Statement by Richard L. McCormickPresident of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Statement by Richard L. McCormickPresident of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

October 25, 2007




During the 2 years that the SCI conducted its investigation of New Jerseys institutions of higher education, Rutgers University offered its full assistance and cooperation. Members of the university community responded with professionalism to comply with the SCIs requests for literally thousands of documents.

Long before todays report was released, Rutgers University took a series of significant steps to improve our business and financial practices and to strengthen our policies and procedures. In fact, many of the recommendations in the SCI report are already in place at Rutgers. Existing checks and balances ensure Rutgers Universitys good management, transparency and accountability. Financial ratings by independent agencies clearly show that we carefully manage both the public and private resources that are entrusted to us.

We recognize that there is always room for improvement, so we plan to review and discuss the contents of the SCI report in great detail. We also appreciate the SCIs recognition that Rutgers Universitys role as a leader in higher education governance and accountability should be strengthened. And we applaud the SCIs call for the state to provide Rutgers with the necessary resources to complete our initiative to modernize our financial and accounting systems.

At the same time, we have serious concerns about the secretive nature of the investigation. It is particularly disappointing that Rutgers was not given an opportunity to review the major substantive sections relating to Rutgers and correct any inaccuracies before the report was released.

We welcome any findings and recommendations that are based on a full and complete set of facts, and we appreciate proposals that would improve our business practices. But we are unable to endorse any recommendations that would intrude upon the long-honored academic independence of New Jerseys State University, or would politicize Rutgers governance. As the SCI notes in its report, Rutgers autonomy should be preserved and protected.

Rutgers University is proud of its national reputation, and we are equally proud to have served with distinction for more than half a century as New Jerseys State University. We look forward to working with our governing boards, the Governor, Legislature and higher education leaders across the state to build a stronger system of public higher education.

Contact: Greg Trevor

732-932-7084, Ext. 623