Jason Wingard, 2000 graduate from the Graduate School of Education and former vice dean of executive education at the Wharton School, was appointed the first Black president of Temple University.
The Temple Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Wingard, who will begin his tenure on July 1, as the 12th president of the university on June 8, following the Presidential Search Committee’s 10-month-long search. The committee started its search after current President Richard Englert, who has worked at Temple for 45 years, announced his retirement.
Before he was vice dean of executive education, Wingard served as the senior director of executive education at Wharton and as the executive director of the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative. He previously served as a dean emeritus and professor of Human Capital Management at the Columbia University's School of Professional Studies.
Outside of his work in higher education, Wingard 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. One of his goals for his upcoming presidency is to increase the university’s engagement with the Philadelphia community, Wingard told The Philadelphia Tribune.
“We want to engage authentically with the community that surrounds us,” he said. “There are benefits to the community and there are benefits to the university through that relationship.”
Wingard added that another one of his goals is to add flexibility to the curriculum at Temple, noting the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the workforce.
“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 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.”
In his book, published on June 8, “The Great Skills Gap: Optimizing Talent for the Future of Work,” Wingard discusses how colleges and universities can prepare students for a changing workforce.
“I look forward to the work that we will undertake together,” Wingard told the Associated Press. “I believe that for all this institution has achieved over the past 137 years, Temple University’s best days are yet to come.”