Temple University Philadelphia has announced Indiana University's senior vice-president and Chief Financial Officer will be its next leader, reports Sacramento Bee.
Temple trustees voted Tuesday to appoint Neil Theobald as the school's tenth president. He will assume office Jan. 1 2013.
"This is absolutely the dream job I've always wanted to have," he said after the unanimous vote by Temple trustees.
Trustees Chairman Patrick O'Connor said Theobald possessed the experience, vision and proven track record to lead Temple. He also noted Theobald's roots as a first-generation college student and son of an Illinois factory worker. Theobald wants to provide the same educational opportunity to Temple students, many of whom have similar backgrounds, O'Connor said.
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Theobald has a five-year contract that will pay him a base salary of $450,000 annually. He will be replacing Ann Weaver Hart, who left to lead the University of Arizona. He hails from a public system that serves about 110,000 students - nearly three times the total enrolment at Temple.
As one of four state-related universities, Temple receives public funds but is not under direct state control. It's one of the largest schools in Pennsylvania, with about 39,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
After his appointment, Theobald said Temple needs a financial model that is less dependent on tuition and state aid. He talked about fundraising strategies and said Temple's presence in the Big East will give the school a higher profile among both prospective students and alumni.
Temple had hoped to have Hart's successor in place by the time she left on June 30. But in May, after months of fruitless searching, trustees instead appointed Provost Richard Englert as interim president beginning July 1. He will continue serving in that role until Dec. 31.
Indiana University congratulated Neil Theobald and praised his nearly 20 years of service to their school, saying his fiscal expertise helped guide university officials struggling with declining state support as well as students trying to manage their debt load.