Where the Buck Stopped

As a gusher of cash cascades into Rutgers football, the university is funding academics at lower and lower rates — thus the school’s plummet into the nether reaches of US News & World Reports’ ranking of public universities (Rutgers is 20 among publics and falling).

Money still talks — and at Rutgers its absence (save for football, where there is a reckless $100+ million stadium expansion plan and the coach with a lifetime losing record now is the state of New Jersey’s highest paid public worker) is why the university’s academics are increasingly silent.

Here is how grave the situation is — and why we are there in the first place: “Our education system has already been impacted by budget difficulties. Over three years, New Jersey’s colleges and universities have lost $266 million in funding. The proposed 2009 budget provides Rutgers with less than we received 11 years ago. During that same time, the state budget doubled and Rutgers’ enrollment grew by 4,000 students,” writes Michael Palis, interim dean of the Rutgers-Camden Faculty of Arts and Sciences, in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed.

In the 2009 New Jersey budget, Rutgers is slated to lose another $38 million in funding — and that will translate into yet more deferred maintenance, more teacher layoffs, more classes canceled.

All of this is why Rutgers now ranks #117 in the new index of universities issued by the Center for College Affordability & Productivity. Rutgers simply has become a very bad buy — roughly comparable to the University of Dayton. The once proud public ivy has become a weed.

The message for New Jersey’s high school seniors, the Class of 2009, is stark: Plan to go out of state for a quality higher education. You just won’t find it in New Jersey.

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3 Responses to Where the Buck Stopped

  1. RUFB says:

    I just don’t get it. You claim to be in favor of Rutgers Academics, but rather than encourage NJ’s best and brightest to come here, you say no, go elsewhere.

    If you truly supported Rutgers as an institution, you’d blog about how screwed over Rutgers gets for funding by the state. Do you think that if we were to abolish the football program all together we would get enough money to make us a premier state college? Is that truly your belief?

    Please.

  2. RUSupporter says:

    This is about the 20th blog post I’ve read where the guy tries to steer good students away from Rutgers. Luckily, he can’t do much harm, because about 10 people read this blog and most of those are rational people who see how biased and misleading it is. For example, out of all the college ranking systems out there, of course he chooses the one which ranks Rutgers lowest.

  3. bronxboy says:

    In both good and bad economic times, dedicated professors and intellectually engaged students are the foundation of a superior institution of higher education. Until RU sends the unmistakeable message that its primary commitment is to academics rather than professionalized athletics, the deterioration of the university from public ivy to a nondescript, second tier State U. will continue at an ever accelerating pace.
    Particularly during a budgetary crisis, the ongoing waste of money on Division IA football is the best evidence of RU’s grossly perverted priorities.

    With the culture of the campus now shaped by athletics instead of scholarship, the corrosive anti-intellectualism endemic to that insidious enterprise known as big time college sports is rampant at RU. This has created an environment not merely difficult for learning, but proudly adverse to it. The best and brightest high schoolers understand that sad reality and stopped applying to RU years ago. They will return only if RU has the courage to shed the shackles of the commercialized sports entertainment business and re-embrace the noble traditions of its colonial heritage.

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