As per the Governor’s Executive Order No.14, the Commission’s
assessment of Rutgers focused on the quality of health sciences
education. Our effort
involved speaking with selected Rutgers leadership and science
faculty and analyzing data from Rutgers and public sources.
We did not, however, undertake a comprehensive assessment
of performance or systems at Rutgers, which is a large, complex
we briefly examined the quality of non-science Rutgers programs,
particularly noting nationally recognized programs. Rutgers’ educational programs appear solid overall and distinctive
in several specific areas.
The Commission found the widespread sentiment that it
is possible for Rutgers to rank among the top tier of public
universities in the next several years with the proper support
and that addition of a medical school and/or other health-related
schools may help Rutgers realize this aspiration.
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey,
is a comprehensive public research institution in the New Jersey
system of higher education.
First chartered in 1766 as Queen’s College in New Jersey,
it has grown from one of the nation’s nine colonial colleges
to a university that provides a broad array of educational programs.
Rutgers has about 50,000 students (38,000 undergraduates
and 12,000 graduate students) and 2,600 full-time faculty members
across its campuses in New Brunswick/Piscataway, Newark, and
Camden. The university
has 29 degree-granting schools including 16 graduate and professional
schools offering liberal arts and sciences and professional
programs. It is centrally administered from New Brunswick, though Provosts
at the Newark and Camden campuses hold significant autonomy
for some academic issues. Governance
rests with the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees.
6.2 Quality and competitiveness
Academic quality at Rutgers appears to be
above the national average, though below top state universities. In addition, several graduate programs rank
among the best in the nation.
Rutgers overall is competitive within the Association
of American Universities (AAU) institutions – a group of 63
top public and private universities in North America – ranking
32nd among all academic institutions, and 14th among the
34 state AAU institutions based on the last National Research
Council’s (NRC) rankings which are based largely on faculty
Below are the highlights of the findings
on quality of instruction, research and service for the undergraduate and graduate
programs at Rutgers University, based on interviews and publicly
Rutgers offers more than 100 bachelor’s programs
in New Brunswick (28,351 students), Newark (6,118 students),
and Camden (3,677 students).
Rankings: The New Brunswick campus is competitive and ranks
among the top 20 state schools for undergraduate education,
according to U.S. News & World Report’s America’s
Best Colleges 2003 (U.S. News), while the Newark campus
is in the second tier of universities and the Camden campus
is considered a Master’s University and ranks highly within
that group of schools.
The New Brunswick
campus is ranked 20th
among state universities
for undergraduate education and is in the second tier among
all (state and private) universities for undergraduate education
– 249 state and private universities ranked.
The campus has improved
its ranking from 24th
The Newark undergraduate programs are ranked
in the second tier of all universities.
The Rutgers-Camden undergraduate campus is categorized
as a Master’s University and is ranked third among 166 state
Master’s Universities in the North.
Undergraduate students at Rutgers score above
national averages on the SAT (mean combined score of 1191
for regularly-admitted incoming students at Rutgers day colleges,
versus 1020 for the nation and 1011 for New Jersey
) with specific groups of excellent
students enrolled through merit programs such as the New Jersey
Outstanding Scholars Recruitment Program (mean combined SAT
score of 1380).
ranks Rutgers-Newark first in campus diversity
with African-Americans (20 percent) and Asian-Americans (20
percent) constituting the largest minority groups.
Overview. Rutgers offers more than 100 master’s and 80
doctoral and professional degree programs to 12,203 students
on the New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden campuses.
In New Brunswick, 7,299 students are pursuing advanced
degrees within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences or at Schools
of Arts, Engineering, Pharmacy, Education, Planning and Public
Policy, Psychology, Communication, Information and Library Studies,
Management and Labor Relations, or Social Work. In Newark, 3,484 are studying within the Faculty
of Arts and Sciences or at Schools of Nursing, Management, Criminal
Justice and Law. In
Camden, 1,420 students are pursuing degrees within the Faculty
of Arts and Sciences or at Schools of Business or Law.
