Rutgers in China Initiative

May 25, 2011

Members of the Rutgers Community:

Rutgers University has a long tradition of global engagement. We take pride in claiming more than 200 partnerships with universities around the world, a growing study abroad program, numerous collaborative research projects, and students from more than 120 countries studying on our campuses. Rutgers is deeply committed to advancing international research, education, and partnerships—all of which will benefit New Jersey, the nation, and the world.

One such new development reflecting this commitment is the Rutgers in China initiative. Last fall, following my spring 2010 visit to China and numerous discussions that I held there with our Chinese partners and our alumni, I convened an ad hoc China Strategy Committee, chaired by Marc Holzer, Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration. I asked the committee, composed of faculty and senior administrators representing our Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick campuses, to develop a comprehensive strategy for education and research in China and about China.

The Rutgers in China initiative, which is based on the recommendations of this committee, has several key aims:

  • to expand the number of highly qualified undergraduate and graduate Chinese students at the University;
  • to cultivate scholarly relationships with Chinese colleagues and institutions; and
  • to foster economic growth for New Jersey through innovative partnerships and by broadening social, interpersonal, and economic relationships.

This initiative will benefit Rutgers in many ways: expanding international opportunities for our undergraduates, making Rutgers more attractive to high-achieving New Jersey students, and increasing research collaborations between our faculty and the faculty at strategically selected partner universities. At the same time, the Rutgers in China initiative will enhance the prestige and brand-recognition of New Jersey. Faculty and students who come here from China for education or research collaboration in the humanities, social sciences, life sciences, environmental sciences, and professional education will experience firsthand New Jersey’s geographic and ethnic diversity and its economic strengths, such as the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, telecommunications, and agriculture.

The university will act on the China Strategy Committee’s recommendation to hire a director for the Rutgers in China initiative. The search committee, chaired by professor Lily Young, dean of international programs in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, will begin the search this summer. As soon as this appointment is made, we will begin to act on other aspects of the committee’s recommendations and build on our programs in and about China.

I want to thank the members of the China Strategy Committee for their excellent work. We will keep you informed about this important initiative as it progresses.

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