Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (usually referred to as Rutgers University or just Rutgers), is the largest institution for higher education in New Jersey. It was originally chartered as Queen's College in 1766 and is the eighth-oldest college in the United States. Rutgers was originally a private university affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church and admitted only male students, but evolved into a coeducational public research university. Rutgers is one of only two colonial colleges that later became public universities, the other being The College of William and Mary.
Rutgers was designated The State University of New Jersey by acts of the New Jersey Legislature in 1945 and 1956. The three campuses of Rutgers are in (1) New Brunswick and Piscataway, (2) Newark and (3) Camden. The Newark campus was formerly the University of Newark, which merged into the Rutgers system in 1946, and the Camden campus was created in 1950 from the College of South Jersey. Rutgers is the largest university within New Jersey's state university system. The university offers more than 100 distinct bachelor, 100 master, and 80 doctoral and professional degree programs across 175 academic departments, 29 degree-granting schools and colleges, 16 of which offer graduate programs of study.
Shortly after the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) was established in 1746, ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church, seeking autonomy in ecclesiastical affairs in the American colonies, sought to establish a college to train those who wanted to become ministers within the church. Through several years of effort by Rev. Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen (1691–1747) and Rev. Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh (1736–1790), later the college's first president, Queen's College was chartered on 10 November 1766. Established as the trustees of Queen's College, in New-Jersey in honor of King George III's Queen consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818). The charter was signed and the young college was supported by William Franklin (1730–1813), the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. The original charter specified the establishment both of the college, and of an institution called the Queen's College Grammar School, intended to be a preparatory school affiliated and governed by the college. This institution, today the private Rutgers Preparatory School, was a part of the college community until 1959. The location of New Brunswick was chosen over Hackensack because the New Brunswick Dutch had the support of the Anglican population as well, making the royal charter easier to obtain.
The original purpose of Queen's College was to "educate the youth in language, liberal, the divinity, and useful arts and sciences" and for the training of future ministers for the Dutch Reformed Church The college admitted its first students in 1771—a single sophomore and a handful of first-year students taught by a lone instructor—and granted its first degree in 1774, to Matthew Leydt. Despite the religious nature of the early college, the first classes were held at a tavern called the Sign of the Red Lion. When the Revolutionary War broke out and taverns were suspected by the British as being hotbeds of rebel activity, the college abandoned the tavern and held classes in private homes.
In its early years, due to a lack of funds, Queen's College was closed for two extended periods. Early trustees considered merging the college with the College of New Jersey, in Princeton (the measure failed by one vote) and later considered relocating to New York City. In 1808, after raising $12,000, the college was temporarily reopened and broke ground on a building of its own, affectionately called "Old Queens" designed by architect John McComb, Jr. The college's third president, the Rev. Ira Condict, laid the cornerstone on April 27, 1809. Shortly after, the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, founded in 1784, relocated from Brooklyn, New York, to New Brunswick, and shared facilities with Queen's College (and the Queen's College Grammar School, as all three institutions were then overseen by the Reformed Church in America). During those formative years, all three institutions fit into Old Queens. In 1830, the Queen's College Grammar School moved across the street, and in 1856, the Seminary relocated to a seven-acre (28,000 m2) tract less than one-half mile (800 m) away.
After several years of closure resulting from an economic depression after the War of 1812, Queen's College reopened in 1825 and was renamed Rutgers College in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Colonel Henry Rutgers (1745–1830). According to the Board of Trustees, Colonel Rutgers was honored because he epitomized Christian values (he was known for his philanthropy, although it should be noted the Colonel was a wealthy bachelor). A year after the school was renamed, it received 2 donations from its namesake: a $200 bell still hanging from the cupola of Old Queen's and a $5,000 bond which placed the college on sound financial footing.
Rutgers College became the land-grant college of New Jersey in 1864 under the Morrill Act of 1862, resulting in the establishment of the Rutgers Scientific School, featuring departments of agriculture, engineering, and chemistry. The Rutgers Scientific School would expand over the years to grow into the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (1880) and divide into the College of Engineering (1914) and the College of Agriculture (1921). Rutgers created the New Jersey College for Women in 1918, and the School of Education in 1924. With the development of graduate education, and the continued expansion of the institution, the collection of schools became Rutgers University in 1924. Rutgers College continued as a liberal arts college within the university. Later, University College (1945) was founded to serve part-time, commuting students and Livingston College (1969) was created by the Rutgers Trustees, ensuring that the interests of ethnically diverse New Jersey students were met.
Rutgers was designated the State University of New Jersey by acts of the New Jersey Legislature in 1945 and 1956. Shortly after, the University of Newark (1935) was merged with Rutgers in 1946, as were the College of South Jersey and South Jersey Law School, in 1950. These two institutions became Newark and Camden. On September 10, 1970, after much debate, the Board of Governors voted to admit women into the previously all-male Rutgers College.