Some of these programs are offered in collaboration with
other New Jersey institutions including NJIT (e.g., engineering),
UMDNJ (e.g., biomedical sciences in New Brunswick and Newark),
Western Monmouth Higher Education Center (e.g., nursing programs)
and state colleges.
Health-science rankings: Rutgers health-sciences programs are solid, and several non-health-science
graduate programs are nationally recognized.
Among biological sciences programs, New Brunswick’s are
strong nationally (e.g., 54/121 ranked by U.S. News; 36/194
for biochemistry and molecular biochemistry by NRC rankings)
while those at Newark rank lower (113/121 ranked by U.S.
News; 145/194 for biochemistry and molecular biochemistry
by NRC rankings).
The Rutgers School of Nursing in Newark is ranked 59/175
schools by U.S. News,
with its clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric
mental health program ranked fifth among 10 ranked programs
The School of Pharmacy in New Brunswick is also nationally
recognized: it ranks seventh in NIH funding among the 85
schools of pharmacy in the country.
Notable health-science centers: Several Rutgers health-sciences
institutes and departments are nationally renowned for the
quality of their faculty and research. We highlight several
of these, however, this is not an exhaustive list:
Center of Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine (CABM) was
established in conjunction with UMDNJ.
This competitive research program focuses on structural
biology, cell and developmental biology, and molecular genetics.
The Center was established with funding from the Commission
on Science and Technology, UMDNJ, and Rutgers. CABM has
been successful in attracting significant federal funding
in structural genomics and
continues to attract top faculty.
One faculty is a member of the National Academy
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Institute (EOHSI) operates in conjunction with UMDNJ. This is a national source of expertise for
communities and government for environmental health, toxicology,
and exposure assessment.
EOHSI core work is interdisciplinary, involving faculty
in environmental health, toxicology, occupational health,
exposure assessment, public policy, and health education.
The Waksman Institute of Microbiology is renowned
for its leadership in microbiology-related research and
its focus on recombinant DNA technology.
Rutgers played a major role in developing streptomycin
for the treatment of tuberculosis, and the Waksman Institute
was funded by the compound’s licensing income.
Important new initiatives include computational and
structural biology, molecular genetics of the regulation
of gene expression and biomolecular interactions.
Institute of Health, Health Care Policy, and
Aging Research is a nationally respected interdisciplinary
center for research on health-services research, federal
and state health policy, and behavioral and social aspects
of health and health care. Its programs in medical sociology,
health psychology, mental health, medical history, and state
health policy are highly regarded nationally and well funded
by the NIH and various foundations.
Four members of the Institute have been elected to
the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences
and one member has been elected to the National Academy
Department of Chemistry is eighth among chemistry
programs for total federal funding among 238 state institutions
and for total R&D expenditures; it is ninth among 273
Approximately half of the department’s
faculty is conducting health-related research reflecting
the national trend of increasing inter-disciplinary research.
There are seven distinctive non-health graduate
programs ranked by U.S. News
in the top 25 among
all universities: Library Science (6, with the subspecialties
of Information Systems ranked fifth, School Library Media
, and Services for Children and Youth
), Drama/Theater (12), Mathematics
(16), English (18), History (19, with the subspecialty of
African-American History ranked 4th
Women’s History ranked 1st
), Applied Mathematics
(21) and Physics (24).
There are 11 distinctive graduate departments,
ranked by the National Research Council in the top 25 among
: Philosophy (13), Geography (13), Statistics
(17), English (17), Mathematics (19), Art History (20),
Physics (20), History (20) Comparative Literature (22),
French (22), and Materials Science Engineering (25).
