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Rutgers President Makes Concession to Women’s College Supporters

Rutgers President Makes Concession to Women’s College Supporters


      Rutgers President Richard McCormick on Tuesday laid out his vision of melding four of the university’s colleges into a new School of Arts and Sciences, while still preserving an all-female niche on the campus.

      McCormick’s announcement marks a compromise for supporters of the all-female Douglass College, who pushed for months to preserve their school as the university moved to merge it with three other colleges.

      â€śWe envision a campus in which students are empowered, faculty are reconnected to undergraduates and the public gains a much clearer understanding of a Rutgers education,’’ McCormick said in a statement.

      Under McCormick’s plan, the Mabel Smith Douglass Residential College would function as a four-year program where women could stay in all-female dorms and take classes centered on women’s issues. However, it wouldn’t set its own graduation requirements.

      Alumnae and students had made a heated push to save 88-year-old Douglass after it was announced that it would be part of the sweeping reorganization. Mabel Smith Douglass was the first dean of the New Jersey College for Women.

      Sheila Kelly Hampton, president of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College, said Tuesday that she was satisfied with McCormick’s plan.

      â€śWe’ll have enough to work with,’’ Hampton said. “We’ll be able to continue and strengthen the Douglass College experience for women.’’

      However, Hampton said she was concerned that the name “residential college’’ could keep older women or those who prefer to live with their parents from enrolling, out of fear that they have to live there.

      McCormick had said that the confusing physical and academic layout of the Douglass, Livingston, Rutgers and University colleges at the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus was diminishing students’ chances to excel.

      The university’s Board of Governors is to decide on McCormick’s recommendations at a March 10 meeting, according to the university.

— Associated Press

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