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
fellow adminstrators, raves:
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
leaders and policy makers will learn a great deal from this .
. . portrait of challenges and decisions."
-- J.R. Alger, president,
James Madison University
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
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
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
RU53: With the prison-block residential
RU53: The retail stores, right in the middle
of the Old Queens campus?
RU53: The fast food franchises?
RU53: The huge TV set blaring out nonstop
RU 67: Yes.
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.