The School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University–Newark began the fall 2020 semester with a new leader at the helm. Bill McCarthy, an internationally renowned criminologist and sociologist, comes to Rutgers-Newark from the University of California Davis (UC Davis), where he served as a sociology professor from 1998-2020 and chaired the Department of Sociology from 2011-2014.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bill as the new dean,” said Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “We knew he had a strong reputation for cultivating highly collaborative and inclusive academic environments, as well as emphasizing the collective nature of setting and achieving goals and celebrating accomplishments. And that’s exactly what we’ve seen as he guided the School of Criminal Justice through finalizing its plans or fall 2020 and has led the conception and refinement of plans for spring 2021 in this unprecedented year when the pandemic continues to challenge us all in unpredictable ways.”

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Ashwani Monga agrees McCarthy was exactly the person Rutgers-Newark was looking for. “Bill’s strengths align precisely with what the search committee, and the faculty, staff, and students were looking for in the next dean: someone who is experienced as an academic leader, as a scholar who works across the intersection of issues and approaches, and as a strong advocate for effective teaching and student engagement.”

In addition to UC Davis, McCarthy has held academic appointments in sociology at the University of Toronto in Canada and the University of Victoria in Canada. His administrative appointments included serving as chair of several committees of UC Davis: College of Letters and Science Executive Committee, Social Science Dean’s Advisory Committee, and UC Davis Executive Council.  

During the course of his career, McCarthy has received many awards and honors. From the American Society of Criminology, he received the Mentor Award (2020), Outstanding Paper Award (2010), and Michael J. Hindelang Outstanding Book on Crime Award (1998). In 1997, he accepted the C. Wright Mills Outstanding Book on Social Problems Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. At UC Davis he received the Dean’s Social Innovation Research Award and the Graduate and Postdoctoral Mentorship Award.

McCarthy currently serves on the editorial boards of Archives of Sexual Behavior and Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Additionally, he has held positions in several professional organizations including the American Society of Criminology, American Sociological Association, and Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

A prolific writer, McCarthy is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook on Gender, Sex, and Crime: An Interdisciplinary Review of Research and Theory (2018) and co-author of Mean Streets: Youth Crime and Homelessness (1997). He also is the author of numerous articles and book chapters.

The Canadian native holds doctoral and master's degrees in sociology from the University of Toronto. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a bachelor of education degree and from the University of Guelph with an honors bachelor of arts degree in sociology.

“I am thrilled to have joined the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice. The faculty, students, staff, alumni, and school programs are amazing,” shared McCarthy. “I am particularly excited about Rutgers-Newark’s role as an anchor institution and the extent to which it is invested in working with local communities. I also am enthusiastic about new undergraduate and master’s degrees for which we will be admitting students in 2021.”

About the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice
Founded in 1974, the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice (SCJ) is a major national and international center for scholarly research on all aspects of policing, delinquency, crime, and criminal justice administration. It prepares students to be leaders in research, teaching, and public policy. SCJ graduates hold distinguished positions in government, public and private sector organizations, and academia. SCJ offers bachelor’s, joint bachelor/master’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in criminal justice. Further information about the school is available at