Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart is stepping down after five years, moving to Utah to care for her ailing mother, officials said today.
There was no immediate word on her replacement. University administrators plan to announce Hart's departure later today.
At Temple, Hart was known as a stable, calm and able force who sought to transform the North Philadelphia campus through her signature 20/20 program.
She came here in July 2006 from New England, where she was president of the University of New Hampshire, taking over Temple following the tumultuous tenure of the previous president.
Her Temple 20/20 framework envisioned a renewed Temple, vibrant with residential communities of students, centers of academic and research excellence, and hubs of creative enterprise. The program also seeks to extend a hand to the surrounding neighborhood, where relations were sometimes contentious.
The 20/20 project is to include an eye-catching flagship library, serving as an academic soul for Temple that would be accessible to both neighborhood residents and students. Green space would be common on a campus dominated by street and sidewalk. Some new buildings would include retail stores that could be used by everyone.
Hart was chosen as Temple's leader after a review of 35 serious candidates and interviews of eight finalists. At the time, some expressed reservations about her ability to lead an organization as large and complex at Temple.
The University of New Hampshire could not have been more different - rural and small, without the major programs and schools operated by Temple. That school was overwhelmingly white, where Temple has a student body as diverse as the world.
Hart was unanimously recommended by a Temple search committee that was overwhelmed by her presence and competence. She took command at a fractious time, as Temple's professors had spent much of the previous six years battling then-President David Adamany.
Adamany, who described himself as "blunt," worked aggressively to raise the school's academic standards and research program. The faculty frequently opposed his reforms, and when they did, he would often circumvent them.
Hart earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at Utah, as well as a doctorate in educational administration. She is the author of several books on topics including educational leadership.