David W. Adamany, 80, the hard-charging and controversial former president of Temple University, died Thursday after a brief illness, the university announced Friday.
Mr. Adamany served just six years as Temple's eighth president, from 2000 to 2006, but in ushered in major change, including a new general education curriculum, and dramatic growth and change in the student body.
During his tenure, Temple's undergraduate student body grew by a third, while the university toughened its admissions standards and drew more students with higher SAT scores. At the same time, the average SAT score rose more than 60 points and enrollment in the honors program grew.
The student body became more white, affluent, and suburban.
His tenure also was marked by strained relations with the faculty union and some administrators who didn't like his confrontational style and aggressive drive for more academic rigor.
"David demanded the best of everyone, especially himself," Temple president Richard M. Englert said in a statement. "He had an exacting vision of Temple as a place where everyone worked in unison for the benefit of our students, and that's the university he helped create."
Patrick O'Connor, chairman of the board of trustees, added: "David Adamany pushed Temple University to be its best self."
Also under Mr. Adamany's tenure, the university saw a spurt in faculty hiring, bringing on more than 140 tenured or tenure-track faculty in a three-year period. It also built a student center and a technology center.
When Mr. Adamany left the presidency, he took a sabbatical and then returned as a law and political science professor, a post he held until recently. His courses included Election Law and the American Supreme Court.
Mr. Adamany came to Temple from Detroit, where he had run the public schools for a year under a state reorganization of the district. Before that, he was president of Wayne State University in Detroit from 1982 to 1997.
He also had stints as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, California State University at Long Beach, and the University of Maryland at College Park. And he held several government posts, including secretary of revenue in Wisconsin, and as a member of the Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity in the U.S. Department of Education.
He earned a bachelor's degree and juris doctor from Harvard University and a master's and doctorate in political science from Wisconsin.
Plans for a memorial service are being made.