Black leaders in the realm of higher education are changing the narrative surrounding racial diversity in the space. Temple University has appointed Dr. Jason Wingard to serve as its next president; making him the first Black person in the school’s 137-year history to take on the role.
Dr. Wingard has dedicated his career to advancing equity in education and cultivating spaces where scholars can build a solid foundation to thrive in their careers. He’s held leadership positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University. Prior to being selected to sit at the helm of the Philadelphia-based university, Dr. Wingard was the dean of the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University where he also served as a professor. To further his work in shaping the future of education, he founded The Education Board, Inc.; a full-service consulting firm that specializes in providing professional development guidance for education-centered initiatives. He also led a leadership development initiative at Goldman Sachs.
Dr. Wingard—a Stanford University alum who has earned degrees from Emory University, Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania—says he’s excited to take on the role. “At a time when the uncertainty of the global marketplace is challenging the future of learning and work, Temple will lead the progression of a career readiness agenda, built on a foundation of innovation and adaptability, to advance knowledge for relevant impact,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to the work that we will undertake together, and I believe that for all this institution has achieved over the past 137 years, Temple University’s best days are yet to come.” He succeeds Dr. Richard M. Englert and is slated to assume his position on July 1.
News about Dr. Wingard’s appointment comes a month after William Tate IV became the first Black president of Louisiana State University. Although their appointments are strides in the direction towards diversity, there is still more work that must be done. Research shows a mere 8 percent of college presidents are Black.