From the Chancellor: Goals for Rutgers-Newark
Revised August 2005
We have entered an era of extraordinary possibilities for the Newark campus of Rutgers University. For years, even as we developed great strengths on this campus, negative and inaccurate perceptions of the city of Newark overshadowed our achievements. But things have changed dramatically, and the evidence is everywhere. Our enrollments have been strong in the last few years, after more than a decade of steady decline, and we are becoming the college of choice for a growing number of the highest achieving undergraduates. More and more undergraduate, graduate and law students want to live on a safe and attractive campus, and the demand for campus housing has far exceeded our ability to accommodate it.
Our location in downtown Newark, adjacent to New Jersey's most concentrated cluster of cultural, scientific and medical institutions, and government, business, legal and mass media headquarters, has become an ever greater asset. Projects to expand market-rate housing, retail, entertainment and recreational facilities are developing all around us, and the city's revitalization is now indisputable. We are both a beneficiary and an agent of this revitalization. Our own campus is increasingly attractive and welcoming, symbolizing our self-confidence as a dynamic institution in a newly vibrant city. Newark's extraordinary transportation links, and quick and easy access to New York City, give us opportunities to fully exploit our location in one of the world's great global economic and cultural centers. Our geographical proximity to Essex County College (ECC), The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and The University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ (UMDNJ) has enabled us to build extensive collaborations in instruction and research that enrich all four institutions. The communities that surround us are receiving vast numbers of immigrants from all parts of the globe, and our student body is ranked the most diverse in the nation.
Our new sense of possibility is built on the longstanding assets of Rutgers-Newark. As an integral part of Rutgers University, we share in Rutgers' international reputation as a major research institution with rigorous standards for faculty appointment, tenure and promotion. President McCormick has articulated the goal of moving Rutgers to the top tier of American public research universities. To do so, we must offer a quality education to all of our students that challenges them intellectually. We must advance the frontiers of knowledge, pursuing research for its own sake as well as for its potential to improve society and human life. And we must connect our university much more deeply to the needs and aspirations of the people of New Jersey, and contribute to the state's economic development in a knowledge-driven economy. The president has spoken eloquently about diversity and civility as our core values. He has said that Rutgers must strengthen its ties to its host cities, and to K-12 education. He has urged that Rutgers students engage fully in research and experiential learning. The Newark campus will play a central role in Rutgers' drive for international leadership in learning, discovery and service.
With these assets, Rutgers-Newark is poised to gain visibility as one of the nation's premier urban research universities.
Below I have summarized my goals for the next phase of Rutgers-Newark's development. The deans will also articulate goals for their respective colleges and schools. This is not a blueprint. Circumstances will change, and we must be quick to seize opportunities we cannot now anticipate. But the campus needs to have a clear understanding of where we are heading and what we seek to accomplish in the next several years. In that spirit, I offer this summary of my goals for Rutgers-Newark.
Strengthening Undergraduate Education
The foundation of all undergraduate education is an outstanding liberal arts core, which we must strengthen. We will expand opportunities for students to undertake original research and to work with our faculty as research assistants. We must take advantage of our urban location to increase student internship and experiential learning opportunities. We must insure that our undergraduate students are taught by our best research faculty. And we must greatly expand the use of technology in instruction.
Rutgers-Newark has a long and proud tradition of providing a first-rate education to students of modest means, to first-generation college attendees, and to students of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. We must continue to make the opportunity for a Rutgers education available to all who can succeed here. We must also make particular efforts to enable students from Newark and other nearby communities to enroll and graduate. In recent years, the campus also has had considerable success in enrolling students with outstanding academic records, attracted by our Honors College, our diverse student body, our relatively small classes, the educational opportunities of the city and our growing reputation for academic excellence. We must continue to recruit top students from all social backgrounds at the same time that we reach out to students for whom traditional admissions criteria may not be the best predictors of academic success. To accommodate the different types of students who benefit from a Rutgers-Newark education, we will expand undergraduate enrollment as resources permit.
Building Academic Distinction in Research & Graduate Study
No institution can do everything well. To gain academic distinction on a campus of our size, we must build a critical mass of scholars in key areas where our existing strengths and our location give us a competitive advantage. These areas should not be confined in any one department or school, and we must encourage synergies across academic units.
We should continue to make outstanding faculty appointments in those areas in which we already have well-developed programs or considerable faculty strength:
- Global Affairs
- Neuroscience & Cognitive Science
- Race, Ethnicity & Historical Memory
- Urban, Metropolitan & Public Affairs
In other areas, we are in earlier stages of development, or we have potential:
- Biomedical, Pharmaceutical & Health Entrepreneurship
- Cellular & Molecular Biodynamics
- Corporate Governance
- Environmental Science, Policy and Law
- Nanomaterials & Ultrafast Spectroscopy
- Professional & Applied Ethics
- Public Security
- Urban Education
We already have a significant number of research centers and institutes in these areas, and plans to develop others. We must strengthen these centers and institutes and encourage them to work with faculty from as many colleges and departments as possible. We should look for ways to build new doctoral and masters programs, concentrations and specializations in these areas. We also need to further expand our partnerships with NJIT and UMDNJ in joint instructional programs, shared facilities and instrumentation, and collaborative research.
