Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

Steven J. Diner

University Professor Steven J. Diner headed Rutgers University-Newark as Chancellor from July 2002 to December 2011. Prior to serving as chancellor, Dr. Diner served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS-N) at Rutgers-Newark from 1998-2011. He is also a Professor of History.

As chancellor,  Diner devoted himself to building Rutgers-Newark as a leading urban research university. He oversaw a substantial increase in student enrollments; and encouraged faculty to take full advantage of the opportunities for both teaching and research offered by Newark’s rich array of academic, cultural, business, legal, medical and scientific institutions and its proximity to New York City. He was responsible for establishing a new School of Public Affairs & Administration, a Division of Global Affairs, and a wide variety of new academic initiatives many of which take advantage of Rutgers-Newark’s location in the New York/northern New Jersey metropolitan area.

Under his leadership, Rutgers-Newark continued to build strong ties between the campus and the local community. Through Chancellor Diner’s efforts, Rutgers-Newark acquired eleven floors of a prominent building at One Washington Park, to build the new home of Rutgers Business School, Newark and New Brunswick.

Dr. Diner championed the campus’s historic mission of offering a first-rate education to students of modest means who are often the first in their family to attend college. He also initiated efforts to encourage faculty to take maximum advantage of the learning opportunities offered by the campus’s extraordinarily diverse student body.

Steven Diner came to Rutgers with a lifelong interest in cities, universities, and the connections between them, both past and present. After completing a PhD in History at the University of Chicago, he began his teaching career at the University of the District of Columbia, where he taught in and chaired the Department of Urban Studies and was the founding director of the Center for Applied Research and Urban Policy. In 1985, he went to George Mason University, where he served as Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Associate Senior Vice President, and established the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, which undertakes interdisciplinary research in cognitive science.

In 2011 Diner was the first recipient of the Steven J. Diner Ethical Leadership Award, given annually by the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership to an individual who demonstrates a long-term commitment to strengthening civil society through ethical leadership.  The award  recognized Diner’s support for the Institute's work as well as his “commitment to the field of higher education, community engagement in the City of Newark and his ethical leadership, “ according to the Institute.

Dr. Diner’s publications include A City and Its Universities (1980), Housing Washington’s People (1984), and A Very Different Age: Americans of the Progressive Era (1998), as well as numerous articles and essays on the history of American higher education, urban history, and the history of public policy.