President Richard L. McCormick – who has led the university through nearly a
decade of sweeping academic reforms and record levels of applications,
enrollment, private donations and financial support for research – announced
today that he will step down from the position at the end of the 2011-2012
After he steps down as president, McCormick will take a one-year sabbatical and then return to the faculty as a University Professor.
Ralph Izzo, chairman of the Rutgers Board of Governors, praised McCormick for his dedication to the university and for a series of successful academic initiatives that have placed Rutgers in the top tier of public research universities.
“Rutgers is a better institution because of Dick McCormick’s leadership,” Izzo said. “He has led the way in combining excellence and accessibility, the hallmarks of a successful state university. The Transformation of Undergraduate Education; the Rutgers Future Scholars Program; the Byrne Family First-Year Seminars; new state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and residential halls – these are all emblematic of Dick’s commitment to undergraduate education and research at the highest level.”
Since McCormick returned to Rutgers in December 2002, the university has confronted historic challenges. Despite these challenges, Rutgers is in a stronger position now compared to a decade ago, McCormick said.
“Thanks to the hard work of the university’s faculty and staff, we have taken important steps to position Rutgers in the vanguard of American higher education for decades to come,” McCormick said. “The reorganization of undergraduate education in New Brunswick; the expansion of residential housing on the Camden, Newark and New Brunswick campuses; the growth of business education and the ongoing redevelopment of the Livingston Campus – to name just a few of our achievements – demonstrate the university’s commitment to fulfilling our vital role as New Jersey’s flagship public university. These efforts, along with our historic $1 billion fundraising campaign, will provide a solid foundation for my successor.”
President McCormick said this is the right time for this decision, both in his personal life and for the university. He also has confidence that higher education in New Jersey is moving in the right direction.
“The recommendations of the New Jersey Higher Education Task Force announced in January, combined with other initiatives advanced by Governor Christie, underscore the Governor’s understanding of the central role higher education must occupy in our state if we are to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” McCormick said. “I have expressed strong support for many of the Task Force’s recommendations, including the transformational benefits of the proposed merger of Rutgers with the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the School of Public Health. I will continue to advocate strongly regarding these issues – even as the search begins for the next Rutgers president.”
McCormick and his family plan to stay involved in the Rutgers community after the conclusion of his presidency. In a message to faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni, McCormick said, “Rutgers is my home. I was born only a few blocks away from campus and spent countless hours wandering through campus walkways and corridors as a child reared by parents who spent their careers loving and caring for Rutgers. My family and I will remain connected and committed to Rutgers through our work, philanthropy, good will and public service.”
Chairman Izzo said the Rutgers Board of Governors will form a committee quickly to conduct a national search for McCormick’s successor.
Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving more than 56,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers is one of only two New Jersey institutions represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities.
Media Contact: Greg Trevor
732-932-7084, ext. 623