Appointment of John Farmer as Senior Vice President and General Counsel

April 11, 2013

Members of the Rutgers Community:

I am pleased to announce that John Farmer, the outstanding dean of the Rutgers School of Law–Newark, has been appointed as our new Senior Vice President and General Counsel, effective immediately. He will serve in this position for a period of 12 to 18 months to help manage all the significant issues Rutgers faces, including our integration with most of the units of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

John’s legal expertise and deep experience at many levels of leadership will serve Rutgers well at a critical time for the university. John served as Attorney General of the State of New Jersey from 1999 to 2002, and his accomplishments include reform of the New Jersey State Police to eliminate racial profiling and increase diversity in recruitment, as well as creation of the Office of Inspector General to investigate allegations of corruption. He later served as senior counsel and team leader for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, better known as the 9/11 Commission, and was a principal author of its final report. John also served as a member of the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Newark and as chief counsel to Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

John, who earned his bachelor’s degree in English and law degree from Georgetown University, is a gifted writer and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and Star-Ledger of essays and op-eds on legal and political matters. He is author of the book The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11 and has lectured widely on safety and security issues in post-9/11 society. He is also president of the board of trustees of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. John is an individual of extraordinary talent and unquestioned legal leadership, and we could not find someone who is better suited to provide this leadership for the university.

I am also happy to announce that vice dean and professor of law Ronald K. Chen has agreed to serve as Acting Dean of Rutgers School of Law–Newark. Ron, a graduate of the law school, has been a highly regarded member of the law school faculty since 1987. From 2006 to 2010, Ron served with distinction as Public Advocate for the State of New Jersey. Before that appointment, he was the associate dean for academic affairs at the law school. I am confident that he will perform with skill and dedication as acting dean. Moreover, I want to emphasize that Acting Dean Chen is fully committed to the decision to merge our two law schools and will be working closely with Camden Law dean Ray Solomon on the merger.

I look forward to working with John and Ron and hope you will join me in welcoming them to their new roles at Rutgers.


Robert L. Barchi