Summer Greetings from Your New Chancellor

Dear Members of the Rutgers University–New Brunswick Community:

It is my great pleasure to join this university as your new Chancellor.  I knew before I came here that there are few institutions that are as steeped in history and excellence as this one, and I am honored and energized at the opportunity to lead the Rutgers’ flagship at a time of such achievement and growth.  While Rutgers’ reputation and story are familiar to me, my first priority in these early days and weeks is to gain a deeper understanding of its values and its people.

I am committed to advancing our university’s collective mission of excellence in teaching, research, and service and so, as I listen and learn from you, I too offer some of my perspective, experience, and excitement in joining the Rutgers community.  

I have a deep connection to American public and land-grant institutions, having served most recently at Purdue University and, prior to that, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I began my academic career on the faculty at the University of Michigan where I served for twenty years.  My path through these universities is purposeful – I fervently believe in the promise of public higher education and in the land grant mandate of opportunity and accessibility.  This past weekend (July 2) marked the 155th anniversary of the 1862 Morrill Act, which established the U.S. system of colleges and universities that we know as land-grant institutions. The staggering impact of the Morrill legislation was to make higher education accessible for the first time to working people who had previously been excluded from it, thus changing the landscape of higher education in America and also the social and economic fabric of the nation itself.  I consider the creation of the land-grant university system as one of America’s greatest innovations. Today I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead Rutgers University–New Brunswick, a premier land-grant institution.

A hallmark of our identity as a flagship public research university is our commitment to meeting the needs of citizens of the state, nation, and beyond.  The expertise developed at Rutgers has helped to expand our understanding of the world in which we live, illuminating knowledge in virtually every corner of the globe.  Throughout its history, Rutgers has brought the leading edge discoveries of its distinguished faculty and vital contributions of its talented student researchers to bear in addressing global issues and in impacting people’s lives in meaningful ways – from underscoring the effects of climate change to leading transformational initiatives at the intersection of food, nutrition and health; from engineering advances in biotic limbs to being at the forefront of a wide range of academic disciplines, from African-American history to Women’s and Gender Studies.

Applying the university’s outstanding strengths in service of the public good – its innovative research, its vibrant intellectual capital, its remarkable diversity, and more – and ensuring robust access to a full range of educational opportunities for our society’s citizens is the higher purpose of higher education, and I am proud to lead an institution that continues to have this profound impact today.

I am excited to join you on the banks of the Raritan and thank you for welcoming me to the Rutgers–New Brunswick community. I look forward to embracing with you the future opportunities for the university, and achieving even greater heights for Rutgers.

With gratitude,

Deba Dutta
Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick