Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is backing out of delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University in New Jersey later this month. 

Rice cancelled her upcoming appearance today following weeks of protests by students and faculty over her role in the Iraq war. 

Rice issued a statement saying she did not want to detract from the ceremony in any way. 

A group of faculty members passed a resolution in February calling on the university to withdraw its invitation. 

Students later staged a campus protest accusing the Bush administration of war crimes.