May 16, 2011
Members of the Rutgers Community:
Phil Furmanski, who has served with dedication and distinction as our executive vice president for academic affairs since 2003, has decided to step down from that office effective June 30, 2011. He will be taking a sabbatical to pursue his academic interests. I think all would agree that Phil has contributed enormously to the progression of the university during his tenure, and that we owe him our thanks and gratitude for his commitment, energy, focus, and accomplishments.
Virtually every area of the university’s academic growth and progress in recent years bears Phil’s imprint. He has been critically involved in identifying and advancing areas of academic strength on all three Rutgers campuses, appointing outstanding faculty in those areas, and putting institutional resources behind them. He was instrumental in the reorganization of undergraduate education on our New Brunswick Campus, and in many of the programs that emerged from that process, including the first-year seminars. Phil has also played a pivotal role in shaping and implementing the new vision for the Livingston Campus and in the university’s reaccreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. To help achieve the university’s goals, Phil has appointed and supported outstanding and entrepreneurial academic deans and directors.
Throughout his tenure as executive vice president, I have depended on Phil’s wisdom and depth of knowledge about our academic and research programs. His advocacy with New Jersey’s congressional delegation, with legislators and governors, and with the members of the New Jersey Higher Education Task Force has been essential. His close working relationship with members of our boards and internal councils has been vital in helping to assure effective university governance. Phil’s relationships with individual supporters and institutional funders, philanthropies, and agencies have brought much-needed resources to the university.
I am also announcing that Dick Edwards will serve as interim executive vice president for academic affairs effective July 1, 2011. Dick, as you know, has been an outstanding dean of our School of Social Work for the past six years, elevating and enhancing the reputation of its programs on all three of our campuses. In that role, he has led the development of a new Institute for Families and four new academic centers. Before coming to Rutgers, Dick served as interim provost at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and thus he has considerable experience dealing with the complexities of a comprehensive public research university. Please join me in welcoming Dick to this important position and provide him with your support during the transition and beyond.
Rutgers will conduct a national search to fill the position of executive vice president for academic affairs. Richard L. McCormick
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey