About Chancellor Cantor

Office of the Chancellor

Nancy Cantor Biography

Rutgers University – Newark
Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington St., Suite 590
Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: 973-353-5541
Fax: 973-353-1048

Selected Messages to the University Community


Message of solidarity from Chancellor Cantor in the aftermath of the Buffalo shooting, May 16, 2022
Chancellor Cantor's 2022 Commencement Remarks, May 16, 2022


On Protecting Our Students' Rights

Remarks at Marion Thompson Wright Lectures

42nd Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, February 19, 2022

41st Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, February 20, 2021

40th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, February 15, 2020

38th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, February 17, 2018

37th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, February 18, 2017

36th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, February 20, 2016

35th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, February 21, 2015

34th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, February 15, 2014


Speeches and Messages to the RU-N Community

Message from the Chancellor: RU-N Advancement Leader Tapped as VP of Rutgers Foundation, January 31, 2022

Message from the Chancellor: Repopulating Rutgers Newark Fall 2021, August 12, 2021

Message from the Chancellor: Repopulating Rutgers-Newark, June 21, 2021

Message from the Chancellor: Condemning Hate, May 25, 2021

Vice Chancellor Marcia Brown to retire from Rutgers-Newark, April 29,2021

Message from the Chancellor: The Chauvin Verdict, April 21, 2021

Message from the Chancellor: Fall 2021 Plans, March 31, 2021

Message from the Chancellor: the Passing of a Dear Rutgers-Newark Colleague, January 29, 2021

Message from Chancellor Cantor on the siege on the U.S. Capitol, January 7, 2021

Message from the Chancellor, Students Leaders on Voter Registration, October 8, 2020

Chancellor's Message on Immigration Policy Announcement, July 7, 2020

Chancellor's Message to RU-N Community on Returning in Fall 2020, July 6, 2020

Message from the Chancellor in the Aftermath of George Floyd’s Death, May 30, 2020

Message from the Chancellor: Fall 2020 Academic Planning, May 14, 2020

A Message to Graduating Students from Chancellor Nancy Cantor, May 6, 2020

Message from the Chancellor: Emergency Support, April 16, 2020

Message from the Chancellor: A message to Rutgers-Newark Alumni and Friends, April 14, 2020

Message from the Chancellor: A Message to our Community Partners, March 31, 2020

Message from the Chancellor: The Remainder of Spring 2020, March 17, 202

Message from Chancellor: Responding to Evolving Challenges, March 16, 2020

Chancellor's Message regarding the Jersey City tragedy, Dec. 12, 2019

Chancellor's Message in the aftermath of El Paso and Dayton shootings, Aug. 6, 2019

Message from the Chancellor on Pride Month, June 18, 2019

2019 Commencement Remarks, May 22, 2019

Chancellor's Message Regarding Hate Speech Allegation, May 22, 2019

Chancellor's Message on Recent Attacks, April 22, 2019

Chancellor's Remarks at Dedication of Frederick Douglass, April 17, 2019

Chancellor and Provost Announce Dean Transition, Mar. 29, 2019

Chancellor's Message on the Mali Massacre, Mar. 27, 2019

Statement against White Supremacist Terror, Mar. 15, 2019

Working against Hate, Oct. 27, 2018

Preparing RU-N for Election Day, Oct. 25, 2018

Remarks at New Student Convocation, Sept. 5, 2018

Chancellor's Message on the Passing of Dean Jan Lewis, Aug. 28, 2018

Chancellor's Statement of Solidarity regarding Immigration Concerns, June 28, 2018

2018 Commencement Remarks, May 14, 2018

Global Natural and Human-made Disasters, Sept. 27, 2017

Remarks at New Student Convocation 2017, Sept. 6, 2017

Remarks at Commencement 2017, May 17, 2017

Loss of a Luminous Alumnus, Al Koeppe, Dec. 7, 2016

Post-Election Message of Support to RU-N Community Members, Nov. 9, 2016

Rutgers University-Newark Commencement 2016 Opening Remarks, Prudential Center, May 18, 2016

