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  • Writer's picturePatricia Salkin

Former Law Dean JoAnne Epps Named Acting President of Temple University

This week JoAnne Epps, former dean of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law was named Acting President. Epps has been a long-time member of the Temple University community have served the University for nearly four decades, first joining the law school faculty in 1985. She was appointed Dean of the law school in 2008 and served as the Executive Vice President University Provost from 2016 through 2021. She had been serving most recently as Senior Advisor to the President and Professor of Law.

In announcing her appointment, Board of Trustees Chair Mitchell Morgan said, "There is no one more qualified than JoAnne to assume the role of acting president during this critical moment for our university…Her lifelong dedication to Temple and the greater Philadelphia community make us extremely confident in JoAnne's ability to unite the Temple community and lead a focused effort on developing and implementing solutions to our key challenges." This appointment was made on the heels of the resignation of President Jason Wingard shortly before a non-confidence vote by the faculty union citing concerns over falling enrollment, financial issues, and labor disputes. Crime on and around the campus has also been a concern of the campus community. Perhaps not coincidentally, JoAnn Epps served as the inaugural chair of the Philadelphia Police Oversight Board from 2015-2017. In 2001, Epps was appointed by Philadelphia Mayor John Street to serve as Chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Police Discipline.

JoAnn Epps has had an impressive career in legal education which has been consistently recognized - National Jurist Magazine named her among the 25 most influential people in legal education for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016; she was awarded a 2015 Spirit of Excellence Award by the American Bar Association; the 2015 M. Ashley Dickerson Award by the National Association of Women Lawyers; the 2014 Justice Sonia Sotomayor Diversity Award by the Philadelphia Bar Association; she is a three-time honoree by Lawyers of Color Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Black lawyers in the country; and in 2009, the Philadelphia Bar Association recognized Epps’ efforts by honoring her with the Sandra Day O’Connor Award,

Prior to joining Temple Law School, Epps was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia and a Deputy City Attorney in Los Angeles. JoAnn Epps earned her JD from Yale Law School.

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