Calling Chancellor Nancy Cantor a “rare visionary leader who succeeds in creating an inclusive, supportive environment that allows faculty to thrive through intellectual inquiry, pedagogical innovation and service for the common good,” 50 members of the Rutgers University – Newark faculty appealed to Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway to retain Cantor.
Holloway announced earlier this month that Cantor’s contract as chancellor would not be renewed when her second five-year deal ended at the end of the upcoming school year.
The decision has been met with strong pushback.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and a host of city business leaders and elected officials voiced their displeasure when the announcement was made Aug. 16.
This letter, dated Aug. 24, said the staff wanted to express its “profound disappointment” about the decision. The group said they agreed with the glowing sentiments Holloway gave Cantor while announcing she would not return.
“We agree wholeheartedly that Chancellor Cantor’s legacy has been ‘exemplary’ and ‘remarkable’ and has met the ‘highest of standards,’” they wrote.
They wrote: “We are at a loss as to why, amid all of the challenges facing Rutgers and higher education generally, you would choose to embark on a costly and disruptive leadership transition to address a problem that, by your own telling, is no problem at all.”
The four-page letter, which lists numerous accomplishments under Cantor’s leadership, speaks to her character — and asks that she be retained.
They wrote: “Chancellor Cantor eschews public recognition of her achievements. She works quietly to advance the mission of Rutgers-Newark, and her work advances the stature of our university under your leadership. She has been and will continue to be integral to Rutgers University’s mission of promoting excellence in teaching, innovation in scholarship and research, and commitment to diversity, social justice and public service.
“In brief, we could not have asked for a more inspiring, dedicated, responsive and supportive chancellor to help us fulfill our mission and strengthen our national reputation. We urge you to reconsider your decision to change the Newark campus’s leadership and ask you to renew Chancellor Cantor’s appointment.”
Read the entire letter here.