JoAnne Epps Is the New Leader of Temple University in Philadelphia

JoAnne A. Epps has been named acting president of Temple University in Philadelphia. She is the first Black woman to lead the university. Epps takes over from Jason Wingard who resigned last month after serving less than two years in the position. (See JBHE post.)

“It is an honor and privilege to serve as acting president of this institution that I love so much, that has been such an important part of my life and always will be,” said Epps. “As acting president, my mandate is to provide the necessary leadership to focus our collective intellect and energies on the immediate challenges of safety and enrollment, and to engage with individuals and groups across the university to reinvigorate a culture of shared governance, listening, and learning. I recognize the importance of this moment in Temple’s 135-year history and believe that a genuinely collaborative approach that encourages and demands the best that our brightest minds have to offer, will both help bring the Temple community together and also will help us identify the best solutions to address our challenges. I am energized by this opportunity and look forward to working side by side with so many of you to move Temple forward. Let’s get to work.”

Professor Epps is a native of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of a Temple University employee. Her first job at the age of 16 was as a cashier at the Temple University bookstore. Epps went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a law degree at Yale Law School.

Early in her career, Epps served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia and a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles. Professor Epps joined the Temple faculty in 1985. She was named associate dean of academic affairs at the law school in 1989. She was promoted to full professor in 1994. In 2016, Epps was appointed provost at the university but was let go in a leadership shake-up following the appointment of Jason Wingard as president.

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