Rutgers' Successes Under the Leadership of University President Richard L. McCormick

Rutgers' Successes Under the Leadership of University President Richard L. McCormick

November 15, 2007




Read front-page coverage:

The Record, Bergen County (December 2)

Star-Ledger (December 2)

Statistical highlights of President McCormicks tenure:

Jump to key areas:

Presidential Initiatives

Academic Excellence

Innovative Research

Efficient, Effective Management

Enhancing the Student Experience

Historic Results

Since his return to Rutgers as the institutions 19th president on Dec. 1, 2002, Richard L. McCormick has successfully led the university through one of the most challenging periods in its 241-year history.

Under President McCormicks leadership, Rutgers has launched a series of wide-ranging initiatives that are significantly enhancing the universitys commitment to world-class instruction, groundbreaking research, enriched student life and service to the people of New Jersey and beyond. President McCormick also is leading Rutgers at a time of historic accomplishment and visibility generating pride across the state while increasing interest in the universitys many areas of excellence among citizens, potential students and financial donors.


Transforming Undergraduate Education: The university has implemented President McCormicks bold vision to enhance virtually every aspect of undergraduate learning and student life across the New Brunswick Campus from admissions and curriculum to campus facilities and the student experience. Accomplishments include:

School of Arts and Sciences (SAS): This school, which brings together all arts and sciences faculty and students, has established unified admissions standards, general education criteria and graduation requirements.

First-Year Seminars: President McCormick has raised $3.6 million from private donors to support more than 100 courses a semester each with no more than 20 first-year students on a wide range of topics taught by top Rutgers faculty.

Curriculum Standards: SAS faculty are developing a core curriculum to ensure students receive a broad base of knowledge and key skills including quantitative reasoning, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and global awareness in addition to their majors.

Freedom of Choice: Undergraduates can take any course and declare any major no matter where they choose to live on or off campus.

Alumni Relations: Consistent with the objectives of the undergraduate education initiative, in September 2006 President McCormick appointed a task force of alumni leaders, representatives of the Rutgers University Foundation, and deans and officers of the institution to evaluate the effectiveness of the universitys relationship with graduates and to recommend improvements in the way alumni connect with and receive services from the university.

After nearly a year of discussion, in August 2007 the task force released a far-reaching report that recommends comprehensive reforms to increase alumni engagement and engage Rutgers alumni with faculty, students and staff to advance the universitys mission. Alumni have discussed the task forces recommendations at a series of forums this fall. President McCormick is expected to announce the universitys implementation plan by the end of the semester.

Research in Service to New Jersey: Two annual programs established by President McCormick a presidents award and a pool of funding for innovative projects showcase the commitment of Rutgers faculty to New Jersey and its citizens through their research and service activities. Service to the state is one of the key elements in President McCormicks effort to connect Rutgers more deeply to the communities beyond its campuses.

New Faculty Traveling Seminar: Each year since 2004, a group of new faculty members, led by the president, has traveled the state by bus for five days in the spring to learn about New Jerseys history, economics, culture, government and the communities that many Rutgers students call home. Through spring 2007, nearly 140 faculty from Camden, Newark and New Brunswick had traveled 1,882 miles and visited 64 communities in all 21 New Jersey counties.

Campus and Community: In the past five years, Rutgers has undertaken one of the largest development programs in university history planning, constructing and renovating new academic, residential and service buildings on every campus in New Brunswick, Piscataway, Camden and Newark. In addition to improving instruction and student life, these projects are enhancing Rutgers host communities. Highlights include:

Significant progress toward the realization of President McCormicks vision for the College Avenue Campus. In December 2006, President McCormick selected Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos and Ignacio Bunster-Ossa of Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC, to lead the team that is partnering with Rutgers. Rutgers has committed $15 million for the first phase of this multiyear project. Expected to begin in 2008, the initial phase will provide a greener and more pedestrian-friendly environment on the campus.

A vision to provide the Livingston Campus community with a robust intellectual core. Rutgers is proposing a campus devoted to business and professional studies, including business, management and labor relations, education, social work, applied and professional psychology and economics. Offerings would include traditional degree and joint-degree programs, as well as licensing and certificate programs, continuous education courses, executive training, special seminars and events designed to engage all members of the Livingston community in a cohesive intellectual enterprise.

The 2006 groundbreaking for the new four-story building at the School of Law-Camden.

Alvin Rockoff Hall, which opened in 2005 and provides housing for 671 undergraduate and graduate students in downtown New Brunswick.

The Life Sciences Building, dedicated in 2005 on the Busch Campus and home to the Human Genetics Institute, the Department of Genetics and the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials.

The Rutgers-Newark Life Sciences Center, which opened in 2006 and greatly expands scientific research and teaching facilities on the campus.

University Square, which opened in 2006 and houses nearly 600 students. It is the first new residential housing on the Newark Campus in 16 years.

The four-story Biomedical Engineering Building on the Busch Campus, which has added nearly eight times the academic and support space to what was previously allocated to this growing discipline.


New Programs

Led by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Philip Furmanski, the university has identified Areas of Academic Excellence to encourage interdisciplinary initiatives to enhance instruction, research and service. These areas include nutrition, transportation, nanotechnology, global programs and genetics/stem cells.

The nations first doctoral degree-granting program in childhood studies was launched in 2007 at Rutgers-Camden the first doctoral program in Camdens history.

The School of Public Affairs and Administration, an outgrowth of the Graduate Department of Public Administration, opened on the Newark Campus in 2006 the first new school at Rutgers-Newark since 1972.

Established in 2006, the Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics advances the entry and progression of women in these professions. That same year, the university hired Associate Vice President Joan W. Bennett a world-renowned plant biologist to head the office.

Rutgers Future Scholars Program: At his 2007 Annual Address to the University Community, President McCormick announced a pilot project for minority and low-income students in the universitys host communities Camden, Newark, New Brunswick and Piscataway. Rutgers will work with school districts to identify top eighth- graders. As they proceed through high school, the university will provide these students with support and encouragement including workshops on gearing up for college, preparation for the college entrance exams and an on-campus experience each summer that will expose students to the universitys finest academic programs. Each of these students admitted to Rutgers will receive free tuition and fees.

Presidential Fellows: Launched in 2006, the Presidential Fellows Program offers a package worth approximately $50,000, including an annual stipend, to as many as 10 incoming students competitively selected from Rutgers graduate schools each year.

Outstanding Faculty

Nineteen Rutgers professors are members of the National Academy of Sciences, ranking Rutgers 11th among public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), an association of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

Rutgers has seven members of the Institute of Medicine, which provides independent research and counsel to the federal government on biomedical science, medicine and health. Even though Rutgers does not have a medical school, the universitys membership ranks ninth among public AAU institutions.

Awards and Recognition

Eight Rutgers scholars from the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The Rutgers scientists served as contributing authors or reviewers to the panels series of climate assessments.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2007 Crafoord Prize in biosciences biologys equivalent of the Nobel Prize to Rutgers Anthropology Professor Robert Trivers for his pioneering work in sociobiology.

A breakthrough in converting coal and other carbon sources into clean-burning diesel fuel developed by Rutgers Chemistry and Chemical Biology Professor Alan Goldman and his colleagues was named one of the top 100 science stories of 2006 by Discover magazine.

Cell Biology and Neuroscience Professor Wise Young, a world-renowned spinal cord injury researcher, was selected by Esquire magazine as one of the nations Best and Brightest in 2005.

Two prominent Rutgers faculty members have been named New Jersey Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education English Professor Barry Qualls (2006) and Mathematics Professor Stephen J. Greenfield (2004).

Rutgers philosophy faculty are ranked No. 2 in the English-speaking world in the Philosophical Gourmet Report, a ranking of philosophy departments primarily based on the quality of their faculty.

The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy is ranked No. 8 in the nation among graduate schools in urban planning, based on an independent survey of professionals, educators and students commissioned by Planetizen, a Los Angeles-based planning and development network.

Rutgers is ranked 20th among national public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Graduate school departments recently ranked at the top of their fields include library science (No. 6), English literature (No. 16) and history (No. 17).

Highly ranked individual programs include school library media (No. 1), discrete mathematics and combinations (No. 2), womens history (No. 2), African-American history (No. 4) and criminal justice (No. 4).

In 2005, Chemical & Engineering News cited Rutgers as having the highest percentage of women faculty in chemistry of any American university.


Financial Support: Since 2002, total annual funding for Rutgers research from the federal government, the state of New Jersey, corporations and nonprofits has jumped nearly 28 percent. The university has secured a series of prestigious federal grants to conduct vital research that will benefit the state and nation in health, science and homeland security. Grants include:

$52.7 million from the National Institutes of Health to pioneer research of protein structure and function. This will point the way to designing new medicines.

$30 million from the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies to support the Rutgers-based Protein Data Bank. Under the direction of Rutgers Chemistry and Chemical Biology Professor Helen Berman, the data bank is a computer library of molecular structures that is one of the worlds most critical resources for solving the mysteries of human disease.

$19.2 million from the National Institutes of Health to work with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to jointly develop measures to protect people against chemical warfare agents.

$15 million from the National Science Foundation to work with three other universities to establish an Engineering Research Center devoted to improving the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and other products.

From the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, $3 million to lead a research consortium using advanced technology to identify potential threats; and another $2.3 million to lead research on detecting smuggled nuclear weapons.

$1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to fund scholarships for at least 46 academically talented but economically disadvantaged undergraduate students who are studying science, technology, engineering or math.

$600,000 from the National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation program to look at plants as a source of materials for cardiovascular stents, bone and tissue grafts, antiviral and antibacterial food packaging, and personal care products.

Research milestones

Rutgers geneticists were instrumental in sequencing the genomes of rice and corn. This research ultimately will lead to bigger and better food harvests.

In 2004, Rutgers Chemistry and Chemical Biology Professor Eddy Arnold and his colleagues announced significant progress in the development of new drugs to stop the spread of AIDS.

In 2003, Rutgers repository of DNA and cell lines became the largest university-based repository in the world. These are crucial assets for biomedical research to cure diseases like schizophrenia, diabetes and Alzheimers.


Better Business Practices: Under the presidents leadership, Rutgers has implemented a comprehensive series of initiatives to ensure that all units at the university manage the publics money wisely and efficiently. Examples include:

A revised purchasing policy, which provides guidance on competitive purchasing and bid limits; restricted goods and services; conflicts of interest and ethics; supplier diversity; and sustainable purchasing.

A new policy on charitable contributions that explicitly prohibits the use of state-funded resources for charitable donations and provides guidance on the use of other university resources for charitable contributions.

A revised policy on political activities, which clarifies the universitys prohibition on the use of university resources for political activities.

A revised policy on travel and business expenses, which also strengthens the auditing of these reimbursements.

The establishment of a Reporting Financial Concerns Web site and a confidential, independently operated hotline, which anyone can use to report suspected misconduct in accounting and financial matters.

The new All Funds Budgeting process, which established increased accountability and centralized review of all academic unit budgets.

The institution of a comprehensive, written series of annual strategic goals and areas of emphasis and effort by which progress is measured across the university. These goals are published on the presidents Web site each year, along with a follow-up progress report.

Efficiency and Entrepreneurship: In 2006, President McCormick created a permanent Committee on Efficiency and Entrepreneurship to identify cost savings and improve Rutgers revenues from existing and potential sources.

Energy Savings: Rutgers is carrying out several initiatives that will create significant energy savings. These include:

An audit of 600 buildings to retrofit or replace lighting fixtures. The university expects to see energy cost savings of approximately $4 million to $5 million each year and reduce electricity use by more than 42 million kilowatt hours per year.

Replacing underground, high temperature water lines on the Busch and Livingston campuses. Rutgers expects to see fuel savings of more than $2 million per year.

Using more alternative-fuel vehicles. More than a dozen Rutgers vehicles run on natural gas. Also, all diesel-fueled New Brunswick Campus vehicles now use a blend of regular diesel fuel and biodiesel. This resulted in a decrease of more than 100 tons of carbon dioxide in 2006.

Presidents Recognition Awards: These annual awards acknowledge exceptional contributions by Rutgers staff in the areas of service and collaboration.


In 2005, Sybil James became the universitys ombudsperson, helping students deal with frustrations relating to academics and campus life. The idea for the ombudsperson position grew out of a series of presidential retreats on student service in the 2003-04 academic year.

The Middle East Coexistence House, which opened in fall 2006 on the Douglass Campus, enables female students from various religious backgrounds to live and study together. Their goal is to learn about the Middle East and ultimately improve Jewish-Muslim relations at Rutgers and beyond.

The Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates, created by a $4 million donation from longtime Rutgers supporters Jerome and Lorraine Aresty in 2004, encourages undergraduates to work with faculty on original research projects. More than 250 undergraduates have conducted original research on a wide range of academic subjects through this program.



In 2007, Rutgers received a record number of applications from prospective first-year students 32,183. That is a 9-percent increase compared to 2002.


The Rutgers Foundation is preparing to launch a new fundraising campaign with a goal that will far exceed the universitys previous efforts.

In 2006-07, private giving to the university through the Rutgers Foundation was up 31 percent compared to the same period the previous year. For the first time in the universitys history, Rutgers raised more than $100 million in cash donations in a single year. Approximately $95 million will go toward academic programs.

In July 2004, Rutgers completed its most successful fundraising campaign to date, raising $615 million 23 percent higher than the campaigns original goal.

Contact:Greg Trevor

732-932-7084, Ext. 623


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