Both Law Schools in Camden and Newark are ranked
in the second tier (between 52 and 90) of law schools by
Students: Rutgers graduate students in the health sciences
are above average nationally
Nursing students in Newark and biomedical students
at New Brunswick score slightly higher than national average
while other biomedical students
are at national averages.
Pharmacy students score significantly better
on GREs than national averages.
Faculty: While there are many distinguished faculty in areas
characterized in our interviews as “pockets of excellence,”
overall faculty distinctiveness is below top state schools.
The Commission chose to compare the number of faculty members
of a few selected organizations; this is not a comprehensive
picture of all faculty at the institution:
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) members:
14 Rutgers faculty (versus 18 to 119 at top 10 state AAU
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS)
members: 17 Rutgers faculty (versus 24 to 204 at top 10
state AAU schools).
Institutes of Medicine (IOM) members: six Rutgers
faculty (versus seven to 30 at top 10 state AAU schools).
Howard Hughes Medical Investigators (HHMI):
three Rutgers faculty
(versus two to 18 at top
10 state AAU school).
Research: Rutgers has made a strong effort to increase
external research funding, which has more than doubled in
the past 10 years. Most
of this funding is awarded to the New Brunswick campus.
Total research grants and contracts for all fields
awarded were $222.4 million
in 2001, compared to $95.9 million in 1991, representing a 22.9
percent increase per year.
Of this amount, in FY2001, 89.9 percent went to the New Brunswick
campus, 8.3 percent to Newark and 1.8 percent to Camden.
Rutgers has an active program in service education, linking
its academic programs with each campus’s local community.
Many of its programs that integrate community service
into the curriculum are nationally recognized, among them: Citizens
and Service Education (CASE), New Jersey Small Business Development
Center, Elder Law Clinic, and the Center for Urban Policy Research
Rutgers leadership adopted a comprehensive
strategic plan, A New Vision for Excellence (1995), that
set a framework for the development of innovative academic programs
and the allocation of financial resources to build on Rutgers’
strengths in instruction, scholarship, and service:
strategic plan aims to focus energies and resources on strengthening
the core academic programs and building on the strongest programs
in the three campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick.
It emphasizes first and foremost academic excellence
in instruction, scholarship, and service; it affirms the university’s
key role as generator of new knowledge through innovative research;
it recognizes the importance of diversity and commits the university
to the principles of access and affordability; it consciously
fosters a sense of community and collaboration; and it identifies
and responds to emerging needs in the state and the nation.
The strategic plan targeted a number of academic
areas for growth including in the sciences: cognitive science
and neuroscience, engineering, environmental studies, information
science and related fields, and life sciences and agriculture.
Additionally, the plan focused on administrative improvement
(e.g., accountability, total quality management, and interinstitutional
collaborations) and infrastructure development (e.g., computing
and information technologies, libraries and facilities). Through these efforts, Rutgers hopes to achieve
its stated goal of “joining the ranks of the top public research
universities by 2010.”
Based on the Commission’s assessment of the
fertile ground for higher education in New Jersey and the strong
academic foundation that exists at Rutgers University, the Commission
believes that Rutgers can improve the quality of its programs
and schools. During
its data gathering, the Commission identified several potential
Lack of a medical school has a significant negative impact on
the ability of Rutgers to recruit top-flight health sciences
faculty. Many of Rutgers’ peer institutions (e.g., University
of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan)
have medical schools, which makes it difficult to compete for
Administrators and faculty noted that state funding for Rutgers
is lower than university funding in other states, which may
have a negative effect on its academic mission.
Opportunities to build partnerships between Rutgers and New
Jersey’s industries, especially pharmaceutical companies, have
been underleveraged, despite the large number of graduates working
in these industries. States with fewer pharmaceutical companies
have often built closer partnerships between the state university
and pharmaceutical companies.
