Countdown to the BoG Meeting

November 30, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008
8:30 a.m. open session – 8:35 a.m. closed session – 10:00 a.m. open session
Winants Hall
7 College Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey

This presumably will be the meeting where a kind of sanity emerges and the BoG votes to “delay” the stadium expansion and to strip AD Bob Mulcahy of most (all?) authority.  

RU alumni are watching!

Tell the BoG where you stand on ending the reckless, wasteful stadium expansion:

The President of the University
Richard L. McCormick
Rutgers University
Office of the President
83 Somerset Street
New Brunswick NJ 08901

George R. Zoffinger

Chairman, BoG
M. William “Bill” Howard, Jr.
Bethany Baptist Church
275 West Market Street
Newark, NJ 07103

Vice Chair, BoG
Patricia “Pat” Nachtigal
31 Elston Road
Upper Montclair NJ 07043

Albert R. “Al” Gamper, Jr.
475 Holland Road
Far Hills NJ 07931

Rochelle “Shell” Gizinski
553 Winding River Court
Brick NJ 08724-1183

Leslie E. “Les” Goodman
The Eagle Group
928 West State Street
Trenton NJ 08618

Robert A. “Bob” Laudicina
4000 North Ocean Drive
Apt. 904ET
Singer Island FL 33404

Duncan L. MacMillan
16 James Court
Princeton NJ 08540

Eugene M. “Gene” O’Hara
258 Clearbrook Court
Little Silver NJ 07739

John F. Russo, Sr.
488 Madison Avenue
Toms River NJ 08753

Patrick Ryan
North Buffalo Advisors, LLC
728 Estates Boulevard
Hamilton NJ 08619

Trenton Piles On

November 26, 2008

Legislative leaders — disgusted by the waste, the incompetence, the stupidity of the McCormick regime — now are calling for appointment of a chief operating officer to oversee budgets at Rutgers.  

Isn’t it appalling to be singled out as an exemplar of waste…by Trenton politicians?  Isn’t it more appalling that they are right?  Rutgers is riddled with unnecessary expenses, featherbedding, and bloated salaries.

Congratulations, Dick McCormick, Rutgers even is on TV as a poster child for a foolish pursuit of bigtime football at the expense of academics.

Dick and Big Bobby Mulcahy told us they would put Rutgers in headlines — and indeed they have!

An Open Letter to Gov. Jon Corzine

November 25, 2008

Governor Corzine:

As New Jersey struggles with a billion dollar budget deficit, we urge you to make some of your first and deepest budget-balancing cuts in the funding for Rutgers.  This represents a sharp reversal in our past positions but the evidence mounts that Rutgers under President McCormick simply wastes money and is not deserving of the public trust or the public’s dollars.

We also urge you to take steps to correct this and to put Rutgers back on a course to academic success:

* Appoint fiscally prudent people of substance to the Rutgers BoG, which currently is largely populated by lightweight dimwitted jocksniffers.

* Instruct President McCormick to fire Athletic Director Robert Mulcahy for cause, immediately.

* Instruct the Board of Governors to fire President McCormick for cause, immediately.

* Dismiss the BoG chairman, Rev. William Howard, Jr., immediately.  The man is an embarrassment.

For our part, as concerned Rutgers alumni, we will withhold all donations to the school until the above four steps occur.

We also urge all New Jersey high school seniors who have Rutgers on their short list of schools to make plans to attend university elsewhere.  Rutgers just is not very good and it is going to get worse before it gets better.  A decade of ruinous policies has left the school a wreck and it will take a new president and several years of hard work to reverse the McCormick-Mulcahy decay.

It pains us to write these hurtful things…but this is the sorry truth and Rutgers will not begin to get better until these truths are recognized.

/s/ The Rutgers 1000 Alumni

“The Rutgers Mess”

November 24, 2008

That is how the NYTimes titles its editorial on the current ugliness at Rutgers.  The Times explicitly says: “while Mr. McCormick did not create the mess, he did nothing to clean it up. If he knew what was going on with the football program, he was negligent by not stepping in; if he didn’t know, he should have. This leaves him a choice: put the brakes on the stadium project and immediately clean house at the athletics department or resign and make way for someone who will.”


The Bergen Record chimes in with, Failing Oversight 101. 

Quoth the Record: “AN internal report has finally said what critics have been saying all along: Rutgers University has failed to take charge of the decisions and spending of its athletics department, especially when it comes to football.

The review, released last week, used words such as “inadequate,” “insufficient” and “uninformed” to describe the glaring lack of oversight. Leadership by Rutgers President Richard McCormick was described as “limited.” Athletic Director Robert Mulcahy was described as acting with “vigor” but in an “increasingly insulated and ultimately counterproductive manner.”

Gannett meantimes writes: Rutgers sports fiscal overhaul just a first step. Gannett says: “Rutgers University Athletics Director Robert E. Mulcahy III was given virtually free rein to negotiate and execute sports-program contracts, leading to a breakdown of internal financial controls, a self-conducted review by the school has concluded. Critics of the Rutgers administration are incensed by the findings. With good reason.”

We have questions and the biggest is, why are we still discussing the obvious?

McCormick needs to be fired and he needs to take Mulcahy with him.

McCormick arrived on the Banks on a lie — he was in fact fleeing termination by the Univ of Washington — and his tenure since has been stupid and futile.  Mulcahy, of course, was himself on the bounce from a failed post.  A fine pair they have made, as they have plunged Rutgers into fiscal absurdity and the ruination of an academic institution.

Fire them both. Now.

Alumni have no choice but to withhold all donations, pending their removal from the university.  That is how bad matters have become.  

Even Trenton must notice the stink coming off the Raritan.

McCormick, Mulcahy “Harshly” Criticized

November 20, 2008

That’s per the NYTimes story on the release of the report into Rutgers athletics, from Schiano’s salary increases to the stadium expansion.  Reports the Times: “There is ‘no question that the president’s failure to exercise fully his ultimate authority on these matters, to seek the counsel of the board in certain instances, and to test the basis of [athletic department] decisions exacerbated this situation,’ read the report, which also sharply criticized the athletic director, Robert E. Mulcahy III.”

The Star Ledger picks up the story here.  

Gannett is here

AP runs with it here.

What is clear is that McCormick turned a blind eye as the bumbling, Ahabesque Mulcahy plunged into ever more delusional and incompetent action — and left to pay the price are students who see their university crumbling for lack of funding.

Clean house by, first, firing Mulcahy and then dumping McCormick.  There’s a start on reviving Rutgers.

Meet the Public Deficit

November 13, 2008

NJ’s budget shortfall is now estimated at $1.2 billion and climbing, per today’s bad economic news.  That’s triple the estimate of just a few months ago.  Mid-year funding cuts apparently will be needed…Dick McCormick are you listening?  The Rutgers budget will be cut and that means every penny of the millions wasted on football comes directly out of the academic budget.  Supporting football is a vote for worsening academic mediocrity (and a mediocre football team, too).  It’s that simple…and horrific.  Just say no to more waste on Mulcahy’s “middling time” sports gulag.

Schiano on the Global Warming Hoax

November 12, 2008

The Rutgers coach must believe global warming is a hoax because, per this Star Ledger report, he has dialed up the temperature in the team’s practice bubble to a sweaty 84 or 85.  

Right now our offices are heated to 65 degrees, our home to 67, and we do this because it saves money and is also responsive to our planet’s ecological needs.

Greedy Greg Schiano — wasting the taxpayer’s nickel — obviously does not care about money and he doesn’t care about the planet either (doesn’t he still drive an Escalade, also paid for by Rutgers?).

Why is the bubble heated to 85?  Apparently to help Schiano’s Stumblers adjust to temperatures in Florida, where they play on Saturday.  Talk about an eco criminal!

The economy rings in, the stadium expansion stops now

November 11, 2008

Fabrikant in the NYTIMES: Colleges struggle to preserve financial aid.

Lewis in the Times on Tough times strain colleges rich and poor.

Across the country, universities are delaying capital expenditures, as they pull in their belts to deal with the rough economy.  Universities are also faced with cutting financial aid to deserving students. In NJ there is no doubt — none — that state funding for Rutgers will take another, huge hit for the next academic year.  Rutgers — because of its proximity to the imploding financial services sector — will be hit harder than will many other universities.  That is just reality.

So right there is RIP for the stadium expansion plan.  We consider this discussion at an end.  Were the university to continue with the expansion we will perforce conclude that the leadership is derelict (stupid to the brink of criminality) and we will cease any and all support for the institution (although we will work for a change in the leadership).

A Grad Student’s Lament

November 11, 2008

A guest blog:

“I am an underpaid international PhD student in one of the engineering departments from which I will graduate (hopefully) soon. Although I said it as if it is important, I don’t give that much damn about being “underpaid” and I don’t ask for half of football coach’s salary to be divided equally among all GA/TA’s (but man, that would be a relief!) or any other actions that will reduce the money spent on sports. My only concern is my research, variety and richness of resources that I can access. I don’t even ask for a reasonable office with windows so that I will know it is raining before I go out from the building, or proper air conditioning that will not make me sick because of extreme high temperatures in winter, or icy cold deep freezer environment in summer that cannot be adjusted due to the age and technology of the equipment. My desk and my computer is enough. In brief, I am very modest and expecting the least from my university.

My only concerns are slight increase in university rankings and academic reputation of the school so that I may be hired by universities that I have heard the names before. If that does not happen, that’s still fine, because reputation is not something that you can buy from and related to what I (and the others in the university) produce as well. At the end, companies will not hire according to the football team’s ranking but the academic reputation, so I have to do my marginal part to reach the level, so that people coming Rutgers for the new stadium can also have better chances when they graduate.

But to do what I ought to do, AT LEAST, I would like to be able to download academic papers from Rutgers Libraries online directly, instead of trying to catch my friends from other universities (no need to mention names, their football team is not even ranked) online at various IM tools to ask for journals that Rutgers used to have access, but do not have anymore.

I was complaining until very recently. However, solution is very simple, of course, thanks to our university administration for showing the way: WE HAVE THE HARD COPY VERSIONS AVAILABLE AT THE LIBRARIES!! How lazy I am… I want to download a paper in few seconds and understand whether it is what I am looking for and continue searching for more. Hey! I can do the same by going to a library, spend hours to go over the journals and papers trying to locate what I really need.

For only couple of hours more, what the hell, right? Couple of hours more so that our university administration can spend more hours to find out more funding opportunities for the stadium (I am sure it will finance itself, no doubts!), instead of spending their precious time to find some funds to provide access to online resources (at least recovering the ones that are cut) so that a lazy grad student will save approximately 1-2 days per week. We are a research university, so we must research it by all means, with all pains, walking in between the aisles, hoping on&off buses to reach to the sources, get wet under the rain… so that university will fulfill its mission, right?

I really pity myself for my lazy nature, which I happen to understand lately, and I want everybody reading this blog to support our university administration showing their academic excellence priority in a crystal clear fashion, working hard to find funding for the stadium and giving so much to make our university’s name known “worldwide” with its football team, so that everybody in the nation will distinguish the university Rutgers and the cartoon Rugrats without a moment of hesitation.

As clearly stated in the Rutgers website, Rutgers is “one of the nation’s leading public research universities”. Read it again and think once more: Even without the proper academic resources! I cannot even think of how our reputation will be after the stadium is completed and our football team has 4 wins in a row. That is beyond my imagination…”


November 10, 2008

Where were the students Saturday? is the question asked by Matthew Stein in today’s Daily Targum.

And I want to know why they are building a bigger stadium if the students can’t be bothered to fill the seats they already have.