With Thanks and Appreciation

Dear Members of the Rutgers University–New Brunswick Community, 

Today I conclude my service as Chancellor of Rutgers University–New Brunswick.  It has been a great privilege and one of the most fulfilling experiences of my professional and personal life to serve in this role and to be a member of the Rutgers community.  

In the thirteen years since I joined this remarkable institution, the university has experienced exceptional growth and a marked transformation, which has included our entrance into the Big Ten conference and its academic counterpart; an unprecedented expansion of our physical and learning spaces; a historic visit by President Obama – the first sitting President to deliver a Commencement address at Rutgers; and, the celebration of our 250th landmark anniversary.  A critical underpinning for these milestone achievements, and so many others, has been the vital contributions of our accomplished faculty, dynamic students, and dedicated staff. 

I am exceedingly proud of the strides we have taken to transform the student experience – a key priority for me – through efforts to examine and improve the experience for first-year, transfer, and non-traditional students; to broaden the conversation about race and the climate of inclusion on campus; and, to expand services for first-generation students through programs such as RU-1st.  Active student input has also been significant to changing what we know about the very history of Rutgers.  It was the passion and dynamism of our students that inspired the Scarlet and Black initiative, which traced the role that the African-American and Lenni-Lenape communities played during the university’s formative years, contributing to a more complete understanding of this early history.  

Rutgers is exceptional in its diversity, its esprit de corps, and in the range of perspectives that enrich our scholarly enterprises and public reach.  These attributes are among the traits I have come to admire most about this extraordinary community, and they are fundamental to the university’s mission.  To our faculty, students, staff, alumni and partners, I thank you for all you do to support and enhance the excellence of this great institution. 

I am deeply touched to be a part of Rutgers and its evolving history.  I want to express my great thanks to President Barchi for his confidence in appointing me as Chancellor of Rutgers–New Brunswick.  I would also like to extend a big welcome to our incoming Chancellor, Dr. Deba Dutta, whom I have known for several years and who I know will hit the ground running as he joins the Rutgers community.   As I prepare to return to the faculty of this university and to begin the next phase of my academic career, I am proud and gratified that Rutgers will continue to be my home.  It has been my profound honor to serve this community, which I have grown to love, and I look forward to continuing this service in the years to come.


Richard L. Edwards, Ph.D. 
Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick