For a while SC&I faculty and staff have been requesting a form of communication that is accessible and more regular than school meetings. This newsletter is a first attempt at that – it is designed to be brief and accessible, something that can be produced and read quickly. We look forward to your feedback.
One of things that excites me about the start of this semester has been the arrival of new faculty members. Most of you will have seen
in the corridors; they join
in Journalism and Media Studies.
has become a member of the Communication faculty, moving from Albany. All the new faculty add to the originality and brilliance of our academic community. We have also been joined by
who has moved from Engineering, after a distinguished career in medicine and more recently disaster preparedness.
Earlier this summer, Chancellor Deba Dutta joined Rutgers and his impact can be felt. Chancellor Dutta is focused on sharpening the definition of New Brunswick in contrast to Camden, Newark and RBHS. His agenda is focused on quality in teaching and research. It is notable that one of his early appointments is a new Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. In my view, this is a significant appointment that will help develop a more strategic approach to research across New Brunswick. It is clear that Chancellor Dutta intends to spend more outwards facing time, particularly with alums and donors, but also will also be engaged with the State, while the new Provost will have a more internal managerial role.
Faculty have asked me to keep them abreast of the continuing problems with the implementation of the Cornerstone financial system. Two points to emphasize here. First, SC&I finance staff have been going above and beyond to manage the consequences of new more limited reporting possibilities and a range of roll out glitches. I would personally like to thank them for that. Second, a number of faculty have been seriously affected by these problems. I understand their frustration and, on a broader level, the very real risk to the reputation of individuals, units and ultimately Rutgers as a whole. There are still issues of stability; and, we are still not getting the kinds of reporting that will allow us to manage individual budgets effectively. We continue to press central finance about this and develop our own work rounds.
Finally, I was extremely pleased with the success of the Digital Innovation in Social Work mixer we had in September. It was well attended and lively. I was particularly struck by the organic way that at least three groups of cross-school faculty emerged, in the areas of geriatrics and dementia care, internet ‘addiction’, and children’s internet use and its challenges. We will follow up with more focused meetings in the coming months – watch this space.
Jonathan Potter, Dean