NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The chairs of Rutgers’ governing boards today announced the membership of a joint task force charged with identifying areas of possible improvement in the university’s governance.
“As we enter this new era we should explore opportunities for Rutgers to become a more efficient and effective institution,” said Gerald C. Harvey, chair of the Rutgers Board of Governors, and Dorothy Cantor, chair of the Rutgers Board of Trustees. The chairs noted that they have full confidence in the university’s foundational structures, but that this is a time of historic restructuring of the university.
“This is one of the most significant and challenging periods in Rutgers University’s nearly 250-year history,” Harvey said. “Our historic integration in July with most of the schools, centers and institutes that made up the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has transformed Rutgers into a much larger and more comprehensive university with tremendous potential. To ensure that Rutgers continues to excel, we should critically evaluate all aspects of our university – including our governance.”
Harvey and Cantor instructed the task force to consider
- best practices of governing boards at other institutions
- best practices and the overall effectiveness of Rutgers’ governing boards
- recommendations for improving the effectiveness of Rutgers’ boards, and
- implementation plans for those recommendations.
“We have made clear to the members of the task force that they should be thoughtful, thorough and willing to rigorously examine long-held beliefs about Rutgers University’s history and traditions,” Cantor said. “This is an appropriate time for a serious self-examination, with the input of all appropriate stakeholders, of how Rutgers should be governed in the decades to come. No one knows this better than members of our own community.”
The task force will work closely with Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi and members of his administration. Harvey and Cantor asked the task force to present an initial report at the December meetings of the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees.
The Rev. M. William Howard Jr., pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, will chair the task force. Howard is a former chair of the Rutgers Board of Governors and former president of New York Theological Seminary. He has served on the Board of Governors since 2004.
“Everyone in New Jersey has a stake in the success of Rutgers University,” Howard said. “We look forward to gathering information and insights from key stakeholders inside and outside the university community.”
The other members of the task force are:
- Vice Chair Sandy J. Stewart, a member of the Board of Trustees since 2006. Stewart is a retired scientist and biotech entrepreneur.
- Marisa A. Dietrich, elected a student member of the Board of Trustees in 2011. Dietrich, a January 2013 graduate of Rutgers-Camden, is a GSLE Specialist for Girl Scouts Central and Southern New Jersey.
- Senator Gordon A. MacInnes, a member of the Board of Governors since 2010. MacInnes, a former N.J. State Senator and former member of the N.J. General Assembly and assistant commissioner with the New Jersey Department of Education, is president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that researches and analyzes economic issues.
- Iris Martinez-Campbell, a member of the Board of Trustees since 2002. In September, Martinez-Campbell will become a member of the Preschool Intervention and Referral Team for the Perth Amboy Public Schools Early Childhood Program. For the past seven years, she has been a community/parent involvement specialist for that program.
- Kenneth M. Schmidt, a member of the Board of Governors since 2012. Schmidt, a former chair of the Board of Trustees and the Rutgers University Foundation Board of Overseers, is a retired managing director at UBS.
- Heather C. Taylor, a member of the Board of Trustees since 2009. Taylor, a certified public accountant, is an audit director in the commercial and nonprofit services groups at EisnerAmper LLP.
A fact sheet about the Rutgers University Board of Governors and Board of Trustees can be found here.
Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving more than 65,000 students on campuses, centers, institutes and other locations throughout the state, Rutgers is the only public university in New Jersey that is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities.