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FORMAL ALLIANCE LINKS RUTGERS UNIVERSITY - NEWARK AND THE NEW JERSEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

2005-01-24

Newark, NJ – The state's oldest cultural institution, The New Jersey Historical Society, and the country's most diverse national university campus, Rutgers-Newark, have formally entered into a precedent-setting collaboration that will support the highest levels of education and research in the humanities.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which formalized a working relationship dating back to 1950, was signed by Sally Yerkovich, President and CEO of The New Jersey Historical Society (NJHS); Thomas W. Berry, Chairman of NJHS Board of Trustees; Steven Diner, Provost of Rutgers University-Newark Campus; and Edward Kirby, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University-Newark Campus. The signers see the alliance as a model for the enhancement of civic life through a shared commitment to the dissemination of scholarship and support of research. Areas of collaboration between Rutgers-Newark and the NJHS will include:

· A new Ph.D. program at Rutgers-Newark in American Studies with an emphasis upon public scholarship, including graduate internships and training in museum education, collections management, and curatorship; use of research library and archives with rich primary source materials; and training public scholarship.

· Undergraduate internships and training in research, curatorial functions, and museum management, including development, communications, collections, museum education and exhibition programs.

· Development of a history high school with the Newark Public Schools, an enhanced four-year curriculum in American History.

· Partnerships with Newark's education, community and social service organizations to promote life-long learning for New Jersey's diverse communities.

· Expanding and deepening New Jersey history education for teachers and their students.

· Statewide interactive programs for school children through advanced technology.

Prior to signing the agreement, Rutgers-Newark Provost Steven Diner noted that the collaboration represents a natural partnership among two organizations, which help comprise Newark’s cultural and educational foundations.

“We have to take full advantage of the all of the extraordinary resources that are clustered within this city,” Diner explained. “One of the jewels of this city, The New Jersey Historical Society, is right at our doorstep.”

Thomas Berry, Chairman of The New Jersey Historical Society Board of Trustees, said the partnership signals “the rise of New Jersey history. With the linking of these two institutions, both with distinguished histories of education and service, another chapter begins of providing excellence in services to the people of City of Newark and the State of New Jersey."

Rutgers University President Richard McCormick, added, “As an historian and the son of an historian, I am excited and gratified to see this relationship grow and prosper. This agreement fits the vision of providing experiential learning opportunities for all of our students. The document that we are signing will deepen and continue what is already a fruitful relationship.”

President McCormick's father, Richard P. McCormick, eminent history professor whose career spans decades at Rutgers, was honored by Sally Yerkovich, NJHS President and CEO, who said signing the Memorandum of Understanding codifies the relationship developed during the 1950s under his leadership as President of The Historical Society Board of Trustees. "It is fitting we do so in his honor for all that he had done for us."

Professor McCormick said the collaboration "will benefit both institutions and through them all the citizens of New Jersey."

Historically, the long and sustained relationship between the two institutions has provided a wide range of mutual benefits. Rutgers students use the Historical Society's research library and archives and Rutgers interns gain experience that will enrich their careers while contributing to Historical Society projects. Rutgers faculty interacts regularly with the Historical Society through participation as advisors in exhibition projects, service on the Board of Trustees and Advisory Council, and publication in NJHS's "New Jersey History," the state's longest continuously published scholarly history journal. The affiliation will substantially expand the working relationship that has already proven successful. Rutgers-Newark will share in the stewardship of the historical resource collections held by NJHS, which is one of the oldest and most extensive in the state. Affiliate faculty status at Rutgers-Newark will be granted to the Historical Society's professional staff. Through the promotion of public scholarship, the collaboration is seen as enhancing the statewide presence of both institutions while forging deeper links with the local communities in Newark.

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