Structure and governance
Rutgers, a comprehensive research university
with a broad range of program offerings, has several health-related
schools, including the School of Nursing in Newark, the School
of Pharmacy in New Brunswick, and a joint UMDNJ-Rutgers physical
therapy program in Camden. It has not had a medical school since 1970,
when the Rutgers Medical School separated to become part of
the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Of the top 20 undergraduate universities as ranked by
U.S. News, six do not have associated medical schools.
Rutgers is organized into three campuses (Appendix
2). Despite some academic and operational autonomy
on the three campuses, the Rutgers system remains highly centralized
in New Brunswick. The Rutgers system of centralized control,
contrasts with other multi-campus systems where campus-specific
administrations are responsible for most academic, administrative,
and operational issues. The Commission’s studies reveal the
Leadership is receptive to faculty initiatives and plans, but
has limited funding, particularly in the area of providing start-up
packages for promising new faculty in the sciences.
Perception among faculty is that the administrative leadership
team is too large, top heavy, and bureaucratic in its reporting
requirements, especially in activities such as purchasing and
Despite some campus autonomy for Newark and Camden campuses,
many critical academic and operational functions require approval
from or negotiations with New Brunswick leadership.
Because Newark and Camden Provosts report to the University
VP for Academic Affairs, who also serves as the de facto
Provost of New Brunswick, conflicts of interest may arise resulting
in preferential treatment for New Brunswick. The Newark campus
has grown to sufficient scale and research intensity such that
it seems to have outgrown its current “satellite” status.
The administrative leadership team operates largely independently
of academicians and does not sufficiently engage Deans and faculty
in its decisions. Moreover, faculty governance structures and
representation have weakened in recent years.
The Board of Governors holds overall responsibility
and control for Rutgers University.
The President of Rutgers, the core leadership team, and
the central administrative offices are located in New Brunswick.
Rutgers governance rests primarily in the Board
of Governors (BOG) with the Board of Trustees (BOT) serving
as an advisory group. Board
members are New Jersey business and community leaders including
many Rutgers alumni.
Board of Governors: The
BOG serves as the principal decision making body of the University
in a similar capacity to the boards of other universities
(e.g., Board of Regents for the UC or UT systems).
The Rutgers BOG consists of 11 voting members, six
appointed by the Governor and five elected by the BOT to serve
six-year terms. The Chair is elected by members of the BOG. Non-voting members include the Rutgers President,
and two faculty members and one student elected by the University
Senate. Three committees
conduct most BOG activities: educational planning and policy,
budget and finance, and buildings and grounds.
Its members include prominent New Jersey business and
community leaders (e.g., CEO of the Bank of NY, CEO of the
CIT Group, a major New Jersey philanthropist, VP at Becton
Dickinson and Co., former CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.) and
many members are Rutgers alumni. The University can only benefit
from inclusion of even more prominent members who have made
significant accomplishments managing and leading organizations
and are committed to enhancing academic excellence.
Board of Trustees: The BOT serves as an advisory group to
and consists of 59 voting members.
Of the 59 members, there are 28 charter trustees elected by
the BOT, 20 alumni elected by the BOT, three students, and
11 public members, including six appointed by the Governor.
The Chair is elected by the BOT.
Additionally, there are two faculty and two
student non-voting members, elected by the University Senate.
The Rutgers leadership team provides academic,
administrative, and operational guidance and support.
The Rutgers core leadership team includes the President, the
University VP for Academic Affairs (also serves as the New
Brunswick Provost), the provosts in Newark and Camden, VP
for Research, VP for Institutional Research and Planning,
SVP and Treasurer, and the VP for University Budgeting.
The provosts in Newark and Camden have some latitude for directing
academic programs. Many other areas are managed centrally
in New Brunswick or require approval/support from central
administration (e.g., allocation of resources, admissions,
foundation, recruiting of high profile faculty).
The Commission has not undertaken a through assessment
of Rutgers administrative and operational processes, but has
focused on functions related to the health-science departments
and interactions with UMDNJ. The Commission has found several issues of
Interactions with UMDNJ.
