Statement by Rutgers-Newark Interim Chancellor Philip Yeagle on Proposed Legislation

Statement by Rutgers-Newark Interim Chancellor Philip Yeagle on Proposed Legislation

Much discussion among many parties has been directed towards the goals of reorganization of higher education in the State of New Jersey, which has resulted in draft legislation.  Among the outcomes envisioned in the legislation and that we support is a stronger structure for medical education in the state.  Additionally, the Barer report included a call for greater cooperation in research among the institutions of higher education in Newark, which appears to be mirrored in the proposed legislation, and which we also support.  Likewise increases in the already extensive cooperation in education among the same institutions would be of benefit to all.


The draft legislation also includes a proposal for a new state-created board for the Newark campus of Rutgers University with a majority composed of political appointees that would function as an additional administrative layer between the campus and the Rutgers University Board of Governors.


Newark campus at dusk

Thus far there has been no consultation with our campus on these proposals, which is needed to avoid unnecessary pitfalls.  Examples of pitfalls include:  removing the ability of our campus to recommend faculty candidates for promotion and tenure directly to the President and the Board of Governors of Rutgers University, or removing our ability as academic leaders on this campus to directly recommend new academic programs to the same Board, or to directly engage in budget discussions, or to directly propose new capital projects, or force our campus to assume debt service as an additional burden on our campus budget, any of which would diminish the ability of this campus to grow and develop. 


We are also concerned that such a structural change might serve to distance us from the rest of Rutgers University.  Any implied or explicit separation of this campus from Rutgers University as a whole would raise the specter of diminishing the enormous value of this campus of Rutgers University to its communities in northern New Jersey.


We look forward to opportunities going forward to discuss these proposals.


Media Contact: Helen Paxton
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