Former Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, who heads the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, has been named Temple University's new chief fund-raiser.

Temple announced the appointment of Cawley, a Temple graduate who also serves on Temple's board of trustees, as its new vice president of institutional advancement Monday.

His choice is unusual for Temple in that Cawley has no prior experience in fund-raising efforts at a college, unlike his predecessors. A Republican and a lawyer, he has spent almost all of his career in politics.

Temple president Richard M. Englert said Cawley's ties to and passion for Temple and his vast connections in the corporate and foundation world made him a clear choice.

"I thought it was fine to go outside the box here and think broadly," Englert said. "Jim is such a Temple backer and Temple booster. The more I got to know him, the more I appreciated his great appreciation for what Temple is all about."

His appointment is subject to approval by the trustees board on which he served from 2002 to 2006 and has been on again since 2014. He will resign his board post when he takes on his new role, the university said.

The university declined to release Cawley's salary for the vice president's job. At the United Way, Cawley earned $284,954 in the 2016 fiscal year, the most recent year for which tax forms were available.

Cawley, 48, will replace James Dicker, who headed to the University of Delaware this summer. Cawley obtained both his bachelor's in political science and law degrees from Temple. He was lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2015 under then-Gov. Tom Corbett and he joined the United Way in February 2015 upon leaving state office. He has been in that role, which includes fund-raising, for 2½ years.

"I have always been drawn to Temple's mission to provide an excellent education to students who come from all walks of life," Cawley said in a statement. "I can think of no finer role than raising the funds that will keep Temple affordable, and provide students with the resources they need to thrive."

Cawley, a native of Levittown, previously was chief of staff to State Sen. Robert M. "Tommy" Tomlinson (R., Bucks) and before that volunteered on Frank L. Rizzo's 1987 Philadelphia mayoral campaign and former Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker's 1994 campaign.

A resident of Wrightstown, Bucks County, he also has held other political appointments, including serving on the Bucks County Board of Commissioners and as a member of the Bristol Township School District board.

In his new role, he also will oversee alumni affairs for the university, which has nearly 320,000 alumni.