NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–A great deal of attention is paid to the Rutgers University administration, and the school’s high-profile President.

However, it is the less well-known Board of Governors who arguably have the most influence over University affairs, as they make decisions on the structure of the administration, university departments, and construction projects, and can hire and fire the University President.

There are currently 15 “governors” on the board, as well as 2 non-voting faculty representatives, and 1 non-voting student representative.  Rutgers President Robert Barchi is also a non-voting, ex-oficio member.

Of the governors, only 11 of them live in the state of New Jersey.  Greg Brown, chair of the Board of Governors and CEO of Motorola Solutions, Inc., lives as far as Barrington Hills, Illinois.

This sometimes means that board members will participate in board meetings via telephone.

Still, others have close ties to the area.

Martin Perez hails from New Brunswick and is the head of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey.  And Lora Fong serves on the Edison Board of Education.

President Barchi is also a member of the Board of Governors as an ex-officio.  Additionally, there are three officers: a treasurer, secretary, and associate secretary.

The full membership list of the board is as follows for the 2014-2015 academic year:

  • Greg Brown, Chair
  • Kenneth M. Schmidt, Vice Chair
  • Mark A. Angelson
  • Dorothy W. Cantor
  • Anthony J. DePetris
  • Margaret T. Derrick
  • Lora L. Fong
  • Mark P. Hershhorn
  • Gordon A. MacInnes
  • Susan M. McCue
  • Martin Perez
  • Dudley H. Rivers, Jr.
  • Richard W. Roper
  • Candace L. Straight
  • William M. Tambussi
  • Robert Barchi, University President (ex-oficio)
  • Ann B. Gould, Faculty Representative
  • Samuel Rabinowitz, Faculty Representative
  • Pamela A. Navrot, Student Representative 
  • J. Michael Gower, Treasurer
  • Leslie A. Fehrenbach, Secretary
  • Kimberlee M. Pastva, Associate Secretary

For the Spring 2015 semester, the board has four meetings scheduled, all of which are public and available for anyone to participate and express their concerns and opinions about Rutgers.

Because the board claims to not be subject to the state’s Open Public Meetings Act, they are one of the few public bodies that does not permit public comments from anyone in attendance on any topic relevant to the board.

Instead, members of the public must sign up to speak by contacting Board Secretary Leslie Fehrenbach at least 24 hours before the meeting, and speakers must identify which agenda item they would like to speak on.

“While public participation at Board meetings is not required under the Open Public Meetings Act, it is the Board’s customary practice to allow such participation with respect to specific, agenda action items,” reads the board’s meeting procedures.

Public comments are usually limited to three minutes, according to the procedures.

The meetings begin with a brief open session, but then board then is scheduled to go into closed session within five minutes.  The public portion of the meeting is then scheduled to occur one hour after the advertised start time.

In 2015, the remaining meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Tuesday, February 3 (1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.)
    Winants Hall, (7 College Avenue, New Brunswick)
  • Thursday, April 2, 2015 (2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.)
    Robeson Campus Center (350 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Newark)
  • Thursday, June 18 (Annual Meeting – 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m.)
    Winants Hall, (7 College Avenue, New Brunswick)
  • Thursday, July 16 (1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.)
    Winants Hall (7 College Avenue, New Brunswick)

Another factor is the larger but less powerful Rutgers Board of Trustees, will be shrinking in size from 59 members to 41 members over the next few years.

That board also holds public meetings.  The upcoming ones are scheduled for the following dates:

  • Thursday, March 19, (1:30 p.m)
    Camden Campus Center (326 Penn Street, Camden)
  • Thursday, June 18 (Annual Meeting – 3:30 p.m.)
    Winants Hall (7 College Avenue, New Brunswick