There are many academic collaborations between
Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway and UMDNJ; there are interactions
on the other campuses as well. Most collaborators experience some degree of administrative obstacles
in managing joint programs or grants
Academic collaborations: Numerous partnerships and shared
interests exists between departments and faculty on research;
key themes emerging from data gathered are:
Life sciences faculty consider the Rutgers-UMDNJ/RWJMS
relationship to be critical for research efforts at both
With few structural means to support or facilitate
information exchange, most partnerships are created through
grassroots efforts by individual faculty members.
Administrative obstacles: Numerous differences in UMDNJ
and Rutgers processes and requirements often make joint
efforts cumbersome; some themes that the Commission found
With no uniform administrative process to guide
cross-institutional research, all issues are resolved independently
and in an ad hoc manner.
A particularly thorny issue has been the building
of new facilities where disagreements between Rutgers and
UMDNJ on responsibility for capital costs, debt servicing,
maintenance, etc., have slowed progress and hindered collaborations.|
Students in joint programs often have different
benefits (e.g., Rutgers provides housing, recreation services,
and parking, UMDNJ does not; Rutgers students pay student
and computer fees, UMDNJ students do not, but often use
Interactions with NIH and Federal agencies.
Federal agencies appear to be confused
by the separate administrative structures at UMDNJ and Rutgers.
This puts both institutions at a disadvantage
in competing for federal program project and training grants.
Faculty emphasized that their interactions
with funding agencies were “awkward” given the lack of other
institutions with a comparable “bizarre” structure and that
reporting to federal agencies was much more complex for two
institutions involved in a single project.
Grant management. A
number of faculty cite an overly bureaucratic and slow grant-management
process; they noted that less centralization and a more responsive
grants-management group would be welcome.
For example, decisions on the rate of indirect costs
returned to various units are not made transparent.
Hiring of new faculty.
Faculty recruitment is a challenge, in part because
health-sciences recruits express a strong desire to be affiliated
with a medical school and are concerned that collaborations
with UMDNJ will be administratively complex.
has created problems for students and administrators; for example,
conducting admissions for some programs centrally in New Brunswick
has led to confusion for students and delays in processing.
Also, having a single registrar located in New Brunswick has
made cross-registration with UMDNJ and NJIT difficult to manage.
The Commission’s analysis indicates that state
support for Rutgers is at the low end of state universities,
lags the Higher Education Price Index, and is a decreasing share
of the state budget.
State support for Rutgers is somewhat lower than top state
The state appropriation was $6,097 per student (FY2002); total
state appropriation was $307 million for 50,349 students (total
State appropriations at selected state universities without
an affiliated medical school per student for FY2001 were $17,512
at UC Berkeley, $11,648 at UC Santa Barbara, $6,176 at UT-Austin
and $13,740 at University of Georgia.
State appropriations per student at selected Northeast state
universities without an affiliated medical school $10,518
at University of Maryland-College Park, $4,425 for University
of New Hampshire-Durham.
For the University of Connecticut appropriations,
excluding those for the medical school, were $8,128.
State appropriations have fallen short of the rate of inflation
and the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI).
The FY2001 state appropriation to Rutgers was $311 million,
compared to $235 million in FY1990,
representing an annual growth
rate of 2.6 percent. Over this same period, the Consumer Price
Index (CPI) increased three percent annually and the HEPI increased
3.5 percent annually.
The Rutgers share of the state budget has steadily decreased
from 2.2 percent in 1990 to 1.55 percent in FY2001.
The percentage of education and general costs supported
by the state has decreased from about 63 percent to 57 percent
between 1994 and FY2001, reflecting a statewide decline in funding
for higher education.
Student enrollment by campus
for fall 2001for undergraduates in colleges or in professional/specialized
(Nursing in Newark;
Engineering, Arts, or Pharmacy in New Brunswick) from Rutgers’s
Student Unit Record