RU Alumni: the Devco Horror

RU67: Well, today may be the blackest day in Rutgers history.

RU53: I know. McCormick's book.

RU67: McCormick wrote a book?

RU53: Yes. He tries to put off prostituting Rutgers to commercialized athletics all on the BOG. He says they poked him in the chest. He had to give in.

 

 

 McCormick at Rutgers

on Amazon

From fellow adminstrators, raves:

"An engaging and intelligent story of one person's journey through the halls of the academy." -- J. Sexton, president, NYU

"Dick McCormick has written an uncommonly candid memoir of his career at Rutgers."

-- M.S. Coleman, former president, University of Michigan

"Educational leaders and policy makers will learn a great deal from this . . . portrait of challenges and decisions."

-- J.R. Alger, president, James Madison University

From Rutgers alumni, an alternative view:

"Richard McCormick's tenure as President of Rutgers did nothing to arrest the decline of a once distinguished university. Rutgers was formerly compared with the schools of the Patriot League and the Ivy League. Today its reputation is that of a sports factory and diploma mill. When McCormick and his father taught at Rutgers, it was highly selective. It is now a safety school that admits over sixty percent of all applicants. The College of New Jersey, formerly Trenton State College, attracts better students.

A major cause of Rutgers' decline has been its obsession with big-time sports. For twenty years, every last discretionary dollar in the budget has been devoted to the athletic program. By the time McCormick resigned, deferred maintenance on campus amounted to $400 million -- roughly the amount wasted on sports -- and the dwindling percentage of top students was being replaced by so-called "party animals."

Robert Barchi, Rutgers latest president, declared, just as McCormick had done ten years before, that Rutgers would soon move into the first rank of major research universities. I doubt it. The mentality that prefers the "Big Ten" to academic distinction has sunk Rutgers deep down in the second rank, where it will remain until another president like Mason Gross occupies Old Queens.

-- W. Boldys, Rutgers College, 1974

 

RU67: Actually, that isn't what I meant.

RU53: Oh. You meant the way Barchi goes around trumpeting that fatuous nonsense about "big time athletics, big time academics."

RU67: Not really. That's incredibly depressing, but it's the same mantra chanted by every president the BOG brings in. They all have spines of jelly. Why do you think they were chosen?

RU53: Well, what then?

RU67: The Devco horror. The slimy monster from the murky swamp of NJ strip mall architecture. In collusion with New Jersey's pay-to-play legislature.

RU53: No! You mean they're actually going ahead with that unspeakable atrocity in the old grease truck parking lot?

RU67: Yes.

RU53: With the prison-block residential unit?

RU67: Yes.

RU53: The retail stores, right in the middle of the Old Queens campus?

RU67: Yes.

RU53: The fast food franchises?

RU67: Yes.

RU53: The huge TV set blaring out nonstop commercials?

RU 67: Yes.

RU53: How can you be sure that they're actually going ahead with that hideousness?

R67: I saw it. They're pouring concrete for the footings.

RU53: Oh. (sadly) Remember the Rutgers we went to? In the days when it was proud to be an old eastern university with a strong faculty and good students? A history and a tradition?

R67: (gazing at the ground) I do.

RU53: This is sadness beyond words.

RU67: Beyond words.