In the time Michael Pazzani has been at Rutgers University, the school has received national recognition for its research programs, become a top-25 national grant school and increased interaction with the state's corporate world.
In announcing his resignation from the university today, Pazzani, vice president for research and economic development, announced he will now try to do the same thing at the University of California-Riverside, as of July 1. UC-Riverside has about half the research budget of Rutgers, according to the announcement, and will be launching a medical school in the fall of 2013.
Pazzani focused on bringing in research dollars during his tenure, through lobbying in Washington and networking with people at the federal level. Now that the school is recognized for its ability to draw national dollars, the university has indicated it would like to invest in more collaboration with the corporate sector, especially those in New Jersey.
"I think Robert Barchi has the right idea, when it comes to strengthening Rutgers' relationship to the corporate community," said Pazzani in his announcement about the school's incoming president.
Barchi said earlier this spring he wants to increase the notoriety of Rutgers' academic achievements and establish public-private partnerships to drive a new structure of higher education.
During Pazzani's six-year tenure, Rutgers increased its research expenditures at all three campuses, from $126 million in 2006 to $260 million last year. Earlier this year, the school launched a partnership with IBM to install a supercomputer on the New Brunswick campus.
Rutgers spokesman Ed Tate said he has "no doubt" the drive for increased public-private collaboration will "be a major factor in the search" for Pazzani's replacement, adding that no formal search plans have been put in place.
A replacement is expected to be named before Pazzani's June 30 departure.