NJIT Faculty, Students, and Staff
Robert A. Altenkirch, President
October 22, 2002
Proposed configuration of research universities
You may have heard or read in the news this morning that Governor James E. McGreevey has suggested that the New Jersey research university system proposed by the Governor's Commission on Health Science, Education, and Training be called Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He has further suggested that the three largely independent universities in Camden/Stratford, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Newark each be named Rutgers as well, i.e., Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey at Camden; Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey at New Brunswick; and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey at Newark.

It is appropriate for Governor McGreevey to note the value of the Rutgers name, and its emotional ties for its graduates and supporters. Rutgers, and its name, is a national symbol of New Jersey's excellence for its traditional strength in the arts and sciences, just as NJIT is a symbol of excellence within America's applied sciences, engineering, and technological education and research community.

The Governor also took the opportunity to reaffirm the Commission's objective in restructuring public higher education in the state: three distinct research campuses, each largely autonomous, within Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark. Each would report equally to a single Chancellor as proposed in the Commission's report to be located in Trenton. This substantive goal remains worth pursuing, and will continue to be discussed in the media for some time to come.

The question of what the Newark and other campuses will ultimately be called will evolve through the legislative and implementation process, and will include representatives of all major institutions participating in the restructuring, including NJIT. Although our focus during this process will remain on achieving the substantive goal of three separate, unique and largely autonomous universities, one with technological focus and expanded scope in Newark, we believe the new names should largely reflect the unique identity, focus and combined institutional heritage of the components of which they are configured.