Temple’s Provost Removed Amid Aid Funding Shortfall

The university faces a $22 million deficit in its financial aid budget for 2016-17.

Provost Hai-Lung Dai

Courtesy Douglas A. Lockard

Temple University’s provost Hai-Lung Dai was removed Tuesday amid a $22 million shortfall in financial aid, the Inquirer reports.

Dai has been “relieved of his administrative responsibilities, effective immediately,” Temple President Neil Theobald wrote in a statement, according to the Inquirer. Dai will remain a member of Temple’s faculty.

The university also announced Tuesday that it faces a $22 million deficit in its financial aid budget for 2016-17. An over-allocation of financial aid was due to an increase in students who qualified for the university’s merit scholarship program, the university said.

There was a 17 percent increase in incoming freshman with GPAs over 3.6 and a 29 percent increase in students with reading and math SAT scores over 1,300, the university said in its statement, according to the Inquirer.

Temple said all students who were promised aid would be covered, and the budget is being adjusted accordingly.

It’s not yet clear if Dai’s removal is tied to the budget shortfall, nor is it clear if he resigned or was fired.

“Dr. Dai is saddened by this decision,” Dai’s Lawyer, Patricia Pierce, told the Inquirer. “We view it as rash and completely unjustified.”

Dai, 62, is a chemist from Taiwan. He was hired as dean of the university’s College of Science and Technology in 2007 and began serving as provost in February of 2013.

Dai taught in the University of Pennsylvania’s chemistry department for 22 years, shortly after arriving in Philadelphia in 1984, according to the Inquirer.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.