Gene Tempel, EdD, is the newest member of Antioch University’s Board of Governors, joining in Spring 2018. Common Thread conducted this e-interview in early April.
What about Antioch University do you find most compelling and intriguing?
I am impressed by the progressive nature of Antioch University, its distributed structure, its curricula, and its use of experiential learning and narrative evaluation.
I am sure you have many responsibilities currently in your life. What has drawn you to serve on the Board of Governors of Antioch University?
I was especially drawn to Antioch’s commitments to adult education and university community education. Where many universities view adult education as a secondary activity without much thought to the best approaches to teaching adults, Antioch is dedicated to adult students as its primary mission in fulfilling its promise: A University in Pursuit of a Better World.
What contributions do you hope to bring as a Board member to leading Antioch University?
I have several areas of interest and special expertise that I hope to bring to my Board service at Antioch. I am interested in helping the Board focus on providing sustainability for Antioch through diversification of income especially through philanthropy. I am also interested in issues of governance and the intersection of community and student needs with academic governance.
What do you hope to learn as a Board member about leading universities in today’s complicated environment?
Every time we enter a new organization or activity, we are immigrants. So I hope to learn about and from the culture, structure, and approaches of Antioch. I look forward to listening and learning and adapting my ideas and known research to the “Antioch way.”
If I were to do this interview with you 5 years from now, what would you like to be able to say about Antioch University? about your service on the Board?
a. I would like to be able to say that Antioch University had developed a culture of philanthropy, from the Board to students, from the administration to the faculty, in which philanthropy is seen as a legitimate source of revenue for an enterprise that contributes to the common good. And where everyone accepts some responsibility for the development of philanthropic support.
b. I would hope to look back on my five years of service and see where I had made important contributions to the development of Board policy, to feel like my service was valued, and to count at least three lessons learned from my Board service.
What would you like our readers to know about you that they might not know from your brief bio statement?
I am a first-generation college graduate who has a deep belief in the role of higher education to change lives, to enable individuals to have an impact on society they otherwise might not have had. I earned three degrees as an adult student, working full time while pursuing higher education. I believe this experience helped me approach every course, every faculty member, mentors, and fellow students in a serious manner.
Eugene (Gene) Tempel, EdD, joined the Board of Governors in 2018. He is founding dean emeritus of the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and led the world’s first school devoted to the study and teaching of philanthropy. Generous donors recently established the Eugene R. Tempel Endowed Deanship at the school to honor Prof. Tempel. He is an internationally recognized expert on philanthropy.
With nearly four decades of philanthropy leadership, administration and fundraising experience, Gene played an integral role in establishing the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s precursor, the Center on Philanthropy at IU, and served as the center’s executive director from 1997 – 2008, transforming it into a leading national resource.
An early leader in creating the field of philanthropic studies, Gene was the first elected president of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council, a national association of academic centers and programs that focus on the study of nonprofit organizations, voluntarism and philanthropy. He is professor of philanthropic studies and adjunct professor of higher education at Indiana University.
Committed throughout his career to strengthening the philanthropic sector, Professor Tempel chaired the national Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Ethics Committee for many years and served as a member of Independent Sector’s Expert Advisory Panel, which created national guidelines for nonprofit governance and ethical behavior. He is a past chair of the Indiana Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism. He has mentored many of the nation’s most successful executives in philanthropic fundraising.
A popular presenter, Professor Tempel has authored numerous columns, articles, and other publications in the field. Gene earned a B.A. degree in English and philosophy from St. Benedict College, an M.A. in English, and a doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana University.