What will be the last sordid act for Richard McCormick?

As a researcher, Richard McCormick has been a political historian. As president of Rutgers University for the past decade, he’s been a jockstrap-sniffing disaster, whose funneling of money from academics to athletics has been roughly the same order of magnitude as declines in state support: FY 2010 athletic subsidies of $27 million against the $29 million loss in annual state funding in the FY 2010-12 period, and that doesn’t include more than $100 million in construction on the football church stadium. McCormick’s motto: “Who needs phones in faculty offices? I wouldn’t answer their calls anyway.” As a followup to this magnificent management of funding dilemmas, McCormick’s administration took the logical step: they openly violated labor agreements, including an attempt to force faculty being promoted to accept dry (i.e., no-raise) promotions.

It’s starting to fall apart now for McCormick as he begins his last semester as Rutgers’s Unterverwalter. Overpaid football coach Greg Schiarno left Rutgers this week for the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The faculty union at Rutgers pressured the administration into a settlement and new collective bargaining agreement ratified this week. Cynical observers of Rutgers have to wonder: on what craptastic note will McCormick leave ? He has to work hard to pack some final corruption in this spring, before his yearlong sabbatical and post-Dear-Leader life as the second-most-overpaid historian in the world, behind Newt Gingrich when he was working for Freddie Mac. Will it be the breaking apart of Rutgers with the Camden campus tossed as a bone to Rowan University while the annexation of UMDNJ becomes McCormick’s “legacy”? Will it be the hiring of another overpaid football coach? Or is there another boondoggle sitting out there?

I can hardly wait.

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One response to “What will be the last sordid act for Richard McCormick?”

  1. Glen S. McGhee

    I’m not sure where the ‘bite’ is coming from here. Aren’t there more than enough foibles in higher ed to go around? Look at Ken Walker’s recent quick exit down the road from you. If you were to write about him, it would be soon be clear that all his excesses were endorsed, aided and abated by the board and staff.

    I guess I am trying to say that without support from Rutgers board, the president would not have attained the (er…) depths of infamy that you say he has. The ugliness in higher ed is all around us, and is the result of competitive pressures gone wild. Nothing is left but an arms race for prestige and status — which, sadly and ironically, much of the time is not in the students’ best interest. This, of course, is exactly what gave Thatcher her opportunity in transformational politics. It invites a response like her’s, and undermines the legitimacy of the Ivory Tower in the long run.