Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs

The Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs directs signature undergraduate initiatives, including the Byrne First-Year Seminars, the Aresty Research Center, and the Office of Distinguished Fellowships. In addition, the division manages Rutgers University–New Brunswick-wide support offices, like the Office of Career Services and the Office of Scheduling and Space Management. Most recently, the division has launched its Digital Initiative, which, working with Digital Classroom Services, is modernizing university classrooms and providing training and support for the faculty who teach in them, ensuring that undergraduate education at Rutgers continues to excel in the digital age.

Made possible through the generous support of John and Dorothy Byrne, the Byrne Seminars introduce over 3,500 students each year–more than half of the entering class–to the intellectual life of the university and to the latest faculty research. Incoming students can choose from more than 180 seminar topics across the full range of disciplines and fields of research at Rutgers. We encourage first-year students to try courses outside their comfort zones, to venture into new areas of knowledge. This is their first opportunity to get to know a professor well, to work with him or her in intimate classroom settings, and to learn firsthand what it means to be a scholar or to do research. Realizing that transfer students new to Rutgers would also benefit from this kind of support and from exposure to research and our world-class faculty, we piloted a new Byrne Seminar program for transfer students in the spring of 2012.  If you’re a transfer student in your first year at Rutgers, come explore the road not yet taken in a seminar planned just for you. Angela Mullis, the Director of the Byrne Seminar Program, welcomes the opportunity to meet with both students and prospective and returning Byrne faculty. 

For faculty who would like to work with our best undergraduates in research and for undergraduates looking for research opportunities, the Aresty Research Center, made possible by the generosity of Jerome and Lorraine Aresty, provides a vital point of connection, as well as stipend opportunities for undergraduates pursuing research. Through its dynamic leadership team–Faculty Director Chuck Keeton, Director Brian Ballentine, and Assistant Director Joan Whalen–the Center also provides educational support and formal mentoring programs, which enable students to excel in their research projects. More than 400 students a year work closely with faculty in labs, classes, institutes, and archives in hands-on learning environments, where they participate in the formation of knowledge as it happens. In Fall 2012, the Office of the Byrne Seminars and the Aresty Research Center unite to create the Byrne-Aresty Seminars. In this unique program, students will collaborate with Byrne faculty in seminars designed to transition from the classroom to a structured research experience.

We encourage Byrne and Aresty students, honors students, and all students who wish to take their education to the next level to apply for distinguished fellowships to study abroad. Under the direction of Art Casciato, the Office of Distinguished Fellowships has established a national reputation for success in placing Rutgers students into the most prestigious fellowships in the nation, including the Gates, Marshall, Rhodes, Fulbright, Goldwater, Udall, Truman, Luce, Carnegie, and Mitchell, among others. In 2011 Rutgers placed 13 Fulbright scholars in seven different countries and won the prestigious Gates. This office serves all students—from first-years to seniors, and even those within three years of having graduated from Rutgers—who want to pursue their academic goals beyond Rutgers through a national or international fellowship. Through the Office of Distinguished Fellowships, currently enrolled and recently graduated students can learn about the many fellowships that are available through government agencies, private donors, foundations, civic organizations, and corporations. And applicants can work closely with the director and staff to develop their applications and interview skills.

The Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs manages every aspect of classroom use at Rutgers. Comprised of representatives from the various schools and technology divisions, our Classroom Committee is charged with modernizing every classroom on the New Brunswick/ Piscataway campuses. Digital Classroom Services, a team of technology experts who design, install, and maintain innovative technologies in classrooms, are currently overhauling all of the general purpose classroom on campus in an effort to meet the demand for new media across the curriculum. Our faculty can choose from an ever-increasing array of digitally enhanced learning environments, from technology-equipped general purpose classrooms, to classrooms with specialized technology for specific disciplines, to state-of-the-art, theater-quality lecture halls. Digital Classroom Services offers workshops year-round to train faculty in new media technologies and in the integration of discipline-based pedagogy and technology.  The Associate VP of Academic Affairs works with all of these units and divisions to help the Schools plan for new classrooms in new and renovated university buildings.

Our Office of Classroom Scheduling and Space Management schedules university classrooms and tracks all space use on campus, ensuring efficient allocation of space across learning environments. Chris Morett, the Director of Classroom Scheduling, and Associate Director Cathie Castagnola and staff work closely with the Director of Digital Initiatives, Digital Classroom Services, Facilities, and the Classroom Committee to determine the the appropriate cycles of classroom renovation and technology installation, and are charged with tracking space use at the university, digitally recording and archiving building blueprints and space use. Chris’s office works closely with the School deans and the Office of the Registrar for sectioning first-year courses. Chris Morett works closely with Paul Hammond and Digital Classroom Services to train faculty on new classroom media and how to integrate discipline specific pedagogies with innovative technologies.  

Director Joe DiMichele in the Office of Student Conduct manages Academic Integrity for the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Academic Integrity refers to all aspects of student conduct in the classroom and other academic venues, as opposed to student conduct violations, codes, and other regulations that pertain to “student life,” to extracurricular arenas and learning environments outside of the classroom, departments, and Schools. We urge faculty and students to familiarize themselves with the Academic Integrity Policy. Students should have a good understanding of the various categories of academic dishonesty, including the full implications of plagiarism, their custodial responsibility for past exams and assignments (the intellectual property of faculty) and what amounts to dishonesty for assignments and exams both in and outside the classroom environment. At Rutgers we ask faculty to use the Office of Student Conduct and the Academic Integrity process (hearing boards and appeals) for “separable offenses,” those offenses that might result in a student being suspended or expelled from the University. Unique to Rutgers, the hearing boards mandate student, faculty, and staff participation. All students charged with an academic integrity violation have the right to have their case heard by a panel comprised of two students, one faculty member, and one staff member. Students can appeal the outcome of a case to an appeals board, with a final appeal to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO), the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. 

While the University Career Services reports to Undergraduate Academic Affairs under UE, it serves all university students, including students in graduate programs and professional schools, such as business, law, and medicine. Located on the Busch and College Avenue Campuses, the many counselors and programmers in Career Services work to train students for a range of job markets. Students come to Career Services in their first and second years at Rutgers for help determining their majors. The counseling staff use a number of aptitude indexes and career assessment tools to help students understand their career strengths and to learn more about a particular vocation. Through workshops in writing resumes and curriculum vitae, and cover letters, students build strong profiles for an increasingly competitive marketplace. Through Career Services Job Fairs, the Interview Center, webcasts on business networking, interviewing, and employer recruitment, Career Services offers the broadest range of job preparation.

Among their many initiatives, University Career Services offers programs like their Road to Wall Street program and the Rutgers Internship & Co-op Program (RICP). In the Road to Wall Street, selected students will enroll in workshops intended to prepare them for an internship or career on Wall Street, and the Rutgers Internship and Co-op program offers an online course for all SAS majors. If you would like to enhance your resume while gaining valuable experience in a business or industry, contact us or learn more about our services at our website.