A New Academic Year at Rutgers

September 1, 2011

Dear Rutgers Faculty and Staff:

As we begin a new academic year, I offer you my thanks for all that you do to teach, support, and inspire our students, to advance Rutgers’ globally significant research mission, and to serve the needs of New Jersey as a reliable and dependable partner. I hope that you have had an enjoyable and rewarding summer, and to reiterate my message from earlier this week, I offer good wishes to those of you who are dealing with the effects of Hurricane Irene in your homes and communities.

We welcome a record number of students at Rutgers this fall—approximately 58,000—and in a period of continued stress for many families. It has been deeply gratifying, therefore, to have recently received many emails from parents telling me of the exceptional efforts that Rutgers employees have made to help their student keep on track and in school. These words of praise, touching every campus, have reaffirmed my pride in and appreciation for your daily efforts at Rutgers.

As you may know, the Rutgers administration is currently engaged in negotiations with our employee unions. You have worked extremely hard under difficult economic conditions, and it is my fervent hope that we can soon reach agreement on new contracts that will honor the excellence and dedication of our employees.

Many of our efforts this summer were focused on working with Governor Christie’s advisory committee on medical education to advance the possibility that several elements of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, including the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, will be integrated into Rutgers. Such a step, which we hope will be recommended by the committee this month, would add critically important capabilities that will enhance Rutgers’ profile as one of America's leading research universities and will enable us to better serve the people of New Jersey.

We have several urgent goals in the year ahead, including those I have mentioned above as well as further advancement toward our billion-dollar target for the university's fundraising campaign. To hear more about our plans, please attend my Annual Address to the University Community, which will take place Friday, September 16, at 1:10 p.m. at the University Senate meeting in the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue. If you cannot attend, the address will be webcast at http://www.president.rutgers.edu/address11.shtml.

Again, thank you for all you do for Rutgers!

Richard L. McCormick
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey