Dear Rutgers University – Newark community members,


We write to invite you to join us in congratulating one colleague on her appointment to a new leadership position and join us in offering profound thanks to another for his outstanding stewardship in that position as he prepares for sabbatical.


We are very pleased to announce that Taja-Nia Henderson will assume the role of Dean of the Graduate School as of July 1, 2019. Many of you know Taja-Nia as a Professor at Rutgers Law School, based in Newark, or from the vital role she’s played in helping faculty members and graduate students strengthen their scholarship and teaching as a member of the leadership team at P3: A Collaboratory for Pedagogy, Professional Development and Publicly-Engaged Scholarship, where she has been serving as Associate Director and most recently as Acting Director. 


Before joining the Rutgers faculty in 2010, Taja-Nia was an associate in the litigation group of Arnold & Porter LLP in New York, where her practice included commercial litigation and pro bono civil rights advocacy. Prior to that she clerked for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and was the Derrick Bell Teaching Fellow in constitutional law at NYU School of Law. An alumna of Dartmouth College (A.B.) and New York University (J.D. and Ph.D. in American History), she is an interdisciplinary scholar whose breadth and depth of vision are evident in her research and writing on slavery, punishment, and the law spanning the centuries from early America to today. Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the American Philosophical Society, among others. She was previously a fellow at the J. Willard Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History at the University of Wisconsin. An engaged scholar, Taja-Nia has organized and facilitated the Rutgers Reentry Roundtable since 2010 and she is a member of the steering committee for Newark Reentry Legal Services. She has been a visiting scholar at Beijing Jiaotong University (2014), and a Visiting Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School (2015). 


As we warmly welcome Taja-Nia to her new role, we can’t thank Kyle Farmbry enough for the wisdom, generosity of spirit, and grace that he brought to that role since August 2013. Kyle’s leadership of the Graduate School has been defined by his characteristically keen and broad vision, capacious empathy, and steady hand. He played a pivotal role in our strategic planning process and in pursuit of our strategic priorities related not only to graduate affairs, but to demonstrating the global resonance of the publicly engaged scholarship and teaching we do locally at Rutgers-Newark, especially through his leadership in helping us establish relationships in South Africa and the Mediterranean that will continue growing for years to come. After completing his term in June and spending 2019-20 on sabbatical, he will rejoin the faculty of the School of Public Affairs and Administration.


We hope you will celebrate both of these outstanding colleagues on their accomplishments and wish them well on what is to come!



Nancy Cantor                                                  Jerome D. Williams

Chancellor                                                       Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost