This blog is the collective effort of many Rutgers alumni who are frustrated with what the university’s push into big-time athletics is doing to the life of scholarship on the banks of the Raritan River. As classes are canceled and professors are fired for lack of money, this jock-sniffing administration merrily goes forward with yet more expensive plans to upgrade athletics (whilst academics continue a slide into mediocrity). Ed Bloustein, the president of Rutgers for nearly 20 years until his death in 1989, used to talk about making Rutgers “the Berkeley of the East.” Now, under President Dick McCormick, the push seems to be to turn Rutgers into the Louisville of the North. Lucky us.
What should Rutgers be doing instead:
O Launch a search for a new president. The McCormick Presidency is a failure. Let’s terminate it before more damage is done to Rutgers.
O Clean house at the Board of Governors. This collection of flunkies, fools and political hangers-on cobbled together the stadium financing plan.
O Put Rutgers in 1AA football, playing teams like UMass, Univ of Rhode Island, and Stony Brook. These are natural rivals, not schools such as Louisville and the Univ of South Florida. Do likewise in men’s basketball.
O Commit to a pledge that, by 2015, Rutgers will have 15 academic programs nationally ranked in the top 15…20 by 2020, and 25 by 2025. Put academics first and mean it.
O Restore the terminated Olympic sports. The budgets are small, the payoff for the university is high.
O Restore funding for the state’s Outstanding Scholars program, which keeps New Jersey’s brightest high schoolers home.
o Introduce transparency to the university budgeting and executive decisionmaking. Let stakeholders really see what is happening with no hiding behind a meretricious claim of academic freedom. Let the sun shine brightly.
o Fire the no-shows and do-nothings, remove Rutgers from Trenton’s culture of corruption.
Stop the Stadium Expansion and Return to Making Rutgers an Outstanding University Again.