Student Hello from President Barchi (Camden)

September 3, 2012

Dear Rutgers Students:

Hello and welcome back for the start of the 2012-13 academic year.  In the case of our brand new students, both graduate and undergraduate, welcome to Rutgers! I hope you all will have a very rewarding experience at Rutgers. And those of you who will graduate in 2016 will have a special distinction of being our 250th Anniversary class.

Rutgers is an extraordinary place of accomplishment in learning, research, culture, student activism, and service to society. When I accepted the opportunity earlier this year to serve as Rutgers’ new president, I did so with great respect for this university’s history and academic quality. Getting to know more about the institution over the past several months has made me even more excited to be here and to lead Rutgers at such a pivotal moment in its long history.

As you may know, New Jersey’s Governor and Legislature made significant decisions this past summer regarding higher education. Governor Christie has signed a bill that will expand Rutgers by integrating into the university most of the academic units of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The bill also maintains all three of our campuses—Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick—under the Rutgers banner, which means that we will move forward as an even stronger statewide institution. The legislation still requires the approval of our Rutgers governing boards before being implemented on July 1, 2013, and you will be hearing more about these matters in the months ahead. 

I should add that the Governor and Legislature have also placed a proposal on the November ballot, asking New Jersey voters to approve the issuance of a $750 million bond that will help colleges and universities across the state invest in construction and maintenance projects. If the voters approve the measure, tapping our share of those funds for new building projects will be immensely valuable for Rutgers on all of our campuses. 

In my early weeks as president, I am eager to begin getting to know the Rutgers community. With this in mind, the university has arranged opportunities for me to meet students, faculty, and staff on each of our three campuses. On the Camden Campus, Chancellor Wendell Pritchett has kindly arranged a welcoming breakfast at the Gordon Theater on Friday, September 14, at 9:00 a.m. In addition, I will help dedicate the new residence hall in Camden on Wednesday, September 19, starting at 11:00 a.m.  I hope to see many of you at one of these events.

In the meantime, I wish you a successful and productive fall semester in your studies at Rutgers, and I encourage you to actively engage in the life of the university beyond the classroom.


Robert L. Barchi
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey