Chancellor Launches Initiatives, Names Leadership Team

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Rutgers University - Newark at dusk

Rutgers University – Newark embarks on a new era under new leadership as part of a new Rutgers this spring, launched by Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s announcement of several major initiatives designed to fully articulate the university’s distinctive strengths and vision. The initiatives include a listening tour, strategic planning process, and introduction of a new naming convention and logo for the university that reflect changes taking place across Rutgers University, as well as the naming of a leadership team in the chancellor’s office.

Engaging faculty, staff, and students across the university, as well as external constituencies across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, the listening tour and strategic planning process are pivotal opportunities to share thoughts about and aspirations for Rutgers University – Newark, inform Chancellor Cantor’s understanding of the institution, and help establish an agenda for realizing the university’s potential.

“We are at a historical moment when our city, our state, our nation, and our world desperately need higher education to fulfill its promise as an engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility” says Cantor. “I believe firmly that Rutgers University – Newark is exceptionally well positioned to demonstrate how universities can fulfill that promise.”

Cantor’s enthusiasm is grounded in what she sees as a formidable array of assets that define Rutgers University - Newark as the right institution for the times. “This historical moment is our moment. We have a remarkable legacy of producing great scholarship that is connected to the great questions and challenges of the world. We have the right mix of disciplines and first-rate interdisciplinary centers and institutes spanning the liberal arts and the professions that can flex and adapt as those questions and challenges shift in the years to come.

“We are in and of a city and region where the work we do on local challenges resonates powerfully throughout our relentlessly urbanizing world. And perhaps our greatest asset is the diversity of perspectives we bring to this work—from our stunningly diverse student body, from our extraordinary faculty, and from our committed partners across the sectors of Newark and its metropolitan area—which makes for scholarship and education that are more innovative, more creative, more engaging, and more relevant for our time and the times ahead.”

Cantor’s listening tour is being conducted in coordination with the leaders of schools and colleges, academic and instructional units, centers and institutes, student leaders and organizations, and other divisions of the university, with those leaders helping schedule and frame the context for listening sessions. Sessions will occur from late January through March and are expected to run 90 minutes, with multiple sessions being scheduled to accommodate larger audiences and every attempt being made to schedule sessions during the university’s free (non-class) periods.

Cantor says, “My highest priority right now is to listen and to learn. I’m really eager to get to know Rutgers University – Newark and the city and region better and figure out together how best to leverage the strengths of our campus and broader communities.”

Toward that end, concurrent and intertwined with the listening tour, Rutgers University – Newark is conducting a strategic planning process that will feed into the strategic plan being developed to encompass all of Rutgers. Strategic planning groups are being formed that will focus on deeper engagement with the challenges and opportunities before Rutgers University - Newark in the years ahead.

The method of engagement will borrow from a model for group work common in the design disciplines, the charrette, which brings together people from varied perspectives for sustained periods of intensive study to define challenges and propose means to address them. A Strategic Planning Oversight Committee, co-chaired by outgoing Interim Chancellor Todd Clear and political science professor Jyl Josephson, who represents the Newark Faculty Council, has been convened to help shape the strategic planning process. A series of town hall meetings begun in the fall semester to inform campus community members about the process will continue in the coming weeks. The oversight committee will organize and gather data from town hall meetings and charrette groups, which will become the basis of strategic planning recommendations specific to Rutgers University - Newark.

A town hall meeting for all interested in learning more about the charrettes will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. in 100 Engelhard Hall. A website documenting the strategic planning process is being developed that will be accessible to all members of the campus community.

A campus-wide convocation is being planned for April as a culminating event of the listening tour and strategic planning process and a celebration of Rutgers University – Newark’s past, present, and future. (Further information about this event is forthcoming.)

In that vein, a new naming convention and logo consonant with changes occurring across Rutgers is being introduced for use, effective immediately. The official name of the institution is now to be rendered Rutgers University – Newark, reinforcing the reality that Newark, along with New Brunswick and Camden, is more than a campus of a larger university, but a university in its own right that is part of a public higher education system. The Office of Communications will post on its website new usage guidelines and will enable electronic and camera-ready versions available for all university offices.

Chancellor Cantor has assembled a leadership team of experienced academics and professionals to help shape and support all of the aforementioned initiatives and others to be developed to move the institution forward, as well as serve as her day-to-day advisory group. They are:

  • Todd Clear, professor and former dean of criminal justice, whom Cantor has named provost;
  • Peter Englot, senior vice chancellor for public affairs and chief of staff, who comes to Rutgers University – Newark after 25 years in public affairs, communications, and academic administration at Syracuse University;
  • Marcia W. Brown, associate dean and affiliated faculty, School of Public Affairs and Administration, whom Cantor has named special assistant;
  • Roland Anglin, director of the Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, whom Cantor has named senior advisor;
  • Diane Hill, assistant chancellor for university-community partnerships;
  • Irene O’Brien, vice chancellor for development; and
  • Clement A. Price, Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, whom Cantor has named senior advisor.

Cantor is energized by the prospect of working with this team and with all of the university’s constituents to realize its potential. “Rutgers University – Newark is the right institution for our time and we are poised to leverage our greatest asset—our people—to maximize our impact locally, nationally, and globally.”

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Rutgers University - Newark is home to the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School-Newark, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, the School of Law-Newark, the School of Criminal Justice, the School of Public Affairs and Administration, and extensive research and outreach centers, including the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, the Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, and the Institute of Jazz Studies.  Approximately 12,000 students are currently enrolled in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered at the 38-acre campus in Newark, N.J.  For more information please visit