Chancellor Richard L. Edwards Will Step Down in 2017

September 7, 2016

Members of the Rutgers Community:

I am writing to let you know that Dr. Richard L. Edwards, our outstanding Chancellor of Rutgers University–New Brunswick, informed me this summer that he has decided to step down from this position after the 2016-17 academic year. Dr. Edwards will complete his duties as chancellor next June and, after a year-long sabbatical, will return to the faculty as a University Professor.

Dr. Edwards has served as chancellor since 2014, and previously had served as interim president, interim chancellor, dean of the School of Social Work, and, until 2015, executive vice president for academic affairs.  He came to Rutgers in 2005 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a distinguished professor of social work and the former dean of UNC’s School of Social Work, and immediately made his mark as a strong administrator and exceptional citizen of the Rutgers community.

When I arrived here four years ago, Dick—who was interim president that summer—helped make my transition to the Rutgers presidency as smooth as possible. Since then, he has been a trusted adviser, an innovative and creative problem solver, and an effective ambassador to our external constituencies. 

Chancellor Edwards’ work on implementing our new budgeting model, furthering our strategic plan, developing our international programs, and, most recently, forming the Rutgers–New Brunswick Task Force on Inclusion and Community Values and the Committee on Enslaved and Disenfranchised Populations in Rutgers History has been critically important in moving the university forward. 

Chancellor Edwards led the development of the New Brunswick Strategic Plan in 2014 and has guided its subsequent implementation, most notably in promoting important improvements in the student experience. Under his leadership, Rutgers–New Brunswick has put in place a much stronger student advising system and has established task forces to bolster University services and supports for first-year, graduate, transfer, and international students. He also worked with Police Chief Kenneth Cop on several initiatives to increase public safety, including collaboration with New Brunswick police to install video cameras to monitor off-campus neighborhoods where many of our students live.

We will conduct a national search for the next Chancellor of Rutgers–New Brunswick, with a committee co-chaired by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lee and Board of Governors member Frank Hundley. We anticipate that the successful candidate will take office in time for the fall 2017 semester.

Although I know he has a very busy agenda for the coming year with more accomplishments to come, I want to take this opportunity to applaud Dick Edwards for all he has already done for Rutgers in the past decade. 


Robert Barchi