Rutgers’ Minority Graduation Rate Doubles in Last Decade
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.
Rutgers University’s graduation rate for minority students has doubled in the last decade, its president said last month. As a percentage of total degrees conferred, minorities accounted for 35 percent of graduates in 1999, up from 17 percent in 1989, president Francis L. Lawrence said.
“We have fostered a climate of respect for all people, valued the contributions they make to our community, and taken steps to provide forums and facilities for groups of all kinds to share in the diversity that is, to my mind, this institution’s most precious human endowment,” Lawrence said in his annual state of the university address.
Lawrence created a furor in 1994 when during a discussion on why minority students tend to have lower test scores, suggested they might lack “that genetic hereditary background to have a higher average.” The remarks generated widespread criticism, and some faculty tried to obtain a no-confidence vote in Lawrence, criticizing his leadership on several fronts, but the university allowed Lawrence to remain in his job.
In his speech, Lawrence also noted Rutgers has nearly doubled the number of its doctoral programs ranked among the nation’s top 30 by the National Research Council since 1982, and cited an increase in the university’s sponsored research from $90.7 million in 1989 to $165.9 million last year.
Freshman applications rose by nearly 25 percent over the last decade, from 21,379 in 1989 to 26,250 last year, and the university’s endowment has more than tripled over that time, from $112 million to $385 million.
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