NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University President Robert Barchi announced Tuesday that the 2019-20 academic year will be his last as the leader of the state's largest public university.

“It has been my privilege and pleasure to lead this community during the past seven years, and this will continue to be the case during my eighth and final year,” Barchi said at Tuesday's Board of Governors meeting.

Barchi, who also holds the title of university professor, will return to the faculty in that capacity after a year-long sabbatical during the 2020-21 academic year, school officials said.

He was named Rutgers’ 20th president in 2012.

Since that year, the number of students enrolled throughout Rutgers has increased from 58,000 to more than 70,000, and the number of degrees conferred has risen 35% to 18,825.

Meanwhile, the university’s endowment has grown on average 9.2% a year to $1.3 billion.

“We are delighted with his leadership and we are grateful that he will lead Rutgers for an eighth and final year,” Board of Governors Chairman Mark Angelson said, adding the university will begin a national search for Rutgers’ 21st president.

Details about the process, which would include outreach to all university faculty, students, staff and alumni, will be announced in the coming weeks, Angelson said.

State records show Barchi earns a yearly salary of $705,305.

“A great university is one that builds on its strengths and past accomplishments and that responds nimbly to opportunities and challenges in a rapidly changing academic and political landscape,” Barchi said. “During the coming year, my leadership team and I will remain fully engaged in working with you on the tasks we face today and the opportunities that will appear tomorrow.”

"We look forward to welcoming a new President who shares our commitment to a diverse, equitable Rutgers that serves the people of New Jersey. We hope the Board of Governors will prioritize faculty, student and staff engagement in the search for a new president who is committed to our values. We expect that President Barchi will complete his unfinished business, including finally settling the contract and equalizing policies for the hundreds of unionized medical school faculty on the Biomedical and Health Sciences campuses who have been working without a contract for over a year now," Todd Wolfson, president of faculty labor union, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, said in a written statement.

Wolfson, an associate professor of journalism media studies, also said "if President Barchi wants to leave a positive legacy, he has thousands of faculty ready to partner for better affordability, a vigorous response to our current climate crisis and a stronger, fairer Rutgers for all. A tuition freeze vote this week by the Board of Governors would be a fitting start to President Barchi’s final year in office.”

As of early Tuesday afternoon, the Board of Governors still was voting on tuition and fees for next year.

Previously, a spokeswoman for Rutgers said on Sunday that there was "absolutely no reason to believe" that Barchi would not remain president for at least two additional academic years.

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