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Jason Wingard Makes History As First Black President of Temple University In School’s 137-Year History

Jason Wingard Makes History As First Black President of Temple University In School’s 137-Year History

He comes with an impressive resume!

Jason Wingard is a Pennsylvania native who was born in Pittsburgh and raised in West Chester. He just made history as the first Black president of Temple University in the school’s 137-year history, The Inquirer reports.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s degree in education from Emory University, a master’s in technology in education from Harvard University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. The new president has served in leadership positions at Columbia University, Penn’s Wharton School of Business, Stanford, and most recently as dean of professional studies at Columbia. He served for five years before stepping down after his term was up.

In addition to his higher education work, Wingard was the previous managing director and chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs, where he oversaw education and development programs for employees. He is also founder and chairman of the Education Board Inc., a Philadelphia-based consulting firm boasting executive coaching and corporate advising. He is also a regular contributing writer for Forbes, where he covers leadership strategy.⁠

“My career and research span academia and business and have provided me with key insights into both sectors,” Wingard wrote in Forbes.⁠

Temple conducted a ten-month search for a new president; the trustee’s unanimously approved Wingard’s appointment last week. He will replace former president Richard M. Englert, who is retiring after 45 years at the University, the last five serving as president. In his new role, Wingard will be responsible for overseeing the full reopening of the university, including its 17 schools across eight campuses and its 37,000 student population.

Mitchell Morgan, chair of the board of trustees, spoke about Wingard’s appointment, saying, “He understands the future of education is changing. Dr. Wingard recognized that and wrote about that before COVID hit.”

The 49-year-old has been a staunch proponent for diversifying the educational landscapes and regularly discusses principles for making higher education essential. Wingard has written several books on these topics, including his most recent one released earlier this week entitled, The Great Skills Gap: Optimizing the Talent Pipeline for the Future of Work. Wingard believes that Temple is an institution that embodies many of these principles. 

“The things I’m writing about are critical of higher education. So it’s tough to be a dean selling education when you’re writing about and questioning whether the value of higher education is worth it. [Temple] is accessible. We are inclusive, and we have partnerships with the right employers so that students who graduate from here have the right competencies,” Wingard said.

He has received a lot of support from faculty and staff. David Boardman, dean of the Klein College of Media and Communications, spoke about Wingard, saying, “He brings so much to the table in his understanding of the educational landscape, the employment landscape, Philadelphia and the community and the history and legacy of Temple.”

Faculty union president Will Jordan echoed those sentiments, saying, “His pedigree is sort of impeccable. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

With Wingard’s new appointment, Temple will now have four top faculty and administrative positions filled by Black academics for the first time in history. Wingard will come in as president, JoAnne A. Epps as provost, Jordan as faculty union president, and Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, who was recently elected as faculty senate president.

The new president is slated to start next month and is excited to put his ideas into praxis and help Temple forward.

“Schools that figure out the ways to develop students with those desired competencies in terms of those market needs, those are the ones that are winning,” Wingard said.

Congratulations, President Wingard! Because of you, we can!

Photo Courtesy of Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Inquirer