(TheRedAlertNews.com) – The president of Temple University, a “state-related” research school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has resigned after a steep decline in enrollment attributed to rampant violent crime in the campus area.
The university’s President, Jason Wingard, quit earlier this week, and his resignation became final on Friday.
It comes amid a 40-day strike by graduate students protesting the school’s failure to tackle the crime wave, The Associated Press reported, as cited by Breitbart News.
Due to the crime crisis, enrollment at Temple University declined by 14% between 2019 and 2022, and deposits for the 2023-2024 academic year dropped by 25% compared with the same time last year, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Wingard’s resignation came just as the Temple Association of University Professionals, the faculty union, was preparing to hold a no-confidence vote on him.
He became president of Temple University in July 2021 after working at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Columbia University.
The reports point out that Temple University has been struggling with cracking down on campus crime since a fatal shooting of a police officer on February 18, 2023.
Temple Police Sgt. Christopher Fitzgerald was shot dead while chasing three masked, black-clad individuals in an area of several recent robberies and carjackings.
The 31-year-old father of five children became the first Temple University officer killed on duty.
“While I am confident in my ability to pivot 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 stated upon resigning.
“In order for Temple to overcome these safety and enrollment challenges — and all of the related issues they instigate, the campus community must work in collaboration and minimize divisiveness,” added the outgoing university president.
Temple Board of Trustees Chair Mitchell Morgan had nice words for Wingard upon his departure.
“Among the priorities the Board set for Dr. Wingard were developing and executing a strategy to enhance the value proposition, reputation, and external profile of the University,” the board leader said.
“He demonstrated unwavering commitment to that mandate, and his contributions to advancing the University’s mission have been significant. We are confident that the University will benefit from the strategies and initiatives launched by Dr. Wingard, in the years to come,” Morgan added.
The official declared that the school’s board and administration would now be entirely focused on “these serious issues” with “campus safety.”
The board said it would appoint a small group of senior Temple leaders to guide the school.
“This group will have many years of experience at Temple and devotion to its mission. Each will have discrete responsibilities for the university’s essential functions and provide a stable foundation for us as we look toward the search for our next president,” the board’s statement declared.
Temple University President Jason Wingard resigned on Tuesday as the Philadelphia campus struggles with a violent crime wave that has deterred applicants from enrolling at the school. https://t.co/8LmuSn8JfF
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 30, 2023