In a recent resolution, the Rutgers University Senate urged that “‘Robust shared governance, academic freedom, and responsive leadership and effective communication’ be added to the strategic plan framework as a separate foundational element.” The resolution, which was endorsed by President Barchi, was very similar to one backed by faculty councils in Newark, New Brunswick and Camden and by the Rutgers University Student Assembly. For a full copy of the resolution, click “Continue reading.”
By William Vesterman, reprinted from AAUP, Sept.-Oct. 2013
On April 3, 2013, Rutgers University head basketball coach Mike Rice was fired for abusing his players. The university’s president had discovered the abuse in November 2012. This delay is representative of the wider institutional culture in modern American universities.
When Robert L. Barchi became president of Rutgers in September 2012, he proposed a year of university self-study. But after two semesters of strategic planning sessions, online surveys, town hall meetings, focus groups, and other dog and pony shows, nothing has changed. Barchi announced that Rutgers’s goals were still those he had proclaimed on his inauguration—teaching, research, and service. Entirely obvious and general functions for a university, these are hardly worthy results of a year of institutional soul-searching. They do remind one of Virgil’s pretending to take seriously the advice of his slaves for the improvement of his farm—it made them more efficient by making them feel more important. Continue reading
By Matt Friedman and Kelly Heyboer/reprinted from the July 17 Star-Ledger
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) said today she will not bring a measure to the Assembly floor — proposed by her Democratic legislative partner, Senate President Stephen Sweeney — that would disband the Rutgers University board of trustees.
“I don’t think that speaks to improving or retrofitting the governing structure,” Oliver said during an interview with The Star-Ledger editorial board. “I don’t think that’s the way to do it.” Continue reading
Unable to resist the lure of a free lunch (available without leaving the building), I attended an impromptu and informal lunch on Friday, June 21st to meet our new Chancellor, Nancy Cantor. As best I understand, there was an open invitation to those of us foolish or unfortunate enough to be on campus on a Friday afternoon.
Chancellor Cantor was introduced by the new acting Chancellor (until December 31, 2013), Todd Clear, dean of the School of Criminal Justice and a member of the search committee. Todd spoke (not so briefly) followed by brief remarks by Chancellor Cantor, and then she responded to audience questions dealing with P&T requirements for faculty in the performing arts, campus research funding in general, the importance of the sciences to Newark, and (my question) her role as a voice for Newark in President Barchi’s ongoing strategic planning efforts. She assured us that she will speak up for Newark faculty, students, staff and values in the planning process – which has been put on temporary hold for the summer – and she urged us all to participate to the maximum extent possible.
I was very favorably impressed, both by this brief exposure to the new Chancellor and with President Barchi’s willingness to appoint someone with far greater standing and recognition in the national academic community than he has. It takes a confident leader to appoint such a prominent and strong subordinate.
It is time for good news in Newark, and I believe that our new Chancellor will be a welcome colleague.—Peter Simmons, Newark Law School
Efforts in the state legislature to abolish the Rutgers Board of Trustees may have stalled, but they are not gone for good. Legislators have not entirely abandoned their efforts to pass legislation that will make our university the plaything of political appointees. Below is a summary of frequently asked questions on the issue, along with contact information for important elected officials. On July 8, members of the Rutgers community will lobby the legislature for our university and against the abolition of the Board of Trustees. Join us in Trenton, call legislators, or write to them. For more information, check the Facebook page
A: Politicians are fast-tracking a law through the NJ Legislature to give sole control of Rutgers to a governing board that is 100% appointed by politicians.
A: Politicians should not be running Rutgers. It opens the university to political patronage and fraud. That’s what happened at UMDNJ, which had to be taken over by a federal monitor: rampant fraud, bribery, low-show jobs. It also threatens academic freedom. Continue reading
In a letter to the New Jersey State Legislature, two Rutgers law professors–Ronald K. Chen and Robert F. Williams–argue that the proposed elimination of the Rutgers Board of Trustees would violate both the United States constitution and the constitution of New Jersey. Open this download to read their letter.
By Susan K. Livio and Kelly Heyboer, reprinted from the Star-Ledger, of June 27, updated June 28
The push to pass a controversial bill dissolving the Rutgers University board of trustees and turning its responsibilities over to the university’s board of governors stalled tonight during the last scheduled session before the Legislature broke for summer recess, though the Assembly Speaker said she was committed to reviving the measure. [Editor's note: according to one report, legislators received 9.000 e-mails from the Rutgers community on this issue within 24 hours.] Continue reading
LAST YEAR Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, led an effort to tear Rutgers University apart and hand control of the Camden and Newark campuses to local politicians, including himself. This year, he’s trying again. Time has not improved the quality of his plans for Rutgers. Continue reading
This just in from our Rutgers AAUP/AFT:
The New Jersey legislature has introduced and fast-tracked legislation that would dissolve the Rutgers Board of Trustees (BOT)–a governing board that has been in existence since 1766. The legislation could be approved by a floor vote in each chamber tomorrow without any discussion and no committee hearings for members of the public to address their opposition or concerns. Governor Christie has indicated he would sign the legislation into law, taking effect immediately. Continue reading
In an earlier post on Coach Eddie Jordan’s failure to complete his Rutgers degree, I said there were two options: firing or summer school. I’m glad to see that Coach Jordan is taking the honorable path and going back to school to finish his degree. According to an ESPN report cited in the Star-Ledger, he anticipates finishing within a year. After so much bad news out of athletics at Rutgers, it feels good to report a story of hard work and upright actions. –Robert W. Snyder