Inauguration: Meet Glena Temple
In the summer of 2021, Glena Temple, Ph.D., was selected as the 11th president in Dominican University’s 120-year history. Dr. Temple most recently served as president of Viterbo University and is a veteran of higher education leadership as well as a scholar in botany and plant sciences.
Temple began her career at Viterbo, a Catholic Franciscan university in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 2001 as a member of the biology faculty. Viterbo was founded in 1890 and is home to more than 2,500 students. There, Temple went on to serve as department chair, honors program co-director, dean and vice president for academic affairs.
She left Viterbo for one year in 2014 to serve as the founding dean of online and distance education for the University of Wisconsin Colleges, a unit of the University of Wisconsin System, where she helped achieve significant enrollment growth.
She returned to Viterbo in 2015 as vice president for academic affairs, a role in which she strengthened high-impact practices across academics and directed a $2 million U.S. Department of Education grant focused on retention and student success.
In 2017, Temple became Viterbo’s ninth president. During her four-year tenure, Viterbo increased its retention, graduation and job placement rates for students. The university’s endowment grew from $43 million to more than $60 million, and it expanded graduate enrollment, while adding programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Beyond her nearly two decades of service to Viterbo, Temple has held faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin Colleges, Victor Valley College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and worked as a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Minnesota.
Temple has been actively involved with the Council on Undergraduate Research and in the La Crosse community. She has also served as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
Her published writing includes peer-reviewed scholarship on topics ranging from bioinformatics education and strengthening undergraduate research to biotechnology and plant and soil health.
Temple earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, a doctorate in botany and plant sciences from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master of Arts in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota.
She is an affiliate of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Viterbo’s founding congregation, and has served on the boards of community and cultural organizations. Among her honors, she was recognized with an achievement award at the La Crosse-area YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women in 2009.
Temple is a native of the Rochester, New York, area, but has called the Midwest home since 1996. She and her husband, Stephen, met at the University of Minnesota and have lived in the La Crosse area since 1999.