While students are shaking up the staid Harvard Law School, petitioning it to hire more minority and female faculty members, Temple University in Philadelphia has named a black professor, Carl E. Singley, to be its new law school dean.
At Harvard, the law faculty supports the student campaign with a resolution calling for more minority and female teachers. Dean James Vorenberg says he has hired one black and is negotiating with another. And only two black law schools, Howard and Texas Southern Universities, enroll more blacks than Harvard.
Meanwhile at Temple, Professor Singley becomes the third black to be named dean of a major law school. Others are Elvis Griffith at DePaul University in Chicago and -Derrick Bell, a former member of the Harvard law faculty, at the University of Oregon.
Singley, who was selected from among 46 candidates in a nationwide search, took office Jan. 6. A member of the law school's faculty, he succeeds Peter J. Liacouras, who resigned to become president of Temple on July 1. The new president expressed confidence in his successor, who is also the first Temple alumnus to head its law school.
''Dean Singley will lead the law school to the next plateau of greatness,'' the president predicted as he praised him for his ''commitment to excellence and legitimate diversity. . . .''
Minority students and faculty can be found, the new dean says. ''This (Temple) law school has gone a step beyond affirmative action,'' he adds. ''We have resolved our debates and institutionalized our apparatus for recruiting minority students, retaining them, and graduating them.''
Under Dean Liacouras, the law school faculty included such blacks as Drew S. Days, solicitor general of the United States under President Carter.
Singley, a graduate of black Talladega College, holds a master of laws from Yale Law School in 1974.
Oregon's Dean Bell recalls that he was hired at Harvard after a student ''uprising'' in 1968. Law schools can use black ''role models'' to encourage minority students, he says. The Oregon law faculty includes a tenured black, he adds. ''We hope to do better in the future.''