Dear Rutgers University – Newark Community Members,
I write to announce a transition in our leadership team that brings an opportunity for us all to offer profound gratitude to a stalwart and enthusiastic partner and to warmly welcome into a new role a distinguished, prolific, and engaged scholar, teacher, mentor, and faculty leader.
On August 31, our dear friend and colleague, Todd Clear, will step down from being our Provost to resume his faculty position, enabling him to turn more of his attention to his high-impact research agenda, and devote more attention to his pivotal leadership and advisory roles in key local projects focused on building stronger, healthier, and safer communities in Greater Newark. It would be hard to overstate the significance of Todd’s contributions to Rutgers University – Newark’s development over the past two years, especially his insights into RU-N’s true potential and the characteristically positive energy he brought to helping shape and implement our strategic planning process. We will surely miss him in our leadership team, but we strongly support him in his ongoing work in criminal and social justice that is of vital importance to Newark and to our university.
At the same time, we are extremely pleased to welcome Jerome D. Williams, Distinguished Professor and Prudential Chair in Business, as our new provost, effective September 1. An internationally esteemed scholar, teacher, and leader in business education, Jerome has served in key leadership roles at Rutgers Business School (RBS) since 2010, including Ph.D. program director and research director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. The range of his national prominence is evident in the American Marketing Association having named an award in his honor and in his associate editorship of the Journal of Public Policy and Management. A sought after speaker and commentator by national media (including National Public Radio and the Huffington Post), he also is recognized for his leadership in the Ph.D. Project to diversify the next generation of scholars, faculty, and leaders in business, as well as for his deep involvement in efforts to reduce childhood obesity, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative.
Most recently prior to joining RBS, Jerome was the F.J. Heyne Centennial Professor in Communication at the University of Texas at Austin, a joint appointment between the Department of Advertising and Center for African and African American Studies. A scholar of wide-ranging interests and accomplishments, he researches, teaches, and consults in areas including consumer behavior of multicultural market segments, internet privacy, public health communication, marketplace discrimination, retail redlining, and advertising.
As Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Jerome will be my partner, along with Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Shirley Collado, the RU-N leadership team, and the deans, in fully enacting the vision for Rutgers University-Newark as an anchor institution and a place where “opportunity meets excellence,” an engaged, diverse urban research university committed to high impact scholarship, social mobility, and urban civic life. Among his highest priorities will be representing RU-N on the Rutgers system-wide Promotion Review Committee; working with senior system and university leaders to ensure that a wide range of scholarly pursuits and collaborations that cross the system are appropriately supported; building a robust, high impact research program for RU-N; and collaborating with other RU-N leadership team members on strengthening and growing anchor institution partnerships and initiatives.
As we look forward to a busy and productive new academic year, please join me in extending our warmest thanks and appreciation to Todd and our warmest welcome and support to Jerome!