State official chosen for new position
Over the past year, the University has worked on increasing its standing across the state through implementations of new slogans and the restructuring of its alumni programs.
In an effort to help improve relations with leaders across the state, the University Board of Governors re-established the position of vice president for Public Affairs.
The board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Jeannine F. LaRue to the position at Thursdays meeting in Winants Hall on the Old Queens campus.
"Jeannine has been a major figure in New Jersey public life and civic life for several decades," said University President Richard L. McCormick. "There is no one better qualified than Jeannine to take this role."
LaRue's appointment will become effective as of Dec. 17, and she will earn an annual salary of $250,000, McCormick said.
"I look forward to working with President McCormick, the Board of Governors and Rutgers' faculty, students and staff on behalf of this outstanding university," LaRue said in a prepared statement.
Many leaders across the state, both in the public and private sector, understand the contributions that the University makes to the state's knowledge base, she said.
"We will focus our efforts on expanding awareness and appreciation of Rutgers' value to the people of New Jersey," LaRue said.
McCormick said LaRue would be responsible for all levels of government relations at the University, and will serve to advise him and the board on all state, federal and local matters. She will also maintain relationships with civic, community and business leaders across the state.
Additionally, she will help to develop outreach initiatives with leaders in all of the state's 21 counties.
LaRue's appointment comes at a time when the need for increased public and private support for higher education is greater than ever, McCormick said.
In addition to LaRue, the University already has a vice president of Media Relations and a director of State Relations.
LaRue is currently serving as deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine. She also served as director of Governmental Relations for the New Jersey Education Association.
Those present at the meeting spoke highly of LaRue's appointment.
"We are very fortunate to have such a person [as Jeannine] here," said board member Gene O'Hara.
Board member Al Gamper said he would be abstaining from the vote, citing that he worked for a firm that was competing for LaRue and that the vote would be a conflict of interest.
"[Rutgers] is lucky to have her," he said simply.