Chancellor Dutta

Debasish Dutta

Debasish “Deba” Dutta, a respected academic and an experienced higher education administrator, is the Chancellor of Rutgers University–New Brunswick.  Chancellor Dutta, who began his service at Rutgers July 1, 2017, oversees an institution with more than 42,000 students, 10,000 faculty and staff, 12 degree-granting schools, five academic research centers, three administrative units, a premier Honors College, Douglass Residential College, and the Zimmerli Art Museum.  In a career spanning over 30 years, Dr. Dutta has served as educator, scholar, and administrator at four national research universities.  At Rutgers, he is a tenured Distinguished Professor of Engineering.

Chancellor Dutta comes to Rutgers most recently from Purdue University, where he served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, with a faculty appointment as a professor of mechanical engineering from 2014 to 2017.  As provost, he helped the university improve its four-year graduation rate, enhance student advising, recruit the most diverse and academically strong first-year class in its history, and dramatically increase the number of new faculty of color.  Dr. Dutta helped establish programs at Purdue to support faculty and graduate student scholarship in the liberal arts and oversaw the academic expansion of engineering, computer science, business, nursing, and technology.  During his tenure, faculty research funding at Purdue reached record levels, and patent applications and awards increased significantly.

From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Dutta was associate provost and dean of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Edward and Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering. He led Illinois’ efforts in defining standards and setting policies to enable excellence in graduate education and research in over 300 master's and doctoral programs across all disciplines.  Dr. Dutta’s leadership was marked by innovations in academic programs and in recruiting, retaining, and preparing graduate students, particularly from underrepresented populations.

From 1989 to 2009, Dr. Dutta was a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan.  At Michigan, he was the founding director of InterPro, an innovative interdisciplinary academic unit in the College of Engineering that catalyzed new interdisciplinary graduate programs and helped to prepare students for leadership in the 21st century technological world. Dr. Dutta also served as associate chair in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Chancellor Dutta is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a scholar-in-residence at the National Academy of Engineering, where he leads studies on educating for innovation and on lifelong learning for engineering professionals.

Chancellor Dutta spent three years at the National Science Foundation, where he served as acting director of the Division of Graduate Education and as IGERT program director.  He holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Purdue, a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Evansville, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, India.