Leveraging Our Diversity, Dec. 8, 2015

Statement of Solidarity: On Paris, Nov. 16, 2015

Strategic Plan Update Remarks to the University Senate, Nov. 13, 2015

Chancellor's Message of Solidarity with Charlston, SC, June 23, 2015

2015 Commencement Remarks, May 2015

On the Passing of Clement Alexander Price, Nov. 2014

2014 Commencement Opening Remarks, May 2014


Selected Opinion Pieces

Higher Ed Leaders Should Keep Engaging on Immigration (with Louis Caldera and Alan W. Cramb) Inside Higher Ed., March 22, 2021

Students will graduate soon. We need to help them find a job during a pandemic. NJ.com, March 20, 2021

Privilege and Racism: Numbers Count, in Many Different Ways (with Earl Lewis)  Medium, January 14, 2021

What Are We Going to Do About Structural Inequities Highlighted by Pandemic? (with Peter Englot)  NJ Spotlight, April 15, 2020

Standing with our students: Congress must pass the American Dream and Promise Act The Hill, April 30 2019,

Giving Young Undocumented Immigrants Driver’s Licenses Benefits All NJ.com, Feb. 12, 2019

How colleges must collaborate to lift up the communities just outside their door The Conversation, June 25, 2018

College Presidents Must Be Loud and Clear in Support of Immigration The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 21, 2018

After Charlottesville Huffington Post, Aug. 21, 2017

Making America Great Again? New Jersey Can Lead the Way Star-Ledger, Jan. 29, 2017

Fulfilling Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream: The Role for Higher Education, The Conversation, Jan. 18, 2016

Why Do We Keep Dropping the Coach's Challenge Flag on Campus Protests? Huffington Post, Jan. 4, 2016

Mirror, mirror: reflections on race and the visage of higher education in America, The Conversation, June 23, 2015 

Selected Speeches

Message from the Chancellor: Newark Update to Rutgers University Senate, January 21, 2022

Building the Inclusive Academy from the Outside In, June 21, 2021

Rutgers-Newark Update 2020-21 to the Rutgers University Senate, February 19, 2021

National Day of Racial Healing Remarks, January 19, 2021

The Urgency of Recommitting Higher Education to the Public Good in 2020 and Beyond, Keynote address upon receiving the Ernest L. Boyer Award, AAC&U Annual Meeting, January 23, 2020

A 21st Century Challenge: Empathetic Leadership and Inclusive Institution. Invited keynote to a group of higher education leaders convened by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, January 30, 2019

Remarks at Governor's Press Conference to Sign Dreamer Financial Aid Bill, May 9, 2018

Mutually Beneficial Democratic Engagement Between Universities and Their Communities, Opening keynote address at AAC&U symposium titled, The Power of Civic Engagement – Across Campus, Within Communities, Beyond Borders, January 24, 2018.

Keynote Address at Council of New Jersey Grantmakers Annual Conference, December 16, 2017

Remarks on Higher Education and Immigration,  National Press Club, November 14, 2017

The Compelling Interest of Diversity and Inclusion: Threat or Opportunity? Keynote address given at Rutgers Diversity and Inclusion Conference, October 6, 2017

Anchor Institution Coalitions to Reduce Urban Inequality, Keynote address given at the launch of the New Jersey Coalition of Anchor Institutions, Princeton, New Jersey May 30, 2017

Anchor Institution – Community Engagement in Newark: Striving Together, Remarks given at the symposium Integrating Research, Policy, and Practice: Reimagining the University/City Connection at Rutgers University – Camden.

Educating More of Our Children, and Educating Them Together, Keynote address presented at the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland 2016 Dashboard Report Launch, Cleveland, Ohio Mar. 16, 2017

Remarks at the Grand Opening of the Hahne & Co. Building, Jan. 23, 2017

Anchor Institutions and Urban Inequality, Global Urban Futures Conference, Rutgers University-Newark, April 29, 2016

Keynote: Faculty Diversity Matters: Cultivating Wisdom, Moving to Action, University of Minnesota, April 17-19, 2016

Reconnecting with a Shared Public Mission in Shared Governance, Address to University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate, April 6, 2016

Chancellor's Invited Remarks at Rally in Solidarity with University of Missouri, Nov. 18, 2015

Diversity or Bust: Why Inclusivity Must Become a Top Priority for Higher Education, Oct. 15, 2015

The Looking Glass University: Listening to Strangers and Tending to Democracy, the Anne and Loren Kieve Distinguished Lecture, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University, May 29, 2015


Selected Media Citations

January 20, 2022: Greater Newark Tapped as 11th GreenLight Location, Will Receive $6M Investment to Meet Needs of Residents. Tap Into Newark

March 29, 2021: Changing Higher Ed from the Outside In. The Way Forward: Higher Education in a Time of Crisis

October 20, 2020: Rutgers Newark chancellor discusses the origins of systemic racism with Steve Adubato  State of Affairs with Steve Adubato

May 2, 2018: How one university is luring coveted honors students with social justice The Hechinger Report

Dec. 1, 2017: Advocating the public mission of research universities University World News

March 2017: Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Shares Importance of Diversity One on One with Steve Adubato

Oct. 4, 2016: 'Our Compelling Interests' Inside Higher Ed

July 1, 2016: The Chancellor of Rutgers on Admissions and the Meritocracy The Atlantic

May 19, 2016: A University That Prioritizes the Students Who Are Often Ignored The Atlantic

Oct. 09, 2015Beyond the Ivory Tower NPR

July 29, 2015: Against the Tide: One College Leader Who Champions Socioeconomic Diversity New America Ed Central

July 29, 2015Against the Tide: Chancellor Cantor Stands Out Among Higher-Ed Leaders for Commitment to Socioeconomic Diversity The Hechinger Report,

Spring 2015: Nancy Cantor on "Due Process"

Spring 2014: Community Organizer, an interview with Chancellor Nancy Cantor Rutgers Magazine

June 2014: Radius Magazine: Dinner with Chancellor Nancy Cantor

May 2, 2014: Reflections on the First Four Months, on NJTV

Fall 2013: Getting to Know Her: an Interview with Chancellor Nancy Cantor

Nancy Cantor to Become Chancellor of Rutgers-Newark



Media Appearances

The Way Forward podcast: Higher Education in a Time of Crisis, March 29, 2021

On the Naming of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall, December 17, 2020

Rock Steady: Express Newark, September 28, 2020

Steve Adubato #UNCUT, August 10, 2020

Excerpt from the feature-length documentary Unlikely, March 19, 2019

The Role of the University in Promoting Social Justice, Interview by Farah Jasmine Griffin, Columbia University, December 18, 2018

State of Affairs: Examining Systemic Racism, July 25, 2020

One on One: The Importance of Diversity, February 28, 2017

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: On Collaboration and Diversity, November 18, 2016

Gender Summit 4, European Union: Reconceptualising Human Capital, June 30, 2014

Words Matter, NJ Arts News, June 15, 2014

NJTV News with Mike Schneider, May 2, 2014



Selected Publications

Transforming the Academy: The Urgency of Recommitting Higher Education to the Public Good Liberal Education, Winter/Spring 2020 Vol.106 No.1/2

Tackling “The Two Americas” with City-Wide Collaboration in Newark (with Tai Cooper, Marcia Brown, and Peter Englot), Journal on Anchor Institutions and Communities, Vol. 2 (2019)

Of Mutual Benefit: Democratic Engagement between Universities and Communities, Association of American Colleges & Universities. 

Expanding Educational Access: A Critical Anchor Institution Mission (with Peter Englot), Journal on Anchor Institutions and Communities, Vol. 1, p. 4 (2016)

Our Compelling Interests: The Value of Diversity for Democracy and a Prosperous Society, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Future of Affirmative Action: Chapter 2: Defining the  Stakes

Psychological Science in Public: It Takes a Diverse Village to Make a Difference (with Peter Englot), in Collaboration in Psychological Science, Eugene Borgida and Richard Zweigenshaft, eds., forthcoming

Reinventing Scholar-Educators as Citizens and Public Workers (with Peter Englot), in Democracy’s Education: Public Work, Citizenship, & the Future of Colleges and Universities, Harry C. Boyte, ed., Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2015

Civic Renewal of Higher Education through Renewed Commitment to the Public Good (with Peter Englot), in Civic Engagement, Civic Development, and Higher Education, Jill N. Reich, ed., Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities Press, April 2014

Making the Work of Anchor Institutions Stick: Building Coalitions and Collective Expertise (with Peter Englot and Marilyn Higgins), Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Vol. 17, Number 3, p. 17 (2013)

Beyond the “Ivory Tower”: Restoring the Balance of Private and Public Purposes of General Education (with Peter Englot), The Journal of General Education, Vol. 62, Numbers 2-3 (2013)