I’m pleased to announce that Rutgers University has received a $2 million gift from the Foundation for Enterprise Development to establish the J. Robert Beyster Professorship of Employee Ownership. The Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations will receive the endowed chair. I have been working closely with Dr. Joseph Blasi at Rutgers for many years and feel he and his colleagues are at the forefront of the employee ownership field. Similar but smaller gifts have been given to a number of other universities to further advance research into employee ownership on a widespread basis.

Last Wednesday afternoon I was visited by Craig Venter and John Evey of the Venter Institute. They disclosed to me their developing plans for the new voyage of Sorcerer II. I am supporting these activities and believe very strongly that Venter — as evidenced by his already outstanding contributions to gene therapy and genomics — has the right approach. This expedition’s purpose is to sample the waters between here and Panama, then to New England, Europe, and back again. They are looking for new microorganisms that may be turn out to be useful in their research. I’m hoping with a little luck that I can join them in Panama since I’ve never seen the Panama Canal.

Other than that, I went out on my boat Solutions on Friday and we traveled to Oceanside to have lunch at the Jolly Roger. Rick Strobridge accompanied us on the trip. In all, I kept pretty busy this week.

4 Responses to “Rutgers Gift and the Search for New Microorganisms”

  1. 1 Gael Tarleton

    Dr. Beyster,

    Rutgers University and Joe Blasi helped create the field of research on concepts and models of employee ownership. You led the way in creating those models and putting your ideas into practice. What a tribute to you and to all the Professors who will have the honor of serving in this Endowed Chair for generations to come. I know that in any university, Endowed Chairs make all the difference: recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest becomes possible. Thank you for your generosity to our institutions of higher learning.

    I hope you are well.


  2. 2 Rob Morton


    I am currently involved with an interesting expedition similar to that you are working on with Sorcerer II. You may remember that during the 70’s my father ran a program at Johns Hopkins APL managing boats that were donated to the University. As part of that program, we sailed SOUTHERN STAR, one of the largest sloops built during that period, to Newport for the Bicentennial Tall Ships Regatta. I always wondered what happened to that boat, and this year I found that she is now conducting an Expedition “Around North America” to raise awareness of issues related to Global Warming. You can find out more about the expedition at http://www.69Nord.com.

    As part of the expedition, SOUTHERN STAR was the first sailing vessel to transit the Northwest Passage across the North of Canada with a scheduled itinerary; illustrating that the climatic changes in the Arctic have now made that route open to small vessels of all types. Since completing that passage, she has sailed down the West Coast, through the Panama Canal and is now in New York. After more than 30 years she will be returning to Newport on March 15, 2009.

    I contacted the leader of the expedition, Olivier Pitras, and volunteered to assist him in organizing the East Coast portion of their trip and as a result I will be sailing with the expedition from New York to Newport. We are also giving the vessel biodiesel from the Newport Biodiesel plant for their trip back to Norway.
    The SOUTHERN STAR will be in Newport from the 15th to the 23rd of March. During their stay, the crew will conduct interviews with local scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, URI Graduate School of Oceanography and Salve Regina University, emphasizing the ocean’s role in climate change. I have also organized a presentation about their expedition and what they have found during their trip, which will be held at the Pell Center on the Salve Regina Campus on March 19th. If I can help the Sorcerer II to organize some of their trip while they are in the New England area please let me know, and if you are with them during their trip here be sure to stop by.

    Rob Morton

  3. 3 Dr. Beyster

    Rob: It’s nice to hear from you as usual and to read the account of your involvement with the Southern Star expedition. It sounds like quite an adventure. I will mention your interest in helping Sorcerer II to Craig Venter. I don’t know their plans on the east coast, but it seems very likely they will visit Newport. We will email you John Evey’s phone number so you can find out their progress and arrange to meet. I am glad to hear the biodiesel business is doing well. I think it’s a wonderful idea. The only problem I see is you may have to sweat it out until domestic fuel prices go up again. That will happen again I’m sure as the recovery progresses. — Bob

  4. 4 Dr. Beyster

    Gael: Thanks for your blog post. I’m glad you understand the pleasure I got out of helping to fund the special employee ownership chair at Rutgers. That university seems to understand the importance of doing real academic research into employee ownership, and how it can benefit enterprises today. I’m proud to have my name attached to this chair and I expect many good things to come of it. Tell us how you spend your day as a Port Commissioner in Seattle. — Bob

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