Welcome to the 2011–12 Academic Year at Rutgers

September 1, 2011

Dear Students:

Hello and welcome, or welcome back, to the New Brunswick Campus of Rutgers! We hope that those of you from the East Coast and your families are coping well with the effects of Hurricane Irene.

To our newest students, we are delighted that you have chosen Rutgers. I hope you will take advantage of the myriad resources available at the university, starting with our superb faculty, to ensure that you will have a deeply rewarding Rutgers experience. Make sure to attend our Student Involvement Fair on Friday, September 9, to see the wide array of extracurricular opportunities that await you. And if you are a first-year student and have not signed up for a Byrne first-year seminar, I encourage you to take one now or in the spring term.

Let me point out some changes that have taken place over the summer at Rutgers–New Brunswick:

  • The Busch Engineering, Science, and Technology Building has opened as our newest residence hall, accommodating 500 students in the sciences, engineering, and pharmacy. This building was constructed in response to growing demand for on-campus student housing.
  • The transformation of the Livingston Campus continues with the opening of the Dining Commons this semester, replacing Tillett Hall. This spacious new facility complements the Livingston Student Center completed a year ago. This fall we will formally break ground for the new business school building on this campus.
  • A major new academic building will open on Busch this fall: the Center for Integrative Proteomics Research, the study of the structures, functions, and interactions of proteins. Among other resources, this facility houses the Protein Data Bank, an international repository of information about the three-dimensional structures of large biological molecules.
  • We are placing a premium on international studies and the expansion of online learning with the appointment of Dr. Joanna Regulska as vice president for international and global affairs and Dr. David Finegold as senior vice president for lifelong learning and strategic growth initiatives. I hope that many of you will consider studying abroad, perhaps in one of the international service learning programs that have been recently initiated.

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.

This initiative is one of several urgent goals for the university in the year ahead, including further advancement toward the billion-dollar target of our 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.

I hope this is a year of discovery, excitement, and joy. For those who will be earning a degree this year, I hope it will be particularly rewarding and memorable. Welcome to all of you!

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