University Preparations for Medical School

October 10, 2011

Members of the Rutgers Community:

With the governor's declared support of the Barer committee recommendation to incorporate into Rutgers the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and the School of Public Health, Rutgers is taking important steps to prepare for this crucial integration, including strategically shaping its organizational structure to facilitate, coordinate, and manage the merger. While such a merger will require action in Trenton and the approval of the Rutgers governing boards, it is prudent for us to begin our analysis and planning.

A group of faculty members from relevant areas of the university has been meeting with interim executive vice president Dick Edwards and me to identify and explore the academic opportunities that the merger will present. Senior vice president Bruce Fehn and his team are working through the myriad financial, contractual, logistical, and administrative issues that must be confronted in bringing these units into Rutgers, and the university has issued an RFP to secure the services of a mergers-and-acquisitions consulting firm to assist us. At the same time, senior vice president Jon Alger and his staff are examining the legal aspects of the merger.

Equally important, it is my pleasure to appoint Dr. Christopher Molloy, a distinguished scientist and dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers since 2007, as interim provost for biomedical and health sciences. He will also act as special assistant to the president for biomedical and health sciences. In this role, Dr. Molloy will be responsible for reviewing clinical, research, and academic strengths among the proposed merged units and developing plans to set Rutgers on a path to become a first-class, comprehensive, university-based health science center for New Jersey.

Dr. Molloy, who holds degrees from Rutgers and UMDNJ, is a molecular and cellular pharmacologist with extensive drug discovery research and management experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. A former senior research fellow at Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Molloy has led a number of drug discovery teams that have advanced new medicines from concept to clinical trials in areas such as oncology and cardiovascular disease.

In his new positions, which are effective immediately, Dr. Molloy will coordinate with Dr. Kenneth Breslauer, our outstanding vice president for health science partnerships, to provide the collective leadership needed to accomplish this transformative merger. Dr. Breslauer has been involved in some of our most significant inter-institutional initiatives, including the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the New Jersey Biomaterials Center, and the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey. Drs. Molloy and Breslauer each will report to interim executive vice president for academic affairs Dick Edwards and to me.

I am pleased to say that Dr. Joseph Barone has agreed to serve as acting dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, reporting to Dr. Molloy in his new position. Dr. Barone is currently chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration and has served both the school of pharmacy and the university well for many years. We are fortunate that he is willing to assist us once again in this manner, having previously served as acting dean of the school of pharmacy in 2003, and we know he will continue the tradition of strong and effective leadership that has long marked the school of pharmacy.

I will keep the university community informed as our planning moves forward and as the merger proposal is formally acted upon in Trenton and here at Rutgers. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Chris Molloy and Joe Barone to their new positions.

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