PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Temple University's Board of Trustees today approved Neil Theobald, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Indiana University, as Temple's 10th president.
Dr. Theobald will assume the presidency on Jan. 1, 2013, taking over from Acting President Richard M. Englert.
In comments before the board vote, Trustees Chairman Patrick J. O'Connor said Theobald was the right person at the right time for Temple. O'Connor noted Theobald was the first member of his family to go to college, an experience many Temple students share.
"He wants to ensure that students have access to an education that is first-class and affordable," O'Connor explained. "At Indiana, he made the tough decisions demanded by our times, while creating greater opportunities for student scholarship. I can't think of a better set of values to bring to the Temple presidency."
In appearances before faculty, students and staff before the vote, Theobald vowed he would work to hold down the cost of tuition and keep college affordable.
"We really need to ramp up financial aid here," he said.
He noted that he chaired a $1.1 billion campaign at Indiana and loves fundraising. "It is my biggest job (as Temple president)," he said.
Asked how the university could remain attractive to students in an increasingly competitive higher education marketplace, Theobald emphasized the importance of high quality academics.
"People are attracted to quality," he said. "Affordable and excellent will do well in any market."
Theobald said he expects to be back several times between now and his official start date so that he will be ready to lead the university. "We need to hit the ground running in January," he said.
Background on Neil David Theobald
Neil David Theobald is currently senior vice president and chief financial officer at Indiana University. He has university-wide responsibility for developing and implementing financial plans and policies to support Indiana University's objective: educating its 110,000 students, developing new knowledge through research expenditures of over $500 million and serving the state.
As senior vice president and chief financial officer, he oversees the preparation, approval and administration of the university's $3.1 billion budget, supervision of human resource services for the university's 3,100 faculty and more than 14,000 staff members, and management of the largest student union in the world and one of the five largest student housing systems in the country.
Under Theobald's direction, Indiana University implemented a $38.4 million state budget cut (7.8 percent) while avoiding layoffs and providing funding for faculty and staff salary increases averaging 2 percent per year. To accomplish this, the university has aggressively cut costs by consolidating purchasing systems ($12 million annual savings), providing an early retirement incentive taken by 500 employees ($46 million on-going savings), changing the vesting provision in the retirement plan ($3.5 million per year), closing the School of Continuing Studies ($1.8 million per year) and boosting IU's credit ranking to Moody's highest level, Aaa. Indiana University is one of only eight Aaa-rated public universities in the country.
In addition to his senior administrative responsibilities, Theobald holds a professorship in education finance on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. His research interests in the appropriate role of decentralization in educational financing and in modeling educational labor markets are reflected in more than $1.5 million in funded research, numerous books and book chapters, dozens of articles published in professional journals and nearly 50 policy reports for state governments across the United States.
Prior to his current post, Theobald was appointed as senior vice provost and special assistant to the president in 2006. Major accomplishments during his five years overseeing the campus budget include increasing the number of tenure-track faculty members by 80, increasing the campus financial aid endowment from $150 million to $370 million and increasing the mean SAT score of the incoming class from 1099 to 1147. He was named Indiana University Bloomington's vice chancellor for budgetary administration and planning in 2002.
In 1993, he was named director of the Indiana Education Policy Center, a role he held until 2002. Funded by the Lilly Endowment and the Indiana General Assembly, the center focused on Indiana's complex and ambitious efforts to improve the process by which about $7 billion annually is allocated to the state's K-12 public schools.
A native of Peoria, Illinois, Dr. Theobald began his career as a secondary school mathematics teacher in Washington state. He began his higher education career teaching education at the University of Washington from 1988 to 1993. Dr. Theobald went to Indiana University from the University of Washington, where he was associate professor of education finance.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Trinity College and a doctoral degree from the University of Washington.
He lives in Bloomington with his wife, Sheona Mackenzie, who is a school psychologist in the Monroe County schools. Their son, Roddy, is a graduate student in statistics at the University of Washington; their elder daughter, Kinnear, is completing a medical residency at the University of Colorado; and their younger daughter, Mattie, is a junior at Hamilton College in New York.
Temple University Fact Sheet
Founded in 1884, Temple University is one of the nation's premier comprehensive public research institutions and the 28th largest university in the United States. As the nation's fourth largest provider of professional education and the third largest public employer in the city of Philadelphia, the university contributes more than $3 billion per year to Pennsylvania's economy.
Tuition for 2012/13
SOURCE Temple University Office of Communications