Temple University faculty union hopes to send a ‘clear message’ to leadership with no-confidence vote

Out of more than 900 union members, 84% support the vote of no confidence against three university leaders, including President Jason Wingard.

A close-up of Temple President Jason Wingard.

Temple University President Jason Wingard speaks at a press conference detailing the shooting death of a Temple University police officer. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Temple University’s faculty union is moving forward with a vote of no confidence next month against three officials, including the university president.

Out of more than 900 union members, 84% support the no confidence vote against at least one member of senior leadership, according to a release from the Temple Association of University Professionals.

Among those in support, 97% support a no confidence vote for President Jason Wingard, 86% for Board of Trustees Chair Mitchell Morgan, and 79% for University Provost Gregory Mandel.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Concerns over falling enrollment, financial issues, and labor disputes led to the union’s movement towards a no-confidence vote. TAUP President Jeffrey Doshna said in an interview with WHYY News the vote would send a “clear message.”

“We want Temple to succeed,” Doshna said. “The faculty, librarians, and academic professionals who are part of our union are deeply invested in Temple University. We want Temple to be as good as it can be, to be the strong public university that Philadelphia deserves.”

In an email to WHYY, Temple University provided a statement on the ongoing situation late Tuesday evening.

“Temple University’s faculty members define our academic strength. We value and respect our faculty and share their commitment to ensuring our university meets its important mission.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“We are ready and willing to engage and work closely with faculty, deans, staff, students and all other dedicated groups to confront the challenges facing our great university. We are confident that together we can address the pressing issues before us.”

Faculty members expressed deep concerns over leadership during an emergency town hall meeting earlier this month, citing a reduction of faculty positions, non-renewal notices on contracts, and increasing class sizes.

The association also has concerns over Wingard’s vision for the university. Doshna said Wingard, who has been at the university since July 2021, has not “engaged the faculty in any substantive way about where he wants to see Temple going forward.”

“All we’re really left with are his published works, which are, to be honest, a little scary,” Doshna said. “He [Wingard] wrote something called a ‘burning platform’ memo for higher ed, which was ‘Higher Ed Must Change Or Die.’ I mean, it’s just really stark stuff.”

The no-confidence vote will take place the week of April 10.

On March 10, the university reached a tentative deal with the Temple University Graduate Students’ Association, ending a six-week strike.

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal