When Rutgers University President Robert Barchi hosts the annual reception welcoming new faculty members later this month, there will be at least one familiar face in the room: his wife.
"I’m looking forward to meeting the new president," jokes Francis Harper Barchi, Rutgers’ newest assistant professor of social work.
Mr. and Mrs. Barchi — or Dr. and Dr. Barchi — arrived on the New Brunswick campus last month as Rutgers’ new first couple. President Barchi took over the historic corner office in Old Queens overlooking the heart of the state university. A few blocks away, his wife quietly moved into the School of Social Work building in a chilly second-floor office with a view of a parking lot.
While her husband takes on the high-profile task of leading the state’s largest university, Barchi is preparing to begin teaching and continuing her work on an extensive array of research projects she brings with her from her previous post as a fellow at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.