On February 14, 2012, AAUP President Cary Nelson released a statement titled "It's Not Much Fun to Lose Your Name." He was of course referring to the infamous plan cooked up by politicians and political insiders to sever an entire campus from Rutgers University and award it to Rowan. But no one had expected that the campus—Rutgers-Camden—would fight back.
Janet Golden is a Professor of History at Rutgers-Camden and thought she had seen it all. But instead of shock, she and her colleagues jumped into action. She deftly coordinated a campaign that included faculty, students, staff, alumni, administrators, governing boards and community. The only campaign that could have won given the political odds.
The campaign turned editorial and public opinion against the takeover. It stiffened political will in a democratic party that was fractured. It unified a three-campus university to speak with one voice in support of Rutgers-Camden.
That faculty activism that we all long for in our toughest battles came together in a seemingly effortless manner. But the effort was real and Janet coordinated it all. The law school faculty did the legal research on the merger/takeover. The Business school faculty did the financial research and helped with the media strategy that drew from History, English, Business and Law.
Janet coordinated the local activism and kept the union fully informed as a member of its Executive Council. She drew on union resources when needed for legal and financial research as well as media strategy and direct negotiations with the Legislature.
A critical contribution was her regular communication with her campus administrators and with the university governing boards. Her relationships bound the entire campaign together and has strengthened our local union in an unimaginable way. Her success is shared by all and is the inspiration for all of our future work.