The Academic Affairs committee met that morning first in executive session before moving to public session. The committee approved five recommendations, including the go-ahead to Theobald’s recommendation regarding granting of faculty tenure, and also approved tenure for a list of faculty, which is available at the Office of the Provost.

“Some tenure cases were presented to the Academic Affairs Committee,” Assistant Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development Erin Palmer said, adding that the committee would review them and may disclose the results at the next general body meeting.

When asked if the tenure cases were related to African American studies professor Anthony Monteiro, Palmer said she had no comment.

The trustees will next meet on May 13 at 3:30 p.m.

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