Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora on Tuesday said the state should consider all qualified candidates to replace outgoing Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, including those that have typically been passed over for positions at the head of state schools.
“I think it’s time to consider all qualified candidates,” Gusciora said. “I think it’s a good thing for Rutgers because I don’t know how long Barchi has been there. I thought it was before I was in high school. I think it does well when you get a new college head. If you look at TCNJ’s example, Katherine Foster’s done a remarkable job, same thing with Merodie [Hancock] at Thomas Edison. There are great women and minorities that are capable of doing great things, and I think they should be considered — and LGBT.”
On Sunday, Politico New Jersey reported Barchi would step down in July 2020 after eight year’s as the head of New Jersey’s largest state school.
Gusciora, who was the legislature’s first openly-gay member, gave up his Assembly seat when he took Trenton’s mayorship last year.
Earlier Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Sheila Olive and State Sens. Sandra Cunningham and Teresa Ruiz said they would like to see a woman or person of color fill Barchi’s role but stressed the position at the head of a university that hosts roughly 50,000 students on its main campus should go to the most qualified individual.