Reasons to Celebrate

Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis delivers Spring Address

April 1, 2022

By Sam Starnes 

Rutgers University–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis celebrated recent successes and outlined forthcoming key initiatives in his Chancellor’s Spring Address delivered Thursday afternoon.

“We have a lot of reasons to celebrate our beloved community,” Chancellor Tillis told more than 250 faculty members, staff, and students gathered in the Campus Center.

The recent designation of Rutgers–Camden as a Minority Serving Institution was one of many success stories he highlighted. The Department of Education designation—given to institutions where 50 percent of undergraduates are minority students—ensures increased access to higher education for low-income and minority students.

Tillis praised faculty accomplishments, and he noted recent awards and research grants given to faculty. His recognitions included Susan Mokhberi, associate professor of history, who recently won the Iran World Book Award for her book The Persian Mirror: Reflections of the Safavid Empire in Early Modern France. He also congratulated research faculty in chemistry, criminal justice, nursing, and physics, noting that they recently had been awarded a total of more than $4 million in grants.

“Our success as a research organization—and as a Carnegie-classified R2 research institution—is another point of pride for all of us here,” Chancellor Tillis said. “Rutgers–Camden is a place of innovation, thanks to our exceptional research faculty.”

Chancellor Tillis, who took over Rutgers–Camden’s top role on July 1, said he is very appreciative of how the campus community banded together through the ups and downs of the pandemic.

“Let me say that I am in awe of the resourcefulness and the resiliency that this campus has shown and continues to show,” he said. “This campus has displayed an amazing capacity for uncommon grace toward one another during these very difficult and stressful times. I could not be more proud to be part of this community.”

In regards to future plans, Chancellor Tillis outlined his “15 in 5” initiatives which make up a five-year strategic plan. Initiatives that have already launched include the Chancellor’s Learning Abroad Course Scholarship, the Chancellor’s Mayoral Internship Program, and the Chancellor’s Grant for Staff Development.

A fourth initiative, the Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Global Racial Reckoning and Civility, will debut at 4 p.m. April 11 when author Sheryll Cashin, the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights, and Social Justice at Georgetown Law, gives the inaugural lecture. For more information and to register for the lecture, visit the event’s web page.

Chancellor Tillis concluded the address with the announcement that the Rutgers University–Camden community will launch a highly collaborative and inclusive strategic planning process during the summer.

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