At Temple, Anxious Students but Cautious Normalcy in Face of Monday Threat

A Temple University Police Bike Officer stands guard at the Bell Tower, the epicenter of campus, earlier this morning. Photo | Rob DiRienzo

A Temple University Police Bike Officer stands guard at the Bell Tower, the epicenter of campus, earlier this morning. Photo | Rob DiRienzo

Temple University is among the handful of universities in the region treading cautiously today following threats of a “Beta uprising” on the anonymous message board 4chan.

“I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty scared,” said Monica Lingel, a freshman. “Usually I listen to music, but not today. I’m just trying to be more aware for my morning class, then I’ll just go home early. I wasn’t really worried about this kind of thing until the Oregon shooting.”

There was a slight increase in the presence of Temple University Police, with a bike cop stationed right by the Bell Tower, what is considered the heart of campus. A few police cars were parked around campus as well. Read more »

Government Drops Charges Against Chinese-Born Temple Prof


Federal officials on Friday dropped charges against the Temple professor they had previously said shared confidential technology to his native China.

The feds offered no explanation in withdrawing the wire fraud charges against Xiaoxing Xi, saying in court documents only that it is “in the interests of justice” to discontinue the case. But the New York Times reported that federal prosecutors had discovered they misunderstood the technology at the heart of their case against Xi.

The technology involved a so-called “pocket heater,” used in semiconductor research. Xi allegedly sent schematics for such a device to contacts in China. Except, it turns out, he didn’t.

“The blueprints were not for a pocket heater. Faced with sworn statements from leading scientists, including an inventor of the pocket heater, the Justice Department on Friday afternoon dropped all charges against Dr. Xi, an American citizen,” the Times reported. “It was an embarrassing acknowledgment that prosecutors and F.B.I. agents did not understand — and did not do enough to learn — the science at the heart of the case before bringing charges that jeopardized Dr. Xi’s career and left the impression that he was spying for China.” Read more »

Temple University’s High-Tech Library Gets High Marks at Civic Design Review

Temple University Libray | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Temple University Library | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Temple University’s flashy new library went before the Civic Design Review Committee on Tuesday, and it might be an understatement to say that the information-only presentation went well. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey was on hand as CDR board member Cecil Baker proclaimed his love for the design of the project telling Temple’s architect, Margaret Carney: “I see your project and I get filled with hope.”

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Temple University Plans to Start Demolition at Barton Hall by End of the Week

Temple University Libray | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Temple University Library | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Here’s a brief update on the status of Temple University’s upcoming $190 million library project. Patricia Madej of The Temple News talked with Dozie Ibeh, assistant vice president of the university’s Project Delivery Group, and it looks like the end of Barton Hall on Liacouras Walk is near.  “Demolition [of Barton Hall], which will cost about $2.8 million, is expected by the end of the week, with anticipated completion by the end of the year.”

The site will eventually house an impressive library designed by Snøhetta and Stantec. Temple University has been very busy this year, and crews have been removing hazardous material from the building over the summer. The project is scheduled to head before Civic Design Review on September 1 for an information-only presentation.

H/T: Main Campus undergoing a major facelift [The Temple News]

Three Mega-Projects Slated for Civic Design Review in September

1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects

1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects

Let’s delve a little deeper into some major projects facing the increasingly colorful Civic Design Review process, shall we? The meeting starts at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1 in Room 18-029 at 1515 Arch Street. Three big-time projects go under the microscope, including a repeat visit for one project in Pennsport.

In their 1300 Fairmount proposal, RAL Development looks to bring a massive mixed-use apartment complex, possibly anchored by a grocery store, to the vast vacant lot that wraps the Divine Lorraine. Maryland-based Concordia Group plans to raze the former (and newer part of) Mount Sinai Hospital, once dubbed the Divine Lorraine of South Philadelphia. Finally, Temple University looks to knock down an aging building to make room for a decidedly Scandinavian project designed by starchitects Snøhetta, a Norwegian firm with an eye for the spectacular, and the local firm Stantec.

Alright, let’s get right to it.

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Should Temple Have Investigated Bill Cosby in 2005?

Comedian Bill Cosby at Temple University's commencement Thursday, May 12, 2011, in Philadelphia.

Comedian Bill Cosby at Temple University’s commencement Thursday, May 12, 2011, in Philadelphia.

Temple University is in a strange place these days.

Though the sexual-assault accusations that have sullied the once-exalted name of Bill Cosby span decades — not to mention the country — the university on North Broad Street has found itself the uncomfortable ground zero of the scandal. Read more »

Restoration Commencing on 100-Year-Old Temple Boathouse

If you’ve made it from Boathouse Row to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, it’s likely you’ve caught sight of the East Park Canoe House. (If not, here it is on Google Street View.) Deemed unfit by L&I in 2008, the historic, but dilapidated building appeared headed for demolition and (gasp!) replacement with a new building.

As fate would have it, however, its luck took a turn last year when the city announced it had partnered with the Lenfest Foundation to restore the Temple Boathouse, its informal name given the structure’s previous use by the university’s rowing teams, for $5.5 million.  Now, Owl Sports reports a ceremonial groundbreaking took place last Thursday.

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Penn Dropping Essay Portion of SAT Test

Editor’s note: The original headline has been changed to reflect that Penn won’t require the essay portion of the SAT Writing test.

Remember way back in — oh, has it been 10 years already? — 2005, when the College Board created an uproar by adding a new essay-writing component to its longstanding Verbal and Math SAT tests? A spokeswoman for the Board at the time said the move was made in response to demand from colleges and businesses, who hoped that “writing will become more of a priority across the United States.”

Now the University of Pennsylvania is creating its own little uproar by announcing that as of next year, it will no longer require applicants to submit scores from the essay sections of either the SAT or the ACT. Dean of Admissions Eric Furda told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the decision was one that had been “carefully considered”: Read more »

PA Bosses Are Stealing Up to $32 Million a Week From Their Workers

Pennsylvania bosses stiff their workers to the tune $19 million to $32 million each week, a new report from Temple University’s Sheller Center for Social Justice concludes.

The phenomenon is called wage theft, and it manifests itself in a bunch of different ways. Unpaid overtime. Unreimbursed expenses. Stolen tips. And more.

Up until now, evidence of wage theft has been mostly anecdotal. But according to the Sheller Center report, wage theft is pervasive, particularly in the restaurant and home health care industries. The study concludes that:

  • About 130,000 Philadelphia workers (almost 11% of the Philadelphia workforce) experience wage theft in any given work week.
  • 40 percent of workers surveyed in Philly’s restaurant industry reported working off-the-clock without pay.
  • 90.4 percent of home health care workers suffer from off-the-clock pay violations.

Read more »

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