Issue Date: Apr 10, 2006
By Ashanti M. Alvarez
Newark campus report Rutgers-Newark is enjoying a higher profile these days and playing a key role in Newark’s resurgence, Provost Steven J. Diner said in his address to the University Senate March 24.
“I’m a historian of American cities. Lots of people decided not to invest in cities,” Diner said. “While that was happening, Rutgers was investing in Newark. I think we are now seeing the full flowering of the wisdom of investing in our cities.”
Diner noted that four graduates of the Minority Student Program at the School of Law-Newark have been appointed to top positions by Gov. Jon S. Corzine: U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, state Attorney General Zulima Farber, state personnel commissioner Rolando Torres and Ronald Chen, who left the law school as associate dean to become New Jersey’s public advocate. The MSP began in 1968 to improve African-American representation at the law school and has since expanded to include all minority and disadvantaged applicants.
A committee is examining undergraduate education in Newark. Another is considering developing a new major in public service. “We will try to market it as a unique feature of the Newark campus,” Diner said. Other undergraduate education initiatives include improving basic writing instruction, instituting living-learning communities and expanding the use of the course management software Blackboard to faculty. At the graduate level, the senate will consider at its April 28 meeting the creation of a graduate School of Public Affairs and Administration.
The university is continuing to invest in Newark through a spate of construction and development projects, Diner said. The life sciences building is “just about complete,” and the university is close to acquiring 1 Washington Park. Rutgers-Newark would occupy 11 floors of the building as well as roof rights with a sign to dominate the Newark skyline. Graduate student apartments are being developed at 15 Washington St. “We will dramatically transform that neighborhood, the North End of downtown Newark,” Diner said.
For the ninth time in as many years, U.S. News and World Report named Rutgers-Newark the most diverse national university. “They have done the ranking for nine years and we have won it all nine years,” Diner said. “We are very, very proud of that.”
Strategic plan for information technology Vice President for Information Technology Michael McKay presented to the senate a preliminary overview of the activities of the IT Strategic Planning Committee. The committee is integrating Rutgers’ information technology strategies with overall university goals. The committee included five subcommittees: governance, teaching and learning, business services and enterprise systems, research, and public service and university life. The plan is on the Web at oit.rutgers.edu/strategicgoals.html, and members of the university community are invited to submit private comments or participate in a public, online forum. The committee will review feedback in May and June, and present
a final report in July 2006.
Resolution to save higher education funding The senate unanimously approved a resolution urging the state Legislature to reject proposed cuts to higher education funding in New Jersey, saying that the cuts will restrict Rutgers’ ability to remain a nationally competitive university. The resolution also encourages “the New Jersey State Legislature to recognize the massive economic benefit Rutgers provides to New Jersey in terms of an educated workforce and internationally acclaimed research by showing a stronger commitment to higher education.”
This article was published in the Apr 10, 2006 edition of the Rutgers Focus and is available online at http://urwebsrv.rutgers.edu/focus/article/link/1802/