Prior to 1982, separate liberal arts faculties existed amongst various "residential colleges", (Rutgers, Douglass, Livingston, University, and Cook colleges) at Rutgers-New Brunswick, which posed significant disparities between programs at the undergraduate level. In 1982, under president Edward J. Bloustein, the faculties were centralized into one college, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, but the residential colleges persisted, along with disparate standards and a confusing network of bureaucracies. Finally in the fall of 2007, the residential colleges and Faculty of Arts and Sciences were merged into the new School of Arts and Sciences with one set of admissions criteria, curriculum and graduation requirements. Thus, the Bureaucracies still remain, but undergraduate admissions have became more streamlined. Cook College continued, though changing its name to the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and shedding the option to major in liberal arts. The merger ended the 241 year history of Rutgers College as a distinct institution.
Rutgers University has three campuses across the state of New Jersey, with its largest campus located mainly in the City of New Brunswick and adjacent Piscataway Township, and two smaller campuses in the cities of Newark and Camden. These campuses comprise 27 degree-granting schools and colleges, offering undergraduate, graduate and professional levels of study. The university is centrally administered from New Brunswick, although Chancellors at the Newark and Camden campuses hold significant autonomy for some academic issues. Rutgers Fact Book
The New Brunswick-Piscataway Campus (or Rutgers-New Brunswick) is the largest campus of Rutgers; it is the site of the original Rutgers College. It is spread across six municipalities in Middlesex County, New Jersey, chiefly in the City of New Brunswick and Piscataway Township. It is composed of five smaller campuses, and a few buildings in downtown New Brunswick. The original and historic College Avenue campus is adjacent to downtown New Brunswick, and includes the seat of the University, Old Queens. On the other side of the city, Douglass Campus and Cook Campus are adjacent and intertwined with each other, and are often referred to collectively as the Cook/Douglass Campus. Cook Campus has extensive farms and woods that reach into North Brunswick and East Brunswick Townships. Separated by the Raritan river are Busch Campus, in Piscataway, and Livingston Campus, also mainly in Piscataway but including remote sections of land extending into Edison Township and the Borough of Highland Park.
As of the Fall 2007, the New Brunswick-Piscataway campuses include 19 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, including the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Communication and Information, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, the School of Engineering, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, the Graduate School, the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Management and Labor Relations, Mason Gross School of the Arts, the College of Nursing, the Rutgers Business School and the School of Social Work. As of 2007, 26,691 undergraduates and 7,701 graduate students (total 34,392) are enrolled at the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus.
The Newark Campus (or Rutgers-Newark), consists of 8 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, including: Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College, School of Criminal Justice, Graduate School, College of Nursing, School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers Business School and Rutgers School of Law - Newark. As of 2007, 6,503 undergraduates and 3,700 graduate students (total 10,203) are enrolled at the Newark campus.
The Camden Campus (or Rutgers-Camden) consists of five undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, including: Camden College of Arts and Sciences, University College, Graduate School, Rutgers School of Business - Camden and Rutgers School of Law - Camden. As of 2006, 3,696 undergraduates and 1,471 graduate students (total 5,165) are enrolled at the Camden campus.
Rutgers has several off campus sites located at community colleges throughout the state.
A bus system, that runs 24/hrs a day, transports students from each campus. The Knight Mover is an individualized service that operates from 3am - 6:45am. The school has 14 different bus routes, as well as a shuttle that makes random stops along the college ave. campus.
Governance at Rutgers University rests with a Board of Trustees consisting currently of 59 members and a Board of Governors consisting of 11 members: 6 appointed by the Governor of New Jersey and 5 chosen by the Board of Trustees. The trustees constitute chiefly an advisory body to the Board of Governors and are the fiduciary overseers of the property and assets of the University that existed before the institution became the State University of New Jersey in 1945. The initial reluctance of the trustees (still acting as a private corporate body) to cede control of certain business affairs to the state government for direction and oversight caused the state to establish the Board of Governors in 1956. Today, the Board of Governors maintains much of the corporate control of the University.
The members of the Board of Trustees are voted upon by different constituencies or appointed. "Two faculty and two students are elected by the University Senate as nonvoting representatives. The 59 voting members are chosen in the following way as mandated by state law: 28 charter members (of whom at least three shall be women), 20 alumni members nominated by the Nominating Committee of the Board of Trustees, and five public members appointed by the governor of the state with confirmation by the New Jersey State Senate. The six members of the Board of Governors appointed by the governor also serve as members of the Board of Trustees. Of the 28 charter seats, three are reserved for students with full voting rights."
The president of Rutgers University, chosen by and answerable to the Trustees and Governors, sits as an ex-officio member of both governing boards. He, as the chief administrator of the university, is charged with its day-to-day operations. Since 2002, the president of Rutgers University has been Richard Levis McCormick (born 1947).