NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers gets good grades from people throughout the state for the high quality of the university's teaching, academic programs and professional schools.
But Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, must improve its efforts to inform key constituencies about the many benefits the university provides to people across New Jersey who never set foot in a Rutgers classroom.
Those are among the most significant conclusions from a groundbreaking statewide survey of approximately 8,000 constituents - including New Jersey residents and business leaders as well as Rutgers students, faculty, staff and alumni.
In response to the survey, Rutgers will launch a comprehensive internal and external communications program that will emphasize the value of the university's research and service to the state.
"The people and programs at Rutgers are excellent. The public's perception of Rutgers should match that reality," said university President Richard L. McCormick. "This comprehensive survey shows that we need to tell Rutgers' story more effectively. Too many New Jerseyans do not know about the benefits that our research and direct service bring to the state."
"We have learned that the most powerful sources of information about Rutgers are our students, faculty and staff," said Gene O'Hara, who chairs the Rutgers Board of Governors' university relations committee. "We want our outstanding state university to be an appropriate source of pride for New Jersey citizens."
The New York-based global research firm Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc. (SRBI) conducted the survey earlier this year. Rutgers joins a growing number of public universities across the nation - such as Penn State, the University of Maryland, the California University System and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - that have used research studies to guide communications programs.