Audrey Ignatoff
September 26, 2011
What happened to Dr. Robert Rose?
By Audrey Ignatoff

Dr. Robert Rose seems to have disappeared. His present whereabouts can't be found on line.

Dr. Rose was the former President of Mercer County Community College in New Jersey, and was fired in 2005 by the Mercer County board of trustees for alleged improper accounting procedures. Many felt, including the faculty that Rose was a target of "political cronyism," and they voted to reinstate him in a 72-2 vote.

When Rose was hired in 2001, the board of trustees was appointed by Republicans, and was fired in 2005 by a largely Democratic appointed board. Mel Leipzig, an art professor at the college stated that this political action toward Rose has ruined the Democratic party's reputation in this area.

When Dr. Rose took office in 2001, the school was not in good shape, and needed many improvements, both physically and educationally. Dr. Rose, tirelessly made improvements to the grounds and to the various buildings. He had the college painted, which had been neglected for over 30 years. He also renovated the student dining area and lounge. Many other improvements were made as well. Many were upset because Rose was taking a serious look at staff members and evaluating their contribution to the college. He decided not to renew several contracts and to also terminate some staff members with cause. This was not taken well, and Rose was making enemies that didn't help him and might have hurt his cause in saving his job. In 2003, he was charged with molesting a young woman, but was never convicted. When these charges didn't stick, he was then charged with improper accounting practices. Clearly, he was "railroaded" out of the college for "rocking the boat" of a system that served many well for a long time. Improvement often means change, and many simply wanted the status quo, which often includes "pay to play."

Mercer County Community College lost a great leader who was turning the college around into a great institution of higher learning as well as providing a pleasant and inspiring atmosphere for students, faculty, and staff . However, in New Jersey, merit doesn't always pay off when politics get in the way.

If anyone who has information about Dr. Rose's whereabouts, please contact me at seniorarts@aol.com. It doesn't make sense that such a vibrant and energetic man has seemingly disappeared.

© Audrey Ignatoff

 

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Audrey Ignatoff

Audrey Ignatoff is the president of Senior Arts and Systems, a consulting company in health care and geriatrics... (more)

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