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Overview of Recommendations Affecting Rutgers

With more than 70 wide-ranging recommendations, the report of the New Jersey Higher Education Task Force addresses some of the most pressing issues confronting colleges and universities in New Jersey. It also contains a “call to action” to university and state leaders, challenging them to make Rutgers “among the best research universities in the country, indeed in the world.”

Recommendations in four areas in particular could greatly enhance Rutgers’ stature as New Jersey’s flagship university:

Reunite Rutgers and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

The report strongly supports reuniting Rutgers and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School “to establish a first-class comprehensive university-based health science center” that would attain the highest levels of research funding, attract top students and faculty, and foster exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Provide adequate and predictable state funding

While recognizing the state’s severe fiscal challenges, the report concludes, “A long period of inadequate state investment must now be stopped and reversed.” The task force recommends specific measures to increase capital financing and operating support and to keep higher education affordable for the citizens of New Jersey.

Maintain independent governance and autonomy

“Institutional autonomy is now a bedrock public policy in New Jersey that has demonstrated its benefits for the institutions and the students they serve,” notes the task force, adding that the state should respect its unique relationship with Rutgers by maintaining the university’s high degree of self-governance and ensuring it remains free of partisanship.

Develop New Jersey’s workforce and spur economic growth

A well-educated workforce is vital to the state’s economic prosperity. The report recommends that New Jersey increase the number of its college-educated workers, keep more of its most talented students in state, and promote increased collaboration between the state’s businesses and its institutions of higher education.

Recommendations Specific to Rutgers

The report devotes a separate section to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The section includes nine recommendations specific to the university.