Robert A. Altenkirch
Friday, November 10, 2006
Legislative Task Force on Higher Ed and the Economy
Early this fall, the Legislature established a Task Force on Higher Education and the Economy to explore options for reconfiguring “the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey to provide a world-class research university where scientific and technical innovations spur investments and attract new jobs and companies to the State.” Yesterday afternoon, I provided testimony, at the initial meeting of the Task Force, along with Dr. Roy Vagelos, retired Chairman and CEO of Merck, Dr. Richard McCormick, President of Rutgers, and Dr. Bruce Vladeck, President of UMDNJ.
Recall that during 2002 and 2003, the Steering Committee of the Governor’s Commission on Health Sciences, Education and Training, on which we participated, considered a restructuring of the State’s public research universities as well. Recommendations of that Steering Committee, which were not acted upon, can be found on the NJIT web site at http://www.njit.edu/publicinfo/presidential_news.php under Chronology and Commentary! on the Governor's Proposal to Restructure New Jersey's Public Research Universities. Yesterday’s testimony, which is essentially consistent with NJIT’s previous position on any university restructuring, in that the concept is worth pursuing if the higher education assets in Newark are properly leveraged with a clear vision and technological leadership, can be read at the same web site under Updates on the Legislative Task Force on Higher Education and the Economy.
The Task Force is to report out its recommendations within nine months of the initial meeting, so the work of the Task Force may continue through the summer months of 2007. We will keep you informed as the discussions continue.