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Farmer To Replace Rutgers General Counsel
Rutgers University on Thursday named former N.J. Attorney General John Farmer Jr. as its senior vice president and general counsel, replacing John Wolfe, who resigned earlier in the day.
University President Robert Barchi said the appointment of Farmer, the dean of Rutgers School of Law-Newark since July 2009, is effective immediately, as is the resignation of Wolf, who stepped down amid the scandal surrounding fired basketball coach Mike Rice.
Wolf was a part of the decision-making process that kept Rice on staff despite mounting evidence of his abusive conduct toward basketball players. Rutgers University announced Monday it would hire an independent investigator to review how the episode was handled.
Barchi said Farmer will serve in his new position for 12 to 18 months to help the Rutgers administration manage, among other things, the impending July 1 integration of Rutgers and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
During the same period, Ronald Chen, the current vice dean of Rutgers Law School-Newark, will serve as acting dean. He will work closely with Rutgers Law School-Camden dean Rayman Solomon on the prospective merger of the two schools, Barchi said.
The university had said earlier that Wolf would stay on as a staff attorney while giving up the top legal job, but on Thursday it announced he would leave in the best interests of the university. Wolf agreed to work with the new general counsel to assure a smooth transition.
While I regret the circumstances surrounding my departure from Rutgers, I always will have very fond memories of the challenges and achievements that I have been a part of and the many colleagues and friends, both inside and outside the university, with whom I have worked at Rutgers since 1984, Wolf said.
Farmer joined the administration of Gov. Christine Todd Whitman in 1994, serving as assistant counsel, deputy chief counsel and chief counsel before serving as attorney general from 1999 to 2002. He is a former commissioner of the State Commission of Investigations and a former member of the Executive Commission on Ethical Standards and the New Jersey Governors Ethics Advisory Board
Farmer was the first chair of the New Jersey Domestic Preparedness Task Force, leading the coordination of the states responses to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He was a senior counsel and team leader for the National Commission on Terrorists Attacks upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission) and a principal author of the commissions final report. His own book, The Ground Truth: The Story Behind Americas Defense on 9/11 (Riverhead/Penguin Press, 2009), is a reconsideration of the governments 9/11 response in light of Hurricane Katrina.