The Rutgers University board of governors on Tuesday approved a resolution to spend $14 million to do schematic design and infrastructure work for the New Jersey Medical School building in Newark.
The board said $9 million will come from New Jersey Medical School sources and $5 million will come from an internal bank loan.
The New Jersey Medical School building measures 650,000 square feet and was constructed in 1976. It has received routine maintenance and modernization, according to the board of governors. However, the building is not equipped to meet the health care, research and educational needs of today’s standards, the governors said.
The New Jersey Medical School will be upgraded to provide new medical research laboratories, laboratory support spaces, and other faculty work spaces.
The project will replace the building’s fire detection system and alarm systems and upgrade its elevators. The exterior of the building will be enhanced, a new pavillion will be erected, and public spaces on levels B and C will be reconfigured.
At Tuesday’s meeting Todd Vachon, a post-doctoral Rutgers University associate in the School of Management and Labor Relations, asked the board of governors to pay post-doctoral associates $60,000 annually.
Vachon was recently commissioned to write a report on labor industries on behalf of Gov. Phil Murphy. He opposed Rutgers board of governors’ earlier approval of an eight-year, $32 million contract with Greg Schiano to be the Scarlet Knights’ new football coach.
“One football coach equals more than 600 post-doctoral research associates,” Vachon said.
Other post-doctoral research associates including Rutgers University postdoc associate Anne Kirkner gave a similar message asking to be paid a fair wage. She said post-doctoral researchers worked for five years to earn doctorate degrees.
“We are some of the best new professionals in the field,” Kirkner said. “We put off much-needed medical care. Making $42,000 per year is a struggle. We cannot pay for food, child care and rent. What are we worth to you?”
At the meeting, Rutgers University President Dr. Robert Barchi also gave an update on the Rutgers Honors College.
Barchi said Rutgers Honor College students earned SAT scores that are a few points behind CalTech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“A couple of matters warm my heart,” Barchi said. “The performance of our incoming class is remarkable. We do not select students based only on SAT scores. These students are making an active choice to come to Rutgers.” The students represent a diverse cross-section of society.
Rutgers Honor College students averaged 1496 on the SAT, CalTech 1530, MIT 1500, Harvey Mudd College 1490, the University of Chicago 1490, Johns Hopkins University 1470, Washington University of St. Louis 1470, Harvard University 1460, Carnegie Mellon University 1450, Columbia University 1450, and Vanderbilt University 1450.
On the subject of reducing Rutgers’ impact on the environment, Barchi formed a task force and asked two professors to design a draft on how to make Rutgers carbon-neutral. “I am committed to carbon-neutrality and resiliency,” Barchi said.