SC&I dean and J/MS alumna involved in presidential search

From the Winter 2011 Issue

To find a successor to Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick, the university has tapped a blue-ribbon committee that includes Dean Jorge Schement of the School of Communication and Information and Yetunde Odugbesan, J/MS 2009, a current Rutgers Ph.D. candidate.

Schement said the committee has been meeting frequently, and by June, the search should be narrowed down to a handful of candidates. Aiding the committee in its search is the prominent education search firm R. William Funk & Associates of Dallas, Texas.

The search committee has held several public forums with students, faculty, and staff, which Schement has attended, to listen to suggestions.

The selection of a new president, according to Schement “will determine the future of the university for decades. This is a great university that deserves a great president.”

Schement said the new president could come from academia or politics or even the corporate sphere. “My hope that whoever it is, that person will be comfortable living the public life,” he continued.

Among the important tasks for the next president, as Schement sees it, are overseeing the merger of the university with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), bringing more diversity to the faculty, and taking an active role in fundraising.

He clearly emphasized that it is critical for the new president to represent the Rutgers University brand.
“He or she should be a salesman for the university to all kinds of constituencies,” said Schement, “to make New Jerseyans feel about Rutgers the way Californians think of Berkeley and Texans think of the University of Texas.”