Robert Barchi
Higher Ed

President Barchi Accepts Request to Remain at Rutgers

Rutgers Board of Governors announces the president will lead the university for at least another two years

Sandy J. Stewart, chair of the Rutgers University Board of Governors, announced that Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi has accepted the board’s request to remain as the university president for a period of at least two years.

“Bob Barchi has been a remarkable leader for Rutgers,” Stewart said.  “His vision, focus and commitment have made Rutgers a much stronger university and a stronger asset to the state of New Jersey.  The integration with the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey would have been cause for reflection for most people, but Dr. Barchi continued his efforts, raised Rutgers’ academic profile and improved our reputation both nationally and in New Jersey. He accomplished this while guiding the university and its students through some difficult times in our nation.”

Stewart added, “We are confident that under his leadership, Rutgers will continue to attract world-class faculty, a highly gifted student body and an outstanding staff as one of the most diverse and innovative institutions of higher learning in the nation.”

“I am gratified by the board’s confidence and the commitment that it has made to build on the progress of the last six years,” Barchi said.

“Leading Rutgers has presented challenges both large and small. Together with a gifted faculty, a vibrant student body, a massive alumni association and a deeply talented and committed staff, we’ve met those challenges and discovered new opportunities,” the president said. “I’m looking forward to making even more progress and achieving even greater things in the coming years.”

President Barchi led development of an ambitious universitywide strategic plan, the first at Rutgers in nearly 20 years, and a corresponding physical master plan. He helped lead Rutgers into the Big Ten Athletic Conference, a group of similarly sized leading research institutions, and the conference’s academic consortium, the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

Among other projects, President Barchi launched the Honors College at Rutgers-New Brunswick, implemented a forward-looking plan to ensure the continued strength of the humanities at Rutgers, championed greater faculty diversity across the university, undertook an overhaul of Rutgers’ administrative systems, and focused efforts on improving the student experience while increasing access and affordability. In-state tuition increases during his tenure have averaged less than 2.5 percent, significantly lower than those prior to his arrival. Since he took office, undergraduate enrollment has increased by more than 10 percent.

Barchi guided the 2013 formation of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS), a major division of the university established through restructuring legislation that brought into Rutgers most units of the former UMDNJ. Five years later, he played a pivotal role in an affiliation agreement that RBHS entered into with RWJBarnabas Health to jointly operate New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive academic health system. Working closely with Rutgers alumni and friends through the Rutgers University Foundation, Barchi successfully completed the university’s first billion-dollar capital campaign, and annual giving to the university has more than doubled during his tenure. After helping advocate for passage of a statewide bond referendum for higher education construction, he has overseen a capital program totaling more than $2 billion in planning, design and construction of academic and student-services facilities across Rutgers.

In 2016, President Barchi oversaw the 250th anniversary of Rutgers’ founding – a year-long celebration that culminated with former President Barack Obama delivering the commencement address in New Brunswick.

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