By Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor
The three campuses that make up Rutgers University could be described as separate but not equal. That’s according to critics who believe the New Brunswick campus receives the lion’s share of funding while Newark and Camden are shortchanged. “What we faculty have been seeing from the federal database which is supposed to come from Rutgers is Rutgers-Newark and Camden get half what New Brunswick gets;” said Belinda Edmondson, a Rutgers-Newark professor.
But new figures released by the university’s budget office show the disparity is far less. The show Rutgers spends about $13,969 per student each year on instruction on the New Brunswick campus, compared to $12,104 per student at Rutgers-Camden and $11,870 per student at Rutgers-Newark.
Edmondson still questions these numbers. “We”re happy to finally get hard numbers from the president … but clearly there’s an issue with inconsistency,”said Edmondson.
Inconsistencies not just with hard numbers, she says, but also in the workload and support faculty receive. “We at Rutgers-Newark have far less resources. I don’t get a research budget for instance. We teach more, don’t have as much teaching support.”
But Dr. Edward Bonder, who chairs the Rutgers-Newark department of biological sciences, says he’s seen his department and the campus grow over the 20 years he’s been at the Newark campus. But he too believes Rutgers-Newark needs more funding. However, he thinks all universities in the state are under-funded.