Rutgers University Senate
University Structure and Governance Committee
Report on Governance of the Proposed Research University
Response to Charge S-0316: Respond to the proposed restructuring
questions/issues identified by the University Structure and Governance
Committee co-chairs as relevant to the committee’s standing charge.
Provide periodic updates to the Senate Executive Committee, the first of
which should be submitted in November 2003.
Realization of any opportunities to enhance the academic excellence
of Rutgers University and of higher education in New Jersey offered by
the proposed restructuring will hinge upon the effectiveness of the restructured
system’s governance structure and adequacy of funding. Responsible
governance is a critical component of effective operation of every institution.
Good governance fosters management based on standards of independence and
objectivity, which in turn allows institutions to serve the purposes for
which they were created. Achieving academic excellence requires academic
freedom. Before specific details of governance for a restructured
higher-education system in New Jersey are established, we feel that it
is important to enumerate the following basic principles.
We believe that strong universities begin with governance systems which
allow self-determination of purpose, as well as strong local control.
Therefore, if the State of New Jersey is to create a system comprising
three autonomous/semiautonomous research universities, the following principles
of governance should be paramount:
We further believe that the proposed system of research universities requires
a limited degree of coordination, and that any system-wide structure should
exist primarily to provide advocacy for the research universities before
the state government. Therefore, if the position of chancellor is
Each of the three autonomous/semiautonomous research universities should
be self-determining and under local control.
Each of the universities should have an independent governing board/board
of trustees which would have authority for governing and operating the
university, as well as appointing its president.
Each of the universities should have a president who serves as its chief
The chancellor should work with a board of regents to advance the interests
of higher education within the context of state government. Specifically:
The chancellor should serve primarily as an advocate for the research universities.
Together with the board of regents, the chancellor should work with the
three universities in coordinating budget allocations and strategic planning.
In keeping with these roles, the chancellor’s staff should be modest and
focused on these important functions.
The university governing boards/boards of trustees should play an important
role in the selection of the chancellor, in consultation with the presidents
and shared governance bodies.
System-wide decisions made by the chancellor should be made with strong
Finally, universities are strengthened both by the full participation of
all their constituencies in governance and by the achievement of financial
stability. These are critical to realizing the benefits of restructuring
in creating an outstanding research university system for the State of
New Jersey. Therefore, independent of structure, the following are
critical for the success of any research university system:
The board of regents should consist of members appointed by the governor,
as well as an approximately equal number of members appointed by the research
Members of the board of regents representing the research universities
should be selected by the university governing boards/boards of trustees
in consultation with the presidents and shared governance bodies.
Members of the board of regents should be persons of stature, who are knowledgeable
about higher education, and who can bring an independent voice and provide
The board of regents should have at least one student and one faculty member,
with voting rights.
The board of regents, in consultation with the three universities, should
have authority to appoint the chancellor.
Restructuring should proceed only when:
Each institutional structure should have a mechanism for shared governance
which constitutes an appropriate and efficient vehicle for input by faculty,
students, administrative staff, and alumni.
In keeping with the University Senate’s earlier resolution, we reaffirm
the necessity for both one-time costs of restructuring, as well as a stable,
long-term solution to the problems of persistent under-funding of the state’s
research universities by enacting a policy framework expressing the State
of New Jersey’s responsibility for predictable core funding on a multi-year
adequate funding has been obtained for the implementation stage of the
ongoing state funding equal at least to the average of the top quartile
of publicly funded AAU institutions has been guaranteed; and
the principles for university governance outlined in this report are adopted.
Whereas, the University Senate's Structure and Governance Committee
has considered the issues relating to governance of the proposed restructured
research universities; and
Whereas, the University Senate has reviewed the Committee's
report and its recommendations, finding those Recommendations to be sound
and in the best interests of Rutgers University;
Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Rutgers University Senate
endorses the report of the University Structure and Governance Committee,
and urges the Administration to implement its recommendations.