By Steve Adubato, Jr. | July 12th, 2013 - 1:33pm
| More
Alan Rosenthal: A Mentor to Many
The late Dr. Alan Rosenthal is pictured here in his last public television appearance with Steve Adubato, in which he talked about his last book, "The Best Job in Politics: Exploring How Governors Succeed as Policy Leaders."

My friend and academic advisor, Dr. Alan Rosenthal, passed away this week. Like countless other graduate students who pass through the hallowed halls of the Eagleton Institute on the Rutgers University campus, I was a student and protégé of Alan’s. When I met him in 1981, he was the director of the Institute. He was funny, self-deprecating, insightful, and brilliant. His understanding of state government, and how it worked and didn’t work, was unparalleled. His respect for state legislatures was appreciated by legislatures throughout this country. He was considered by most to be the number one expert in the nation on this topic.

Most New Jerseyans in politics knew Alan Rosenthal for casting the deciding vote in important redistricting battles; he made some friends, as well as a lot of enemies, in that process. But for those of us who were his students, his charges, at Eagleton, and later stayed in contact with Alan—as he would invite us back onto the Eagleton campus to teach, lecture, and help then Eagleton fellows—there would only be positive feelings toward him. He was always looking out for his students, what was best for them, their futures.

In a state where people involved in the political process are obsessed with their own egos and press clippings, Alan Rosenthal was the antithesis of that. It was never about him. For him, it was always about the institution of state government and state legislatures—how to make the process work better, and how to bring better people into the process to serve the public in a more meaningful way. I know this sounds a bit grandiose, but in Alan’s case, it’s absolutely true. He always came from a really good place.

On a personal level, when I was struggling to complete my doctorate at Rutgers, I remember wanting to give up because the dissertation process became too daunting. I met with Alan in his cluttered office. He told me that I had no choice but to keep moving forward, to be practical, to suck it up and get the dissertation done, because in the end, I didn’t want to be known as someone who spent several years in a Ph.D program and then wound up without a Ph.D. He reminded me that my ego would never be able to handle that. Like I said, Alan was always looking out for what was best for his students, and in my case, he was right. Without his guidance and support, I’m not convinced I ever would have finished my doctorate.

 

But Alan Rosenthal did that for so many others. He was supportive. He always picked up the phone when you called, he listened, he cared, and he was a great friend and mentor. He will be sorely missed by those of us who were lucky enough to have been his students…and his friends.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 28th

Chris Christie's Jekyll & Hyde complex We all know the story: An amiable, even-keeled doctor, in an effort to separate the good from his darker impulses, concocts and consumes a secret potion that, momentarily, induces a metamorphosis of physical and mental being and turns him into a monstrous and...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"He was a focal point for the disturbance." - former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne (the Essex County Prosecutor in July 1967), of former Newark Mayor Hugh Addonizio

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Who is a better field general for his party as both try to win governor's races around the country?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources