Contact: Nat Bender, nbender [@] aftnj.org, 908-377-0393
Statement by Rutgers Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers President Lisa Klein, Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Mark Killingsworth, Economics Professor, on Rutgers entrance to Big Ten Athletics and associated costs:
Klein said, “As of today, athletics are not self-supporting, nor is it likely that they will be for many years to come. Decisions by Rutgers’ management to divert funds from our core mission to cover the deficits in athletics are hurting students who came here to get a world-class education. As members of Rutgers One – a coalition of students, faculty, staff, and alumni – we are here at the “R Big Party” to provide information about where the money comes from to fund athletics. We call on Rutgers’ management to get the priorities straight, and place institutional support for academics Number One.”
Killingsworth said, “The administration’s own forecast calls for a massive flood of red ink—over $180 million in deficit spending on athletics through 2022. Even President Barchi has admitted that Rutgers athletics ‘is siphoning dollars off from the academic mission.’ Yet the Rutgers Board of Governors is either unwilling or unable to put a stop to it. In fact, there are new reports that athletics director Julie Hermann is considering big new expenditures that would go far beyond current plans. This isn’t an investment—it’s a blank check, with no possibility that it will ever pay for itself.”
Rutgers One–a coalition of students, unionized faculty and staff, alumni, and community members united to fight for quality higher education.