Why Does Neil Theobald Think Football Will Save Temple?

Photography by Clint Blowers

Photography by Clint Blowers

It was a date that would live in infamy.

The news hit the scholar-athletes gathered in Temple University’s Student Pavilion on December 6th of last year like a brick to the gut: The sports teams they’d been recruited for, trained for, worked for, played for, were being eliminated — “Chop, boom, you’re gone,” read the headline in the Temple News. Seven teams went poof: men’s crew, women’s rowing, softball, baseball, men’s gymnastics, and men’s indoor and outdoor track and field. Dozens of young hearts — along with those of their coaches — were broken as the university’s new athletic director, Kevin Clark, wielded the ax in a brief, succinct speech. And everybody knew where to lay the blame. “Make no mistake: Football drove cuts” was the headline on a student-newspaper editorial. The Inquirer’s Bob Ford chimed in: “No kidding they had to cut sports to save money. They just didn’t cut the one they should have.”
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True Grit: Why Temple Is Turning Away From the SAT

William N. Black.

William N. Black.

Temple University is going to take the road less traveled.

The university announced last month it will become the first major research university in the Northeast to make SAT scores optional for admission: Instead students can opt to take a short, four-question essay quiz testing the students on “grit factors” identified by Penn’s Angela Duckworth to see if they have the mettle to attend college. About 10 percent of applicants are expected to take the option.

Students who get into Temple via this route will be nurtured by the university, which has a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to mentor them through their four-year stay. “Our overall goal here is to understand what makes students successful in high school and how can we continue to promote that success in college,” said William Black, Temple’s senior vice provost of enrollment management.

Black talked to Philly Mag about why SAT scores might not be great predictors of a student’s college performance, how to make the new system fair, and how post-graduate schools might be affected.

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I’m HIV-Positive, and I Have No Interest in News About HIV Cures

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Philadelphia is all atwitter currently with news out of Temple University that researchers there have gotten a step closer to a so-called cure for HIV. Basically, medical researchers are doing their jobs. Being medical researchers, though, they need to gin up some interest and rationale for more funding, so they’ve decided to recklessly issue a statement so slippery you can’t exactly disagree with it: “This is one important step,” says Temple’s Dr. Kamel Khalili, “on the path toward a permanent cure for AIDS.”

Thanks to those four little letters — “cure” — many journalists who have no experience or strong understanding about HIV/AIDS are writing about HIV/AIDS and society is yet again unfurling the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner. HIV/AIDS is about to be over! Will the last the person out please shut off the lights? Thanks.

Most people are zooming by the fact that this Temple discovery has no relevance to people living today or even in the near future; the discovery is simply a “proof of concept” with a completely uncertain future use, particularly if it’s anything like past “steps on the path toward a permanent cure for AIDS.” More on that later.

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Bill Cosby to Temple Grads: Algebra Easier Than Cotton Picking

bill-cosby-temple-graduation-cotton-picking-algebra

Last Thursday, Temple University held its 127th Commencement Exercises at the Liacouras Center on North Broad Street. Inquirer co-owner (well, at least for now) Lewis Katz gave a pretty good speech after receiving his honorary doctorate, and singer Jill Scott said a few inspiring words after getting hers.

And then, as the nearly two-hour ceremony came to a close, Temple President Neil D. Theobald asked Temple trustee and alleged sex assaulter Bill Cosby if he wanted to say a few words. Has Cosby ever declined such an invitation? Read more »

Jill Scott to Receive Honorary Doctorate from Temple

jill-scott-marquee

Philly’s Jill Scott goes by many names — neo-soul queen, poet, actress — but today she will receive a new title from Temple University, when she is presented an honorary doctorate from her alma mater. The certificate will anoint her Doctor of Humane Letters. More from Essence:

Temple University President Neil D. Theobald said Scott’s “values and achievements embody the mission and ideas of the university.”

Besides her award-winning music career, Scott is also the founder of the Blues Babe Foundation which helps underserved students in the Delaware Valley with their postsecondary educational goals through financial assistance and mentorship. The foundation is named after her grandmother.

More here.

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