Rutgers University Senate
University Structure and Governance Committee
Report on Governance of the Proposed Research University System
November 2003

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 created: The chancellor should work with a board of regents to advance the interests of higher education within the context of state government.  Specifically: 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: Restructuring should proceed only when: RESOLUTION

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.