Smelly Temple University in Pennsylvania with yet ANOTHER scandal

I am swamped with back work and grading, that I wish I could write more about this one right now, but it appears that the Provost of Temple University was sacked sometime several weeks ago when I was over in Japan.    The short story seems to be that he miscalculated financial aid (that is, money) by some $22 million.

So, what happened next is the board of Temple, which is that mix of both private sector and government officials that have their hands in the public treasury for about $120 million a year, but who get to control spending like it’s a private university (that is, no accountability back to the public), decided to remove the President of Temple , Neil Theobald, in a “deal to resign” type arrangement.  He was appointed in 2012 to replace Ann Weaver Hart, who I think was hired by Temple as a “first” this-or-that.  She was not brought there by crony connections–and did not leave due to scandal.

The talk is that Theobald had some strikes against him because he cut certain athletic programs that were favored by the board, during one of the budget crises manufactured by former Governor Tom Corbett.   Rather than look at the waste Temple has going on over in Tokyo, Japan with its heavily-subsidized satellite campus, Theobald went after sports groups that were right there in Philadelphia.

This is the sadness of Pennsylvania as a place.   It’s corrupt in worse ways than New Jersey, but it is far enough away from the New York City media market, that the dots are never connected.    The Kathleen Kane attorney general scandal, which has its roots at Temple, and even the Bill Cosby scandal, these things are never enough to seek out some Harrisburg hearings and a wholesale reworking of the Commonwealth system of higher education.


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