Issue Date: Apr 13, 2004
By Richard Gorman
P. Roy Vagelos has resigned from the Rutgers Board of Governors and the university’s board of trustees. Vagelos was chairman of a state committee that sought to create a comprehensive university system by merging Rutgers with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Gov. James E. McGreevey abandoned the merger when the plan failed to gather the necessary support from the three academic institutions. Vagelos, 74, the former chief executive officer of Merck and Co., took the failure personally. “I gave it everything,” he told the press. “I worked at this as hard as I worked at Merck. It’s my biggest failure – two years. I’ve never done anything for two years.”
Vagelos will continue to be involved on the boards of Regeneron, a biopharmaceutical firm, and Theravance, an emerging pharmaceutical company. He also will promote his book, “Medicine, Science and Merck” (Cambridge University Press, 2004), the story of his rise as the son of a Rahway luncheonette owner to the top of one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.
This article was published in the Apr 13, 2004 edition of the Rutgers Focus and is available online at http://urwebsrv.rutgers.edu/focus/article/link/1310/