‰ At the Board
President extends his sympathy to Neissers
Archived article from Dec 3, 1999
By Douglas Frank
The Nov. 12 Board of Governors meeting on the Newark campus began on a sad note as President Francis L. Lawrence expressed sympathy to the family of Eric Neisser, a veteran faculty member and former associate dean and acting dean at the School of Law-Newark, who died suddenly Nov. 8.
"Eric was a highly respected scholar in the field of constitutional law who was particularly concerned with -- and active in -- human rights issues," Lawrence said. "His sudden and untimely passing earlier this week deprives the legal profession of one of its shining lights."
Lawrence's sentiments were echoed by board Chair Richard Levao, who remarked that Neisser was extraordinarily bright, dedicated and modest. "His death is really a loss. We will all miss him very much."
The president also spoke of the recent deaths of three Rutgers students as well as an accident that left a fourth in critical condition. "The entire Rutgers community has been shocked by these tragedies," he said. "Our hearts go out to the families of these students."
Paul Kuehn, student representative to the board, thanked the president for sending students an e-mail message expressing his sorrow over the student deaths. The president noted that the university hopes to expand its use of information technology to communicate quickly and directly with the Rutgers community on a variety of issues.
In its regular business, the board approved the establishment of the National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Brownfields are parcels of land and buildings tainted by environmental contamination. The center will engage in research aimed at both small brownfields sites in urban neighborhoods of New Jersey and larger federal sites.
The board noted that Rutgers faculty associated with the center are among the leaders in addressing elements of neighborhood distress and that the center will incorporate its research and outreach work into the curricular efforts of the Bloustein School on the undergraduate and graduate levels.
In other business, the board approved a program document for improvements to Frank M. Deiner Sr. Park, built by the state Department of Transportation nearly 20 years ago. The four-acre facility overlooks the Raritan River behind the River Dormitories.
The program document calls for converting the park from a predominantly passive space to an active space that can accommodate a variety of sports yet be flexible enough to handle large special events such as concerts or picnics.
The board heard five assistant professors and a doctoral student from the Newark campus outline their research. They are Samuel Peavy, geological sciences; Farzan Nadim, NJIT member of the federated biological sciences department; April Benasich, Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience; Ramy S. Farid, chemistry; Benjamin Martin Bly, psychology; and Vidal Annan Jr., psychology doctoral student.
In other actions the board:
n authorized the transfer of $1.1 million in Higher Education Trust Fund (HEFT) monies from the Hill Center computer training lab project, which was built using other resources, to the Davidson Hall RUNet 2000 project, subject to approval by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. The retrofitting of Davidson Hall is seen as part of a major initiative to provide advanced network technology throughout the university.
n discontinued the Cook College bachelor of science program in professional-occupational education because of the lack of student interest and faculty resources.
n approved the creation of mid-block crosswalks on Taylor and Bevier roads.