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Raised at Rutgers

A President's Story

In Raised at Rutgers, Richard L. McCormick tells what it is like to run a major state university and vividly portrays the often contentious environment in which a university president operates today. He unsparingly recounts his decade of leadership, including his own missteps—those we know about and those we didn’t—as he strove to obtain adequate resources for the university, to overhaul the often confusing organization of the New Brunswick campus, to manage the growth and success of intercollegiate athletics, and to deepen Rutgers’s acceptance of its obligations as the state university of New Jersey.

With understandable pride, McCormick recalls and relates Rutgers’s academic achievements during his presidency, including a renewed focus on undergraduate education and a significant increase in funding for research. Most dramatically, he chronicles the University’s protracted efforts to reclaim Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (and ultimately to acquire most of UMDNJ), a goal that was finally realized with crucial help from Governor Chris Christie and former governor Tom Kean.

Among the most honest accounts ever written of a college presidency, Raised at Rutgers takes the reader inside one of the best, and liveliest, public universities in America and highlights many of the most critical issues facing higher education today.

Author Information

RICHARD L. McCORMICK is President Emeritus of Rutgers University where he also serves as a University Professor and Board of Governors Professor of History and Education.


"Raised at Rutgers: A President’s Story captures in a single volume the experiences of a lifetime. An engaging and intelligent story of one person’s journey through the halls of the academy, it is profoundly personal, yet it resonates with lessons for all of us who have accepted the wonderful vocation of higher education."

— John Sexton, President, New York University

"Dick McCormick has written an uncommonly candid memoir of his career at Rutgers—beginning as a faculty child and ascending to the presidency. He left Rutgers a better place and that legacy will endure."
— Mary Sue Coleman, President Emeritus, University of Michigan

"Through the unique lens of a president who literally grew up with his beloved university, Raised at Rutgers combines a historian’s keen observations of events and context with a big-picture understanding of, and passion for, the mission of public higher education. Educational leaders and policy-makers can learn a great deal from this remarkably candid, insightful, and unflinching portrait of challenges and decisions that helped shape one of America’s great universities."
— Jonathan R. Alger, President, James Madison University

Audience: General/trade;