To further strengthen our position as a major urban research university, we must increase the number of PhDs we award annually, and the amount of external research support we receive.
Enhancing Student & Campus Life
As growing numbers of high school students and their parents come to recognize the quality of our faculty and academic programs, and as Newark's revitalization gains wider attention, we have experienced a surge of student demand for on-campus housing. We also need to accommodate a substantial number of law and graduate students who seek to live on campus. We have a unique opportunity, therefore, to create a critical mass of resident students. We will move as quickly as possible to build both undergraduate and graduate housing.
We also need to expand campus recreational, social and cultural life and the number of students who are actively engaged in campus activities outside the classroom. We must encourage our students to attend performances in NJPAC and elsewhere, to visit cultural institutions like the Newark Museum, the Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, the New Jersey Historical Society, to attend baseball games at Riverfront Stadium, make use of the facilities of Branch Brook Park and the new riverfront park to be built along the Passaic River, and to engage in civic activities and provide volunteer service in the city. We should also encourage our students to take advantage of the social and cultural life of New York City, so readily accessible from campus.
Strengthening Ties Between the Campus & the Community
Rutgers-Newark will expand its extensive ties to the city of Newark, the New York/northern New Jersey metropolitan area and the state of New Jersey. To establish ourselves as one of the nation's leading urban research universities, we must enhance our national reputation and visibility as an interactive campus which draws upon the resources and needs of urban and metropolitan communities in advancing excellence in teaching, research and service. We have particularly strong opportunities to expand this interaction in the areas of:
- Urban education, and especially the Newark Public Schools
- Public safety and security
- Community development, including neighborhood empowerment and revitalization
- Economic development, including small business development, and support for New Jersey's pharmaceutical and biomedical industries
- Legal, nursing and public health services to underserved populations of Newark and other communities
- Public affairs and administration
As we build new housing and instructional facilities and make other campus improvements, we must try to leverage these projects so that they simultaneously support the revitalization of University Heights and downtown Newark as well as the needs of the campus. Therefore, we will look for opportunities to partner with private developers and state and local government agencies, making Rutgers-Newark integral to the city's urban renewal plans. We will encourage private and public entities in greater Newark to take fuller advantage of the resources available at Rutgers-Newark. We will also encourage more local, state and community groups to hold meetings and conferences in campus facilities, and seek ways to expand conference facilities adjacent to the campus.
Strengthening University Heights Partnerships
Rutgers-Newark has collaborated for many years with our partner institutions of higher education in University Heights. These collaborations have enabled us to enrich the opportunities available to students, strengthen research and support economic development and revitalization in Newark. We must expand and strengthen our partnerships with our University Heights neighbors, recognizing the centrality of advanced research and scientific and professional education to the economy of Newark and New Jersey in the twenty-first century.
We are justly proud of our status as the most diverse national university in the U.S., but our record in faculty and senior staff diversity is not nearly as good. We must build a faculty with the background and experience to serve our student body effectively. In particular, we must substantially increase the number of Hispanic, African-American and other underrepresented minority faculty at Rutgers-Newark, and increase the diversity in the ranks of upper campus administrators.
Expanding and Upgrading Facilities
Like all of Rutgers, we have a severe shortage of instructional and research space, parking, and social/recreational facilities. We will use capital funds from future university and state bonds to address these needs. We will also build new undergraduate and graduate housing through public-private partnerships. As funds become available, we hope to expand the facilities of the Business School, further expand instructional and research laboratories for the sciences and nursing, add new general-purpose classroom and faculty office space, complete the third floor of the Dana Library, and add additional spaces for performances, lectures and other cultural events. We will also modernize many older instructional laboratories and classrooms.
Getting the Message Out
In some respects, Rutgers-Newark is one of the best-kept secrets in American higher education. We need to raise dramatically the visibility of the campus in New Jersey and in American higher education. We will work closely with the campaign to raise Rutgers’ visibility to project Rutgers-Newark as one of the nation's top urban research campuses, in a dynamic metropolitan area.
These are my goals for Rutgers-Newark. I welcome your advice, suggestions and ideas as we work together to make Rutgers-Newark one of the nation's premier urban research universities.
Joined Rutgers: 1946
Campus Size: 38 acres, 33 buildings
Chancellor Designate: Nancy Cantor
Interim Chancellor: Todd Clear
Undergraduate Majors: 40+
Graduate Programs: 50+ (JD, MA, MBA, MFA, MPA, MS, Ph.D.)
Athletics: 14 NCAA Division III women and men's teams
Enrollment (fall 2013)
Full-time Faculty: 585
Faculty with Terminal Degrees: 99%
Full-time Staff: 770
Male/Female Ratio: 50:50
Student/Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Nations Represented: 100+
On-campus Residents: 1,280
Basic Type: Research Universities (high research activity)
Special Classification: Community Engagement